OCP Summit V: Year In Review From Open Compute Project’s/Facebook’s Frank Frankovsky

HoneyBadgerPrototype650With OCP Summit V taking place at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday and Wednesday, Open Compute Project Chairman and President Frank Frankovsky, vice president of hardware design and supply chain operations at Facebook, discussed the group’s achievements over the past year in a post on the Open Compute Project blog.

Frankovsky mentioned new innovations being shared at the conference, including the “Honey Badger” microserver adapter (pictured above) from Facebook, which said OCP and related efficiency efforts have helped it to save more than $1.2 billion in infrastructure costs over the last three years.

He also spotlighted contributions from other companies, including:

  • A development platform for its first 64-bit ARM-based server CPU and a new OCP microserver design compatible with “Group Hug,” from AMD.
  • Designs for the new “Open Bridge Rack” from Fidelity.
  • Designs for the 1500 Series server from Hyve.
  • A new containerized data-center solution that employs OpenStack and OCP hardware, from IO.
  • Microsoft’s announcement that it was joining OCP and its designs for servers to power global cloud services including Windows Azure, Office 365, and Bing.
  • LSI’s announcement that it was joining OCP and its designs for a 12G SAS expander upgrade to the Open Vault storage system and a flash storage card that provides low-latency flash storage to server-based applications.
  • The Kinetic open-storage platform from Seagate.
  • The line of Open Rack-compatible products co-developed by Quanta and Rackspace.

Frankovsky also discussed OCP achievements, including:

  • More than 3,400 attendees at OCP Summit V.
  • More than 150 official OCP member companies, with new members including Bloomberg, Box, Cumulus Networks, IBM, IO, LSI, Microsoft, and Yandex.
  • New chapters forming in Europe, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia/New Zealand.
  • The additions of Community Manager Amber Graner and Director of Certification Hugh Blemings.

And he concluded:

As impressive as all of this is, some of the work I’m most proud of from the past year has been in our efforts to make it easier for people to collaborate on the development of new OCP technologies, contribute those technologies to the OCP Foundation, and consume them in whatever combination best fits their needs:

Supporting the OCP solution provider ecosystem: We’ve seen a lot of growth here in the past year, and there are now seven official OCP solution providers: AMAX, Avnet, CTC, Hyve, Penguin Computing, Quanta, and Racklive. These companies provide new options for consumers who want to deploy OCP designs, and new routes to market for innovative new technologies. All of these companies are making big investments in OCP, building labs of their own, and contributing the designs for the OCP products they develop for customers back to the foundation.

New certification process: We’ve developed a rigorous compliance and interoperability process, with two levels of certification: “OCP Ready,” and “OCP Certified.” These certifications will provide consumers with assurance that the products with these labels have been thoroughly tested and meet the standards set by the OCP community. Two new labs have been established — USTA and ITRI — to manage the certification process. Wiwynn was the first company to successfully achieve OCP certification for one of its products, and Quanta quickly followed.

New OCP hardware license: Since our inception a little more than two years ago, we’ve used a relatively “permissive” license (modeled on Apache) to govern contributions. Soon we will roll out a second, more “prescriptive” license (modeled on GPL) that will require anyone who modifies an original design and then sells that design to contribute the modified version back to the foundation. It’s our hope that having multiple licensing options will lead to even more OCP technology contributions.

Looking at all of this progress and forward momentum, I can’t help but think that 2014 is our year. New technologies are being developed and contributed; new products and new businesses are being launched; and new OCP technologies are being adopted. We are reinventing this industry together, in the open, and everyone has a chance to contribute — to help ensure that all the technologies we develop and consume are as scalable as possible, as efficient as possible, and as innovative as possible.

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