Facebook "Likes" open data, "Pokes" Open Compute Project

Facebook likes the Open Compute Project‘s approach to sharing more efficient server and data center designs with the wider IT industry — well, it did initiate the scheme in the first place after all.

During this week’s Open Compute Summit the company has made its stripped-down storage and rack data centre designs available to the community and also pledged to develop a new standard for rack design itself, which will be logically named Open Rack.

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According to the Open Rack website this will be the first rack standard that’s designed for data centers, integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure, “Part of the Open Compute Project’s ‘grid to gates’ philosophy, a holistic design process that considers the interdependence of everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard.”

Open Compute Project chairman and Facebook’s director of technical operations Frank Frankovsky has suggested that Open Rack has the potential to “completely standardise” the mechanical and electrical interfaces of data centre racks almost as if it were a new hardware-based API in interconnectivity terms.

Facebook’s open hardware efforts with the Open Compute Project started in April 2011 and were initially focused on servers as a stand-alone technical proposition.

Subsequently, the project has been established as an independent foundation and also set to work on areas including motherboards, server racks and other ancillary data storage hardware components.

Reports suggest that Facebook’s design efforts will tackle airflow challenges associated with server cooling issues and ultimately lead to more efficient (and therefore lower cost) data centre design.