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Open Compute Project eyes European enterprise adoption with Experience Centre opening

The Facebook-backed Open Compute Project is getting its first European Experience Centre in Amsterdam, as part of a three-way collaboration between its members to get more enterprises using its technology

The Facebook-backed Open Compute project (OCP) is stepping up its efforts to court enterprise IT buyers through the launch of its first European demonstration centre at Switch Datacenters’ server farm in Amsterdam.

The OCP Experience Centre features a fully functional datacentre environment built using the hardware and software developed by the project’s community of contributors, who are collectively working to increase the spread of open source technologies in datacentres.

The site is primarily intended for use as a demonstration centre, so IT managers and datacentre operators can get a feel for what OCP kit can do, but it will also be made available for organisations wanting to test out new and emerging technologies produced by its community of supporters.

While the community’s datacentre wares have been keenly adopted by the telco industry and members of the hyperscale cloud and internet provider community, large-scale adoption with the enterprise market – as a whole – has been patchy, which is something the OCP is keen to address.

The OCP’s championing of 21-inch server rack designs is often cited as a partial barrier to enterprise adoption of its technologies, as it makes it potentially harder for users to deploy the technology in existing datacentres where smaller server racks are consistently the norm.

The centre’s opening is being overseen by datacentre infrastructure manufacturer Rittal and OCP supplier and service provider Circle B, in conjunction with Switch Datacenters, who is in the midst of building a datacentre based on OCP principles.

“The three companies have determined that in the technology sector, IT managers at large enterprises and governments in the European region have yet to adopt OCP principles on a large scale,” the companies said, in a joint press release.

“These principles form the basis on which many hyperscalers operate. By adopting OCP designs in their datacentres large enterprises and governments can benefit from the same advantages as the hyperscalers: cost reductions, lower energy usage and much more flexibility.”

The news coincides with the OCP’s first regional summit in Amsterdam, which is geared towards showcasing the range of datacentre hardware and software its community of developers, contributors and users have created.  

Steve Helvie, vice-president of channel for the Open Compute Project Foundation, hailed the collaboration between the three firms for helping to spread the message about OCP across the continent.

“By bringing the region’s first OCP Experience Center, Circle B, Rittal and Switch Datacenters have put together a great showcase for open hardware designs and it highlights the strength of each Member in delivering OCP solutions throughout Europe,” he added.

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