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Equinix taps into Open Compute Project to build open source datacentre ecosystem

Technology produced by Facebook-backed Open Compute Project gets snapped up by datacentre operator Equinix

The Facebook-backed Open Compute Project (OCP) is seeing more of its datacentre technology designs make their way into the enterprise, with the news Equinix is to adopt its Wedge open source network switch.

The company first took the wraps off Wedge in June 2014, hailing it as a result of its ongoing work to separate the hardware and software components of network technology so enterprises have a wider choice of elements they can use when building out their datacentres.   

The Wedge concept was then passed on to the OCP, where members are encouraged to build on the idea and adopt the technology as they see fit.

Colocation giant Equinix has now set out plans to draw on the technology as part of its plans to build an open source-based datacentre management platform for use in its facilities.

The platform will run the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS), which allows operators to pool their cloud and datacentre resources to run distributed apps and workloads from a variety of locations based on the available capacity.

Equinix claims the approach will make its datacentres more cost-effective to run, as any spare capacity is passed back into the DCOS centralised pool of resources so users can launch their chosen applications and workloads.  

In terms of use cases, Equinix said the platform should make the roll-out of internet of things (IoT) applications and the deployment of hybrid cloud environments easier for users.

Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi said the initiative’s aim was to ensure enterprise users have access to the datacentre resources needed to run new and emerging workloads.

Read more about open source datacentres

“By working together [with Facebook], we can drive technology evolution for interconnection by defining the next-generation architecture for the network and cloud edge, thus ensuring our customers have the scale and performance they require for newly evolving platforms and applications,” he said.

Andy Lawrence, research vice-president for datacentre technologies and eco-efficient IT at market watcher 451 Research, said Equinix’s decision to embrace open source technologies should stand it in good stead.

“As ever more people and devices come online around the globe, sharing data-intensive content, it is vital that the infrastructure and platforms are in place to support the demanding performance needs of IoT,” he said.

“Equinix’s involvement in OCP and its plans to create an open source ecosystem inside its global platform of datacentres is exactly the kind of initiative that is needed. It will place the company in a position to better respond to the needs of enterprises as they tackle the burgeoning possibilities of IoT.”

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