RealTime IT News

Server Racks Go Open Source with Open Rack

The Open Compute Project today announced a new Open Rack standard that will change the interior server width to 21 inches in a bid to improve server density for hyperscale computing data centers.

The announcement came during the Open Compute Summit in Texas today where the Open Compute Project (OCP) celebrated its first anniversary. OCP is an effort originated by Facebook, that has now grown to include many of the leading vendors in the IT industry.

"The engine behind the cloud is the data center and servers, the physical assets," Lew Moorman, President of Rackspace said during the Open Stack Summit . "Ultimately the cloud is something."

Moorman noted that in order to move forward there is a need for lower cost, more reliable and greener data centers and that is what is happening. To that end, OCP is pushing forward its Open Rack effort.

“Racks may not sound so sexy, but they’re a critical component in all data centers," Facebooks' Frank Frankovsky, founding board member, Open Compute Project said.

Open Rack is about standardizing the electrical and mechanical interfaces in a rack. The idea is to have a completely standardized way for the rack to interface with the data center and for IT devices to interface with the rack itself.

The Open Rack is a 21 inch width specification for servers that Frankovsky referred to as being similar to the original promise of blade servers. Though in Frankovsky's view, blade servers have not lived up to their initial promise of enabling an easier way to deliver servers. The promise with server blades was the ability to aggregate IT equipment into a common platform. According to Frankovsky, the problem that emerged is that blade servers ended up being designed in a proprietary way.

"With Open Rack think of it as trying to bring the promise of blade servers, but doing it at the rack level and doing it in open source," Frankovsky said. "I consider it blades done right."

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
Open Compute Widens Servers with Open Rack

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.