Solving common problems and achieving greater opportunities with open source hardware

By April 2020Data Center, News

Solving common problems and achieving greater opportunities with open source hardware

Solving common problems and achieving greater opportunities with open source hardware

Sharing knowledge between organisations to achieve a common goal is a crucial part of any business. 

Particularly in times of hardship, we can come together and find solutions that solve future problems. This is exactly what the Open Compute Project founded by Facebook in 2011 aims to do in the hardware space.

In the first of three Tech Talks by OCP, in partnership with W.Media, we discovered how open source hardware drives the reinvention of data center efficiency and why demand for their solutions is growing in Southeast Asia.

Here are some key takeaways from the webinar that make us excited for the future of data centers.

Harnessing the power of open source hardware to solve future problems

In conversation with Steve Helvie of OCP and Dharmesh Jani of Facebook, the two experts in data center design identified three major challenges facing the industry in the next ten years:

  1. The ‘cambrian explosion of workload’ caused by developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics
  2. Pressures on machine-to-machine bandwidth
  3. Tapering of the Moore’s Law.

Dharmesh, who chairs OCP’s Incubation Committee, shared three OCP projects aimed at solving these problems.

The Open Domain-Specific Architecture initiative has made significant progress in developing a chiplet-based architecture that will tackle the challenge of rapidly changing workloads and enable applications like machine learning to function at high performance.

Another new project by OCP is the Open Accelerator Infrastructure, an open source solution to the various hardware accelerators for machine learning and deep learning caused by the rapid evolution of AI. 

Dharmesh said the OCP community is working really hard to solve these problems by looking at hardware and software in a holistic manner.

The third solution in its infancy is an exciting new plan to come up with a common solution to the entire software toolchain that can solve issues concerning booting up systems, tests and validations, and beyond into deployment and provisioning. Dharmesh expects these to become common problem areas for every user.

What’s in it for the vendor community?

Simply put, common goals solve common problems.

There is still room for vendors to differentiate where it matters and come up with designs supporting their end customer and producing healthy competition. But by working together, we can comply with standards and deliver products faster for everybody.

Dharmesh said: “You don’t want to go and realign every last screw or every last design principal because nobody is going to deploy that kind of differentiating device at scale when there is only one of its kind.”

Steve, OCP’s VP of Channel, listed four reasons why big names such as ING and PayPal are adopting solutions like OCP’s tool-less cubby servers:

  1. Cost reduction
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Standardisation
  4. Reliability

CTC who provide IT solutions across Asia have been contributing to open source software communities for a number of years. They have seen their customers save on labour, time, procurement and power costs after using OCP solutions.

Sachin Thakur, the Lead Project Manager for CTC, believes that open source momentum for hardware is coming in the near future. This is why they chose to contribute to the OCP and became the first OCP solution provider in Japan, exemplifying how being part of a community gives you bigger opportunities.

Watch ‘Open Source Hardware to drive Reinvention of an efficient Data Center’ again

If you missed the first of our three Tech Talks with OCP or would like to share with your friends and colleagues, you can register to watch the whole webinar and download the slides to discover how OCP is changing the way we use hardware in data centers here.

Join us for our next Tech Talk with OCP to explore Open Networking

With the move to disaggregated hardware and software solutions, open networking is accelerating.  According to IHS Markit, the growth in the bare-metal switch segment is due to several factors, including data center capex reduction directives, an increase in software-defined networking (SDN) deployments and rising adoption of merchant-based and programmable switch silicon. 

OCP Accepted™ and OCP Inspired™ network switches are sold in the data center market and garnered $221 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2019, which gave OCP switches a 55% share.

Discover more about OCP’s Open Networking solutions and have your questions answered by logging in to our next Tech Talk on 21 May 2020.

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