SpaceDC Indonesia data center becomes the first OCP Ready™ facility in Asia

Singapore-based data center provider SpaceDC has become the first OCP Ready™ facility in Asia.

The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) awarded SpaceDC’s facility in Indonesia with the certification after demonstrating its ability to create highly efficient data centers and meet OCP guidelines.

SpaceDC achieved another first in Asia by securing OCP’s Colo Solution Provider status, exhibiting ‘strong technical, service and support capabilities to enable scalable deployments of OCP infrastructure’.

“This certification certainly affirms SpaceDC’s mission of being an efficient, reliable and scalable data center platform for businesses looking to expand in the region,” Darren Hawkins, the CEO of SpaceDC.

SpaceDC’s JAK2 facility will be part of Indonesia’s first green data center campus, which will be powered by natural gas for electricity and waste heat for the cooling absorption chillers.

The facility is also designed to Uptime Tier III standards and achieved a power usage effectiveness of 1.3.

Steve Helvie, Vice President of Channel Development for OCP, described SpaceDC‘s achievement as displaying the capacity for OCP solutions to continue  growing and evolving across Asia. This will result in a need for more facilities and operators who understand the needs of enterprise companies looking to adopt more open hardware designs, he said.

”I would like to congratulate SpaceDC for becoming the first OCP Ready™ facility in Asia, which is an incredible achievement,” celebrated Mr. Helvie.

What does it take to become an OCP Ready data center?

The OCP Ready™ Facility Recognition Program is one of the Open Compute Project Foundation’s newest certifications.

The program recognises data centers that meet guidelines and show an operator’s understanding of the fundamental facility requirements to deploy OCP hardware into their IT space.

“Throughout the process for JAK2 to be certified as OCP Ready™, their team has demonstrated a deep technical knowledge and understanding of what it means to create an optimised data center facility for hosting OCP IT gear,” said Mark Dansie, a key member of the OCP DC Facilities Project Team and leader of the OCP Ready™ program.

SpaceDC’s OCP Ready™ facility is now listed on the OCP Marketplace as a result of their success.

Mr. Dansie added: “This new colo facility is a fantastic addition to the growing portfolio of OCP Ready™ data centers and will enable SpaceDC’s OCP customers to take full advantage of the TCO benefits of deploying OCP technology.”

Why is it important to be OCP Ready?

Data centers that are optimised for open infrastructure are becoming ever more crucial to meet the demands of cloud service providers (CSP’s), telcos and enterprises, as they move toward digital transformation.

Open Compute Project’s collaborative Community strives to optimise all parts of a data center, from open hardware designs to network architecture to provide efficient, scalable computing.

At our next free Tech Talk, Steve Helvie, OCP’s VP of Channel, will show us why tech giants and data center players have joined the OCP Community to develop the OCP hardware market into a US$10 billion industry.

OCP Colo Solution providers like Giga Data Centers, Rackspace, Kao Data and Hydro66 have all received the OCP Ready™ stamp of approval along with SpaceDC

> Take a look inside an OCP-Optimised Data Center in Southeast Asia

Meet the OCP Colo Facility Guidelines for OCP Racks and complete the Colo Site Assessment

To become an OCP Ready™ data center operators are required to meet the OCP Colo Facility Guidelines for deploying OCP hardware in commercially available, colocation data centers.

Solution providers are also required to be an OCP member in good standing and complete the OCP Ready Colo Site Assessment. This site assessment covers everything from building access, electrical and cooling capabilities, to efficiency, cabling and openness of information.

To meet the guidelines, facilities must allow end-users to smoothly deploy fully populated OCP Racks without delay.

OCP Ready™ data centers must be able to easily accommodate racks weighing 500kg and be able to deploy multiple racks at scale.

In our next Tech Talk with OCP, we will be joined by Resul Altinkilic of Rittal, an OCP Platinum Member who specialises in developing and influencing the future of OCP roadmaps in Rack, Cooling and Power.

Mr. Altinkilic will take us through the importance of Open Hardware and Open Rack infrastructure in achieving an optimised and efficient data center.

To explore what it takes to become an OCP-optimised data center, we will also hear from the CEO of SpaceDC, Darren Hawkins. 

Mr. Hawkins will share how SpaceDC achieved the recognition of being the first OCP Ready™ data center in Asia after meeting all guidelines and successfully passing the OCP Ready Colo Site Assessment.

Register for free to take a journey through an OCP Optimised Data Center in Southeast Asia on Wednesday 8 July.

Image credit: SpaceDC

COVID-19 forces OCP to go digital, but Virtual Summit a resounding success

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Open Compute Project Foundation was forced to go digital by transforming their Global Summit into their first OCP Virtual Summit.

All the content was ready to go, organisations were ready to make big announcements at the show, flights had been booked and the stages were set for the Global Summit in San Jose, California.

But in a tense and difficult decision, OCP cancelled their largest event of the year on the Friday before it was planned to start on Tuesday 3 March.

“It was really beyond our control. Many members of OCP, sponsors and content providers received edicts from their organisations that said they can’t go to large meetings as a result of the pandemic,” said Dirk Van Slyke, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of OCP.

To find an alternative, the OCP team still met in San Jose with their production partner to strategise a plan.

Mr. Van Slyke said: “It was out of necessity to recoup all this wonderful content and this interest and momentum within the industry.”

The collaborative Community, which strives to optimise all parts of a data center, found a solution in hosting a Virtual Summit between 12 May and 15 May.

“At the end of the day, we are the enablers of collaboration, so we’ve got to provide a framework by which that can happen,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

OCP kept the collaborative nature of the Virtual Summit alive with panel discussions, live question and answer sessions as well as engineering workshops.

Collaboration on a massive scale

Originally, OCP forecasted between 3,800 and 4,000 attendees for the Global Summit. The Virtual Summit attracted more than 11,000 delegates, with a greater global reach across more than 100 countries.

The collaborative organisation received mostly positive feedback and a better understanding of the limitations of going digital.

“What was missing was those powerful 1-on-1 conversations where a lot of collaboration happens,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

At this time, there is no perfect solution to enable 1-on-1 connections in a virtual space. Mr. Van Slyke identified that there are still difficulties with ensuring privacy of delegates, as ‘you can’t just make everybody’s contact details available’, and the ability to opt-in to a meeting can be cumbersome and difficult on online platforms.

Like many organisations, OCP was concerned that offering virtual elements like live streamed keynotes during their Global Summit would cut back on physical attendance.

“At the end of the day, what we’re hearing from the community is that nothing can replace a 1-on-1 in-person meeting. But if we want to bring a broader audience to the table as well, I don’t think we would sacrifice too much on the attendance side by live-streaming some of those sessions and keynotes,” added Mr. Van Slyke.

Moving forward, OCP will look to incorporate some of the virtual components back into their live events to empower remote collaboration.

“We’re just optimistic that by March of 2021 we will be through this enough to be able to hold our in-person Summit,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

OCP is actively working to figure out their schedule between now and March 2021.

“That’s a ten-month chasm that we’ve created that we’ve got to fill, so we are polling the Community to find out what their needs are,” he added.

OCP is looking at some interesting ideas and applications to make it feel like there are even more people tuning in virtually during an in-person event.

The biggest takeaways from the OCP Virtual Summit

OCP’s VP of Channel Development, Steve Helvie, identified three key takeaways from the Virtual Summit. The first was the ability to consume more content.

“When you’re at a physical event, it is great for the personal connections, but many times you miss a lot of the great content. When you get back to the office and your workday resumes again, you lose the ability to go back and listen to all the great content,” said Mr. Helvie.

The second was the ability for OCP members to convey the right type of message by organising the content in a way that was tailored to a cohesive theme. And third was the sheer audience reach enabled by the online event.

 “The number of countries that are able to consume this now is something we would never achieve at a physical event,” he added.

In the future, OCP will look to expand on this reach and drive awareness in markets that may have been more difficult to penetrate without the power of a digital platform.

Other big news coming from the OCP Virtual Summit was the announcement that Google had become an Executive Member and will hold a seat on OCP’s Board of Directors.

“Google’s new board participation further represents how fundamental open hardware continues to be within the industry, and the only way we’ll continue to drive innovation within the industry is together,” said Mark Roenigk, Chair of the Board of Directors for OCP.

The new Director will be Dr. Parthasarathy Ranganathan, a distinguished Engineer at Google.

Dr. Ranganathan said: “We look forward to extending our involvement with the OCP Community to help drive greater choice and agility for the industry.”

Virtual until further notice

All OCP events are virtual until further notice, when Members and participants in the Community are able to release restrictions on the types of meetings employees can attend and travel to, advised Mr. Van Slyke.

That’s why on Wednesday 8 July, you are invited to take a look at an OCP-Optimised Data Center in Southeast Asia at our next digital Tech Talk event.

We will be joined by Steve Helvie, as well as Darren Hawkins, the CEO of SpaceDC, and Resul Altinkilic, the Project Manager Global Key Accounts IT at Rittal.

Register for free to discover how an OCP-Optimised Data Center can be achieved

W.Media Tech Talk: Revolutionising industries with OCP open networking

For years, large companies have been disaggregating their data center networks through solutions like open networking, but now this is rapidly moving into the enterprise space as well as telco and public sectors.

More than 100 delegates joined W.Media’s and Open Compute Project’s most recent digital event to shed light on open networking, one of OCP’s fastest growing projects.

Steve Helvie, the VP of Channel at OCP, described three main reasons for the growth of disaggregation in the data center, which allow for greater flexibility at the enterprise level:

  1. Reduction in data center capital expenditure opportunity
  2. The increase in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offerings
  3. The rise in merchant-based silicon

Steve said: “When people are moving toward this disaggregation model, they are moving towards an OCP-based switch, which has been open sourced at the specification level and design level.”

OCP’s 0pen networking disaggregates the hardware from the software allowing for freedom of choice to prevent vendor lock-in, creating a flexible combination of software based on workloads. This creates a highly efficient network resulting in significant savings of up to 50% in CAPEX compared to traditional OEM networking.

Open networking for vendors

The number one contributor of open networking in the OCP Community, Edgecore Networks, is a leader in regional vendor communities and has a seat on OCP’s technical steering committee which oversees the various OCP projects like open networking.

Bui Banh, the Business Development Vice President of Edgecore Networks, described OCP open networking solutions as providing greater control for customers by empowering them to choose the right hardware or software and develop an innovative solution for their needs.

While working with OCP, Edgecore Networks has contributed to more than 17 designs accepted by OCP’s Community, including Photonics Switching for data centers, Aggregations and Core switches for telecoms and Open Wi-Fi for enterprises.

Bui said: “A few telcos including Telefonica have decided to use our Cell Site Router for their 5G deployment.”

Bui also mentioned there are many more telco customers working on the Cell Site solution, but he was unable to publicly announce the names of these companies at present.

OPC successfully helps customers transform to open networking

DCConnect Global, a software-defined networking vendor and carrier that has the ability to reach more than 1,500 different data centers worldwide, found success transforming to an OCP open networking solution.

Michael Rascoe, the Head of Solutions at DCConnect Global, said: “We tried to take those same principles and thoughts [of disaggregation] and move them into the telco space where there is not traditionally good penetration of the open source hardware and software.”

Originally, DC Connect Global had more than 120 pops using H3C switches to help hyperscale their network and meet their immediate goals. But they began to suffer from vendor lock-in, as the H3C SDN Controller only worked with H3C switches.

Jonathan Leung, the Head of R&D at DCConnect Global, said: “That leads to a limited feature set, which means that if we wanted to have some features that H3C currently doesn’t support, we will have to wait for H3C’s pipeline.”

He added: “For us, as a very agile company, the speed of development is not acceptable.”

DCConnect Global eventually moved to Edgecore Networks and Linux, allowing them to treat the network more like a piece of software by changing up the source code to add the features they needed.

Michael said: “What we actually found ourselves doing is, instead of adopting another traditional carrier solution and their controller, we wrote our own controller that could talk to our legacy H3C devices as well as the newer Linux NOSes.”

Both Edgecore and Cumulus Linux flew out engineers to DCConnect’s new Hong Kong office to support them and build out their proof of concept in a weekend.

Michael added: “We were really excited and really energised by the amount of attention and focus that we got from both Cumulus and Edgecore.”

DCConnect began to switch around a year ago, and it took just a few months to begin using the Cumulus-Edgecore combo on the new pops. They are now going through to replace hardware on legacy pops, though this has been slowed down slightly due to the current economic state caused by the pandemic.

In total, DCConnect had less than a dozen people work on this project.

Overcoming the challenges of moving to an open networking solution

Michael said the hardest part of the transition was thinking how to get a network engineer to think like a software engineer and vice versa. This challenge eventually became a net positive, as they found their network engineers learnt more about the software world and the same for software engineers learning more about the network.

Another challenge could be the lack of experience on platforms like Linux, but Michael suggested you talk to younger and newer developers on your team.

He added: “They’re straight out of university and they’re still in that learning mode and they know a lot more about the modern architecture.”

Michael has also noticed that the uptake of open networking in Asia Pacific has been somewhat slow due to the fear of the unknown and fear of Linux as well as pushback from those that have traditionally lived in a CCIE hierarchy.

To get started, you could go on to the Cumulus website and spin up a virtual lab, or if you have a hypervisor or a good server that you can do some virtualisation in, you can pull down all the Cumulus Linux demo labs.

Michael added: “There are plenty of people that are happy to talk to you about this because a lot of us are just nerds that really love Linux.”

What’s next after implementing open networking?

Jonathan believes that now that separation of hardware and software is made possible, the data center will become more disaggregated and the cloud will become more important as the place to build virtual network functions or virtual data centers.

Jonathan predicted: “I think OCP technologies are going to open up many markets in developing economies with the idea that the network resources can be bought and sold from anywhere without any physical restrictions, which is going to revolutionize the networking industry.”

OCP was started by Facebook in 2011 with the intention of creating a collaborative community focused on redesigning hardware technology and providing efficient data center designs for scalable computing. 

Since then, OCP has been joined by over 150 companies to work on common problems, developed more than 190 contributions and 6,000 engineers working across 15 to 20 different projects.

Steve was very pleased to announce during the Tech Talk that Google joined the board of the Open Compute Project on May 12 2020.

The Open Compute Project expects to become its own US$5.3 billion business in 2020 and reach US$11.8 billion by 2023.