Open Compute enabling top vendors to transition hyperscale wonders to the enterprise

In the latest installment of SiliconANGLE’s Cube Conversations series, Wikibon Senior Analyst Stu Miniman discusses the highlights of this week’s Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit and shares his take on the latest and greatest in hyperscale, a paradigm-shifting approach to data center design.

The Open Compute Project was created by Facebook in April 2011 to develop standards for the kind of highly scalable and power-efficient hardware it uses in its own cutting-edge facilities. The initiative has come a long way in the past 12 months, Miniman observes, with a growing number of vendors now implementing Open Compute specifications in an effort to differentiate on price and performance. The technology is already starting to change the balance of power in the server market, where original design manufacturers (ODMs) like Quanta are quickly gaining ground against established suppliers such as Dell and IBM.

“Industry reports have shown that these ODMs are now at about 12 percent of overall shipments, which is quite sizable when you think about how many years the traditional vendors have been out there,” Miniman notes.

Quanta is shipping its OCP-certified STRATOS S215-X1M2Z servers with QLogic’s QOE2562 8Gb Fibre Channel mezzanine HBA, the industry’s first commercially available FC adapter designed specifically for use in hyperscale environments. The product, which was announced on Day One of the OCP Summit along with a 40GbE network interface controller (NIC) from Mellanox, represents a major advance towards enterprise-readiness.

“This is important to be able to get into large scale environments, especially going beyond the Googles and Facebooks of the world,” Miniman details. “Large banks and other very large enterprises want to adopt this, Fibre Channel is trusted and used in these environments. So QLogic, obviously being the market leader in this space, can transition to this environment.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it is donating its server designs and managment software to the Open Compute Project in a bid to gain a more prominent role in the ecosystem. The move underscores the industry-wide shift to commodity hardware, but while this trend is driving new innovations, Miniman points out that the growing focus on individual components is distracting from the data center as a whole. One company that hasn’t lost sight of the big picture is IO, which is rolling out a new OpenStack-based cloud platform that runs on OCP servers.

Miniman advises organizations, especially large enterprises, to keep a close eye on developments in the hyperscale space as Open Compute continues to gain momentum. See his entire commentary in the video below.


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