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Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said Facebook isn't the first company that has pursued the open hardware course. And there have been rumors around Google and other large cloud hyper-scale Web 2.0 companies pursuing initiatives to come up with their own server design and outsource the construction rather than relying on traditional server vendors.
Eating Their Own Dog Food
"Where the open compute project diverges from that a bit is that Facebook's idea was to create a design for servers that they then released into the wild as an open source project and invited other companies to contribute to and use," King told us. "The idea was if you came up with a single design for a server that both manufacturers and users could get on board with, it would break down a lot of the barriers."
One of those barriers is incompatibility. With the Facebook model, there would be no incompatibilities between components or problems getting stuck in a single proprietary server architecture. King calls the initiative interesting from two standpoints.
"This is kind of a classic 'we're eating our own dog food' kind of announcement. Facebook is saying: 'We launched this initiative and look, we're using it, too. And we are using it in this brand new state-of-the-art data center. And it's a highly energy efficient data center'," King said. "There's a good deal of self-promotional back-patting going on here, but at the same time it's an effort that's worthy of attention and respect. They are moving forward with this in a way that I think is quite reasonable and sustainable."
Joe IT Guy:
Posted: 2013-06-15 @ 9:21am PT
I applaud Facebook for trying to build data centers that are environmentally friendly, but how much of the effort is self-serving? Does it ultimately just give them more control to mine customer data and make their advertising system even more invasive?