Openstack, The Open Compute Project And The Brave New World Of Open Servers


As OpenStack continues to evolve, tech enthusiasts are enthusiastically dubbing it the “new Linux,” which is an exciting thing for the developers, coders and other volunteers with a vision for open-source cloud standards who have contributed thousands of hours to the Open Stack. OpenStack is an open source cloud platform, but it’s also a movement. The buzz around OpenStack is rising to a roar, as public interest grows and usage of the cloud skyrockets. A new Rackspace project, known as the Open Compute Project, is set to join forces with OpenStack and revolutionize data processing in the cloud yet again.

The Popularity of OpenStack

It’s not hard to figure out why people are so excited about OpenStack. It provides a platform that all sorts of software vendors can use to build their businesses. Although still at an early stage, OpenStack aims to provide clients with networking resources, storage, cloud management, resource monitoring and much more. With so many services and features in the works, OpenStack is one of the most ambitious open source projects ever developed.

The Open Compute Project

In April of last year, Rackspace visited Facebook’s headquarters to announce the Open Compute Project. The Open Compute Project is an initiative developed by Facebook and Rackspace with the ultimate ambition of building computing infrastructures that maximize efficiency while minimizing cost. Rackspace challenged conventional procedure by building its own data centers, servers and software from scratch.

So far, Rackspace and Facebook have been able to develop a data center that is not only 24 percent less costly to create and run than other high quality data centers, but is also 38 percent more efficient. The plan is to release the technologies developed during this project as open source hardware that can be tested, modified and improved by the public.

The Future of the Open Compute Project

According to OpenStack head Jim Curry, the Open Compute project approaches data center design holistically. Instead of optimizing only one aspect of the data center, such as power usage or footprint, the Open Compute project will optimize the hardware across the board. Curry believes that Facebook is the ideal partner for this project because, due to its expansive size, the company has a great deal of experience in data centers. By learning from Facebook’s failures and successes, the Open Compute project can create a more efficient, cost-effective data center.

Curry also points out that the Open Compute project is exploring an area of technology that has not had a lot of collaboration previously. Not only will Rackspace and Facebook learn from one another as they work toward better data center development and operation, they will also open the project to the world, thus allowing users everywhere to collaborate and work toward this same goal.

Open Compute Meets OpenStack

Just as OpenStack provides users with an operating system for use in the cloud, the Open Compute Project provides them with a way to create and run better data centers within the clouds they design. In this way, the Open Compute Project will fill in some of the gaps customers encounter when working with OpenStack. In the end, customers will be able to use these technologies to create an efficient, fully functional datacenter within a customized cloud powered by OpenStack.

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