Open Compute Project Hardware to Get Logo Program

The Open Compute Project “open sources” data-center infrastructure design.

A branding and compliance program designed to standardize Open Compute Project platform hardware will be implemented this week, with the companies involved in the process moving to refine it.

The fourth Open Compute Summit will be held this week in Santa Clara, Calif., where companies such as AMD, Dell, and others are expected to detail how the Open Compute Project has influenced their work, and what they’ve contributed. According to the agenda, AMD will be introducing its modular server, which is Open Compute compliant.

Founded by Facebook two years ago, the Open Compute Project “open sources” data-center infrastructure design. Its servers are designed to be “vanity free,” with a specifications page full of stripped-down motherboards, storage and rack solutions that can be used by anyone. (It also has the perhaps-intended effect of commoditizing the hardware, which is why traditional hardware providers such as Dell, for example, have been forced into acquiring software and solutions providers to beef up their margins.)

But the initiative is also becoming, in a way, somewhat more restrictive. “As more and more organizations evaluate and adopt technologies based on Open Compute Project designs, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that those solutions are reliable and operate in an expected manner,” Eric Wells, the vice president of data-center services at Fidelity Investments, wrote in a blog post announcing Open Compute Project’s Compliance and Interoperability (C&I) project, the group’s seventh working group.

Wells wrote that the group is looking for “providers to leverage a common set of tools and processes for delivering solutions that meet OCP-defined expectations.”

While it’s not accurate to characterize the groups associated the Open Compute Project as closed, the group’s members do apparently recognize that OCP-qualified hardware needs to provide a standard level of performance, and has acted accordingly. Typically, logo certification requires additional specifications and interoperability testing, plus a small organization that can administer the logo requirements (in theory, Facebook could volunteer to step in here).

The Summit will feature keynotes by Facebook, Dell, Arista Networks, Intel, and Rackspace, among others. Suresh Gopalakrishnan, the newly appointed server chief at AMD, planned to announce an “introduction to the AMD Open Compute Cat’s Eye modular server,” according to a version of the agenda published on the Open Compute Website.

But AMD representatives said Monday morning that the server would not be called “Cat’s Eye,” and that it was asking the OPC site for a correction. “Our announcement is based on AMD’s “Roadrunner” platform, which we announced at the last OPC Summit,” a company spokeswoman wrote in an email.

 

Image: Open Compute Project

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