As with its data center and server creations, Facebook intends to “open source” its storage designs, sharing them with anyone who wants them. The effort is part of the company’s Open Compute Project, which seeks to further reduce the cost and power consumption of data center hardware by facilitating collaboration across the industry. As more companies contribute to the project, the thinking goes, the designs will improve, and as more outfits actually use the designs, prices will drop even more….
…But some big-name outfits — including some outside the web game — are already buying Open Compute servers. No less a name than Apple has taken interest in Facebook’s energy-conscious data-center design. And according to Frankovsky, fifty percent of the contributions to the project’s open source designs now come from outside Facebook.
Facebook will release its new storage designs in early May at the next Open Compute Summit, a mini-conference where project members congregate to discuss this experiment in open source hardware. Such names as Intel, Dell, Netflix, Rackspace, Japanese tech giant NTT Data, and motherboard maker Asus are members, and this past fall, at the last summit, Facebook announced the creation of a not-for-profit foundation around the project, vowing to cede control to the community at large.