Open Compute Summit: New Members, Technologies

Open Compute Summit: New Members, Technologies

The fourth Open Compute Summit opened Jan. 16 with 1,900 attendees, featuring the launch of new hardware designs, technology innovations and backing from AMD, EMC, Facebook, Hitachi, Intel and others.

The Open Compute Project, backed by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), is gaining momentum, as evidenced by the increasing attendance at the Open Compute Summit. This week, the summit attracted more than 1,900 attendees that were interested in checking out the latest and greatest in Open Compute Project technologies, innovations and products. There has been a bit of buzz about some of the innovations unveiled at the show, and this can only mean good things for the open source cloud computing market.

Some of the interesting launches at the conference included a new rack design from Quanta in partnership with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC). The rack design will use silicon photonics when it is completed to increase the speed of communication between rack components. Fusion-io also announced ioScale, which will provide 3.2TB of memory capacity at $3.89 per Gigabyte.

Additionally, more specific to the cloud space, AMD (NYSE: AMD) took the opportunity to introduce the AMD Open 3.0 platform (formerly codenamed Roadrunner), which the chipmaker claims is a "radical rethinking of the server motherboard." Designed to meet the requirements of the Open Compute Project, AMD Open 3.0 aims to provide substantial gains in computing flexibility, efficiency and operating cost through the simplification of motherboard design to address multiple enterprise workloads such as high-performance cloud computing.

The Open Compute Project is barely 18 months old yet seems to be growing quickly. The first summit took place in June 2011, and played host to a whopping 200 attendees, with most technology contributions coming from Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) at the time. Since then, the project and the summit have grown considerably. Currently, the project boasts 50 official members and dozens of contributors from a variety of technology suppliers and consumers.

"One of the challenges we face as an industry is that much of the hardware we build and consume is highly monolithic—our processors are inextricably linked to our motherboards, which are in turn linked to specific networking technology, and so on," wrote Frank Frankovksy on the Open Compute Project blog.

According to Frankovsky, there has been an increasing adoption of open source hardware. The project has also scored wins by signing up new members that include EMC (NYSE: EMC), Fusion-io, Hitachi and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK).

The Open Compute Summit isn't quite over with yet, so keep an eye out for further news from the event.

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