In advance of the third Open Compute Summit in San Antonio May 2-3, 2012, founding board member of the Open Compute Project (OCP) Frank Frankovsky posted an upbeat official blog that provides updates on the Project since its last summit and his own views on the progress OCP has made in the year since its founding.

Facebook launched the OCP when it published the specifications of its first dedicated data center in Oregon in April 2011. Frankovsky is also VP of Hardware Design and Supply Chain at Facebook.

In his blog Frankovsky wrote the “momentum that has gathered behind the project — especially in the last six months — has been nothing short of amazing.” The organization, he said, had the “hope that we could inspire the industry to be a little more open, a little more innovative, and a little more focused on energy efficiency.”

Frankovsky doesn’t make timorous statements, apparently, when it comes to sharing the OCP vision. He ended his blog:
“Perhaps most importantly, though, is the industry’s decreasing focus on what OCP founding board member Andy Bechtolsheim calls ‘gratuitous differentiation’ and its increasing focus on driving innovation where it matters. This is the work we have ahead of us in the coming months, as we pursue even greater advances and efficiencies in scale computing technology.”

Frankovsky lists the following updates since the last OCP Summit:

  • “Dozens of new companies” have joined the Project, including: HP (NYSE: HPQ), AMD (NYSE: AMD), Fidelity, Quanta Services (NASDAQ: PWR), Tencent, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), VMware (NYSE: VMW), Canonical, DDN, Vantage, ZT Systems, Avnet (NYSE: AVT), Alibaba, Super Micro (NASDAQ: SMCI) and Cloudscaling.

  • HP, Quanta, and Tencent have also joined the OCP Incubation Committee, which decides whether proposed projects should receive official OCP support.

  • New proposals to the Incubation Committee include a Facebook design for a vanity-free storage server (aka “Knox”) and motherboard designs from AMD and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) meant for financial services companies.

  • OCP has started mapping out a “convergence” between Open Rack, the OCP’s open-standard server rack design, and Project Scorpio, a similar “spec” being developed by Tencent and Baidu. They plan to merge the two specs next year.

  • HP and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL)  announced new “clean-sheet server and storage designs” (a.k.a., “Project Coyote” and “Zeus,” respectively) that will be compatible with OCP’s Open Rack specification.

  • VMware announced it plans to certify its vSphere virtualization platform for OCP, and DDN made a similar announcement for its WOS storage system.

  • Canonical announced it will offer “zero day” certification on OCP servers, which means it plans to work with OCP to certify new designs prior to launch.

  • The project announced an official “OCP Solutions Provider” program to create opportunities for partner firms to sell and utilize technology based on Open Compute Project designs. Hyve Solutions, ZT Systems and Avnet are planning to sign on to the program. Quanta and Wistron have formed new business units to sell OCP designs directly to customers.


Businessweek quoted Frankovsky as saying OCP is in negotiations with IBM (NYSE: IBM), which has not yet become a project member.