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Data Centers: Specifying Lego-Like Components for Building Data Centers

By Dick Weisinger

Another tech infrastructure consortium has banded together to form the Open19 Foundation.  The goal of the group is to develop a standard for servers that will work in all kinds of data centers. Members of the group include LinkedIn, HPE, GE Digital, Flex and Vapor IO. Facebook already has a similar organization with competing set of goals called the Open Compute Project.

Open19 was originally conceived by engineers at LinkedIn and was started as an internal project within LinkedIn in July 2016. Yuval Bachar, LinkedIn’s Principal Engineer, said that “the Open19 Foundation seeks to create project-based open hardware and software solutions for the data centre industry. The Foundation is now open for contributions and for building an ecosystem of users and suppliers.”

In particular, Open19 will focus on the design of very large data centers that house more than 100,000 servers. An initial specification for the group is for components that would fit into a standard 19” server rack, like racks, cages, and network and power components. The goal is that vendor products will be compatible, module and easy to install.

Cole Crawford, CEO of Vapor IO, said that “with Open19, we can snap together Tower Edge Compute data centers like Lego bricks. We can send a crew out to an edge environment, such as at the base of a cell tower, and stand up a new data center in minutes. Interchangeable parts mean customer and field ops teams have a common interface that works regardless of the components inside the chassis.”



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