A Hackathon For The Data Center, Now That’s A First

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Hackathons are almost cliche. But a data-center hackathon is a first. This week at the Open Compute Summmit, attendees hacked together new ways to think about heating and cooling, power and a variety of other aspects of the data center.

The goal: create new ways to think about the data center, speed development and start extending into academia.

The new collaboration engines for this new hackathon world are services like GrabCad, a community site that gives mechanical engineers access to CAD models and tools and allows them to share their expertise. GrabCad offered the hackers its tools to use in their projects.

At the summit this week I caught up with GrabCad’s Sara Sigel and one of the hackers, Dave Rauchwerk, an engineer with filepicker.io. I particularly like the hack Rauchwerk worked on. Engineers spend a lot of time looking at consoles with all sorts of data that tell the state of the data center. Listen to Rauchwerk describe their project in the video above. It gives the data center personality you just can’t get from looking at measurement data all day.