Internet’s Pace Of Innovation Will Force The Data Center To Open Up

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More hardware will open up — it’s inevitable. Hardware in the data center is no exception. As Tim O’Reilly said in his keynote at the Open Compute Summit, innovation in the data center is critical for keeping up with the Internet’s pace of innovation. A first step is opening the hardware so people can hack it and adapt it to the data that flows at an ever-increasing velocity.

Frank Frankovsky is vice president of hardware design and supply chain at Facebook and one of the people behind the Open Compute Project. He says Facebook could have built its data centers by doing it all internally. But opening its data-center designs sure has helped the pace of innovation – not just with Facebook but more so across the market.

This pace of innovation is bound by how people can connect. But we will increasingly need devices to talk to each other. And the data center is the hub of it all.

I sat down with Frankovsky last week at the Open Compute Summit. He gives a pretty good picture of the open hardware landscape, the types of open source projects emerging and the signal being sent to the technology suppliers about this nascent open source movement.