Facebook has taken delivery of the first set of innovative server racks it helped design, technology that the company hopes other organizations with large data centres will adopt. The prototype racks represent some of the first significant tangible gear from a year-old multi company effort, called the Open Compute Project, to drive down costs and improve data centre hardware, namely by open sourcing the designs.
"I'm embarrassed to say but it was kind of emotional to see the Open Rack" units, said Frank Frankovsky, Facebook director of hardware design and founding board member of the Open Compute Project. "We had been working on Open Rack for a long while." In April 2011, Facebook launched the Open Compute Project, an initiative to apply the open-source software collaboration model to the world of data centre hardware. With this project, buyers of data centre equipment could collaborate to design products, or at least the specifications for products, that they would like to see. Vendors can then use these blueprints to build the equipment.