Facebook’s Open-Source Telecom Project Challenges Telcos

Voyager, Facebook’s telecom infrastructure effort, is a side project, but it’s still rattling the telecom industry, which worries that revenues from its specialized products are at risk. Facebook and European telecom company Telia tested Voyager over the latter’s thousand-kilometer-telecom network, and German-based ADVA Optical Networking, which is manufacturing the device, has nine potential customers trying it out. Also testing Voyager is Paris-based Orange, working with Equinix and African telecom company MTN. Continue reading Facebook’s Open-Source Telecom Project Challenges Telcos

Facebook Introduces New Hardware for Use in Data Centers

Facebook unveiled new hardware for use in its data centers, designs for which will be made available to outside companies through its Open Compute Project. The announcements were made during this week’s OCP U.S. Summit in Santa Clara. One announcement centered on a new GPU server designed to better serve the company’s AI initiatives. Big Basin — successor to the company’s Big Sur high-performance compute platform — will help Facebook train machine learning models that are 30 percent larger than those running on current servers. Continue reading Facebook Introduces New Hardware for Use in Data Centers

Facebook Debuts New Optical Networking Tech, 100G Switch

Facebook is intent on helping innovate technological advances as it grapples with increasingly more video, and pushing down prices for hardware. To that end, the company has created Voyager, a high-speed, long-distance networking system, and will share its plans with other companies, per its commitment to open source software. Voyager will enable data centers in different locations to link with fiber-optic cables. The company also unveiled Backpack, its 100G-switch platform for connecting racks inside the data center. Continue reading Facebook Debuts New Optical Networking Tech, 100G Switch

Microsoft Releases its Server Design Early to Jumpstart Cloud

Microsoft is submitting designs for its new server, Project Olympus, to the open source Open Compute Project eight months before it will be completed, in an effort to influence the data center market. By offering open source designs, the company pressures hardware manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard to lower pricing of its own cloud infrastructure products. Among the new server’s key strengths are that it can use different international power standards without a need to tweak the hardware and can run a variety of applications. Continue reading Microsoft Releases its Server Design Early to Jumpstart Cloud

Facebook Adds Its Ethernet Switch to Open Compute Project

Facebook is sharing more technology, announcing that the Open Compute Project (OCP) — formed by the Silicon Valley company — has accepted its contribution of the Wedge 100 top-of-rack Ethernet switch that transmits data at 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). The company has already utilized many such switches in production inside its data centers, and the announcement signals that Facebook is committed to sharing the infrastructure that lets it handle large-scale data-heavy applications at an economic price point. Continue reading Facebook Adds Its Ethernet Switch to Open Compute Project

Sony Introduces Optical Disc Archival System to Replace Tape

The advent of digital acquisition has made long-term storage more complicated for media and entertainment companies, which up until now have been dependent on tape-based solutions. Now, Sony has unveiled Everspan, an optical disc technology it guarantees will last for 100 years. That 100-year guarantee would relieve companies of the expensive, time-consuming need to migrate libraries to new technology. Each disc stores 300 gigabytes, and Everspan uses up to 64 drives to read data at extremely high speed. Continue reading Sony Introduces Optical Disc Archival System to Replace Tape

Facebook, HP Introduce New Server Technology at OCP Event

Facebook unveiled a new server yesterday — code-named Yosemite — that is based on its collaboration with Intel. While the server is designed to run the social network’s software, Facebook envisions the system also being used by other companies. The announcement was made during an Open Compute Project gathering, which also included news from Hewlett-Packard regarding its new stripped-down servers for cloud-based operations. HP execs said the company’s new Cloudline machines would be less expensive than its popular Proliant line. Continue reading Facebook, HP Introduce New Server Technology at OCP Event

Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

Facebook is designing its own custom hardware, including computer servers and networking switches — and other companies are following suit. The Facebook engines are being rebuilt so that they are more affordable, more efficient, and enable the company to easily expand its own networks. Other companies are taking a similar approach, creating a new market for custom networking gear and other hardware. Facebook shares its networking designs as part of the Open Compute Project. Continue reading Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

Facebook’s New Open Compute Project to Compete with Cisco

Facebook, along with Intel, Broadcom and others, revealed the first steps toward developing an open switch that will rival Cisco’s network hardware. The social networking site’s Open Compute Project (OCP) was announced six months ago, and now it’s making progress toward its goal by receiving switch specifications from its consortium members. The OCP plans to release a specification and reference box for an “open, OS-agnostic top-of-rack switch.” Continue reading Facebook’s New Open Compute Project to Compete with Cisco

Facebook Shares Designs: Will Cloud Hardware Get Cheaper and More Efficient?

  • Facebook launched its Open Compute Project as an effort to open-source the technology of its 147,000-square-foot data center that opened in Oregon in April.
  • “It published blueprints for everything from the power supplies of its computers to the super-efficient cooling system of the building,” reports MIT’s Technology Review. “Other companies are now cherry-picking ideas from those designs to cut the costs of building similar facilities for cloud computing.”
  • Although the concept of sharing designs and allowing other companies to build similar cloud-computing facilities at a lower cost may seem altruistic, it also serves as “an attempt to manipulate the market for large-scale computing infrastructure in Facebook’s favor,” suggests the article.
  • “The company hopes to encourage hardware suppliers to adopt its designs widely, which could in turn drive down the cost of the server computers that deal with the growing mountain of photos and messages posted by its 750 million users,” explains Technology Review. “Just six months after the project’s debut, there are signs that the strategy is working and that it will lower the costs of building — and hence using — cloud computing infrastructure for other businesses, too.”
  • Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s technical operations director and a founding member of the Open Compute Project, notes that the project opens the flow of ideas necessary to improve cloud technology. He is encouraging others to contribute new ideas and improvements to the current designs.