Intelligent Infrastructure

Mass data and next-gen workloads Intelligent Infrastructure

Facebook aiming for greater Open Compute Project traction in Europe

Facebook has been trying to increase OCP's traction in Europe's data centers.

Facebook executives have recently been pushing the Open Compute Project in Europe, where they aim to improve the initiative’s traction with data center managers. While firms in Asia have quickly warmed to OCP, Europe’s enterprises have been much more measured, opting to focus instead on projects that move them toward carbon neutrality. Facebook’s hope is that the energy-efficiency gains produced by OCP will translate into wide adoption on the continent.

Reporting for v3.co.uk, Michael Passingham observed that OCP has enjoyed robust growth since its 2011 inception. There are now 60 members on its board, and companies in Japan and South Korea have been quick to contribute to the project.

The rise of OCP has also created new opportunities for original design manufacturers such as Wiwynn and Quanta. In response, companies such as IBM have moved toward open hardware projects, including the OpenPower Consortium with Google, Mellanox, NVIDIA and TYAN, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner.

However, Europe remains a difficult market to crack, largely because enterprises that operate data centers have their sights set elsewhere. While OCP appliances are designed for energy-efficiency, companies in European are focused on reducing their carbon footprint.

“Europe is very focused on carbon neutrality and on the environmental consequences. I wish it was translated more into the efficiency side of the house,” stated Tom Furlong, Facebook’s vice president of site operations. “We’re very focused on efficiency. Efficiency doesn’t necessarily lead to carbon neutrality but quite frankly it’s one of the best ways to move in that direction.”

More specifically, OCP cloud hardware is designed to save unnecessary capex by running at optimal utilization. The Register noted that OCP appliances usually run at between 60 and 70 percent utilization, with the occasional spike to 100 percent. Accordingly, large-scale IT operations can often streamline server infrastructure instead of adding on to it.