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Last september more than 700 data center specialists and IT managers attended the OCP Regional Summit in Amsterdam. For two days, they followed numerous presentations given by participants in the Open Compute Project. They were also able to obtain information from a large number of vendors about new developments in the field of open source hardware and open source data centers. An excellent opportunity to be fully informed about the rapid developments within the Open Compute Project.
European OCP Experience Center
Many visitors took advantage of their visit to the OCP Regional Summit to also visit the new European OCP Experience Center. This Amsterdam-based center was set up by 3 European OCP specialists:
- The experience center is hosted by colocation specialist maincubes. maincubes has been offering its customers the option of hosting OCP racks and OCP servers in its AMS01 datacenter in Amsterdam for quite some time now.
- The supplier of solutions for data center infrastructures, Rittal, is also a partner in the European OCP Experience Center. Rittal is an important manufacturer of racks that are based on OCP specifications.
- The third party participating in the experience center is Circle B, a Dutch OCP Solution Provider. Circle B develops fully integrated IT and connectivity solutions based on OCP products.
The European OCP Experience Center provides IT managers and data center specialists the opportunity to become acquainted with the advantages of open source hardware.
The Open Compute Project was originally set up by a group of companies led by Facebook, NASA and Rackspace. They are all major users of data centers and saw interesting opportunities in developing new data center products and technologies. Off-the-shelf servers, switches and, for example, storage devices are in many cases of excellent quality, but at the same time they are often developed for a different type of customers than these so-called hyperscalers. The very large numbers of data center equipment used by hyperscalers offer excellent opportunities to develop IT and data center equipment that is fully optimized for specific IT workloads. The first designs of this equipment were made by IT and data center experts working for, among others, Facebook. By making these designs available to the market as open source other manufacturers are able to develop and build new hardware based on these designs.
Open source hardware
To promote the development of the open source hardware these companies require they have set up the Open Compute Project. OCP is a foundation that supervises an ever growing number of projects to develop and design open source hardware – like OCP servers, specialized switches, immersion cooling options, management software and much more. A huge number of companies have joined OCP. They are all contributing their own technologies and designs.
This approach has been very successful. Not only for the hyperscalers but also for enterprise organizations. More and more telecom providers, government organizations, financial institutions and other companies recognize the benefits of implementing OCP based solutions. The reason is that IT hardware based on OCP designs is often much cheaper to purchase. These systems also consume much less energy. And require much less manpower when it comes to – for example – installation and management. These advantages are obviously very interesting to banks and telcos and other companies as well.
Tests and demos
However, enterprise organizations and also channel partners like system integrators need a fully equipped OCP environment where they can develop and test ICT and data center solutions for their own purposes. The European OCP Experience Center has been set up to meet this need.
Anyone who wants to develop and test ICT solutions based OCP products is now able to engage with the European OCP Experience Center. The center is very much intended for use by both enterprise organizations and channel parties so they can all experience the benefits of OCP based products and solutions.
The European OCP Experience Center is hosted in maincubes AMS01. This data center is located directly next to Amsterdam International Airport. This makes the center very easy to reach – also for international companies and organizations.
New OCP blog series
maincubes considers the use of OCP products a major opportunity for its customers to reduce costs and increase the agility of their ICT environments. That is why maincubes has not only invested in the European OCP Experience Center. But starting today we also start a series of blog posts in which we will discuss the advantages of the Open Compute Project step by step. Because data center and ICT solutions based on OCP designs offer many companies and government organizations very appealing advantages. Might that be lower costs, the very efficient and simple management of OCP environments or the great opportunities that OCP offers to give your sustainability objectives a solid boost. So watch this space!
Stephan Harren is Director of Operations at maincubes