Clear Skies Ahead: The Open Compute Project Aims to Bring Clarity to the Cloud

  • Open Compute Project Aims to Bring Clarity to the Cloud

It took only a few short years, but a project that started in 2011 as a three-person operation in a single Silicon Valley company has led to a paradigm shift in the way we think about data storage in the cloud. The Open Compute Project, or OCP, has grown into a worldwide movement that is shaking up the networking and storage industries. While doing so, it is leading to cleaner, more efficient data centers and reportedly saving companies hundreds of millions – and even billions – of dollars.

Open Compute ProjectOCP is an open-source community of engineers working on designing data centers and their components for maximum efficiency and scalability. According to OCP’s mission statement: “… openly sharing ideas, specifications and other intellectual property is the key to maximizing innovation and reducing operational complexity in the scalable computing space.”

OCP got its start as a Facebook initiative to scale its computing infrastructure as efficiently and economically as possible. Faced with exponential growth rates, the company “re-invented” the data center, designing one from the ground up with a focus on efficient servers, power handling, and cooling. According to OCP’s web site, when the newly designed data center went online, Facebook saw that it used 38 percent less energy to do the same work as its other facilities, while costing 24 percent less.

Rather than keep its new technologies and strategies proprietary, Facebook opted to share its innovations with the wider world as the Open Compute Project. By releasing its designs and specifications as open source, the company hoped to see the same kinds of innovation in hardware that the open-source model brought to the software industry.

“Opening the technology means the community will make advances that we wouldn’t have discovered if we had kept it secret,” it says on the OCP web site.

Today, the OCP community comprises thousands of participants spanning hundreds of companies around the world, each working to further develop and define the OCP specifications and make possible the most flexible, efficient and sustainable infrastructures. The Open Compute Project Foundation, the organization that now oversees the development of OCP, currently hosts summits across the United States and around the world, where the wide community has a chance to meet and discuss the latest developments with OCP.

The next OCP U.S. Summit will be held March 9 and 10 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. More than 2,500 summit attendees from the technology, finance, government and consulting sectors are expected to attend.

The Seagate team will be at the summit, showcasing its comprehensive storage portfolio for the cloud market space. The company has the right storage solutions for the OCP community, providing the building blocks that enable and optimize OCP deployments ensuring companies meet their high-performance, low-cost, and efficient cloud objectives. Whether one’s needs are for an object storage cloud, Software Defined Storage or an HPC deployment, Seagate partners with industry-leading OCP partner with pre-validated solutions ready to go.

Some Seagate highlights at the summit will include:

  • An unveiling of NVMe SSD solutions that will showcase not only high performance but also will be ideal for environments with limited power-usage requirements or cost constraints
  • The new Seagate 10TB enterprise-capacity HDD based on helium technology
  • Multiple Seagate workshops on Thursday, March 10, including the following:
    • 9:00 a.m. -9:30 a.m.: Improving Software Defined Storage Ceph Performance While Reducing Costs
    • 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.: NVMe Optional features for cloud SSD customization
    • 10:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.: Expo Hall Seagate Talk
    • 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Out-of-Band Management for OCP Server PCIe add-on-cards and SSDs

To learn more about Seagate flash products, visit For more information about HDD products for the cloud, visit

And for more information about the OCP summit, visit /

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