Feeds

Facebook: Server management systems 'a big headache'

Open Compute Project goal: stripped and minimalist

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Collaboration Summit 2012 Amir Michael, manager of systems engineering at Facebook and a key player in the company's Open Compute Project (OCP), used his opening keynote at the sixth annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit to decry the current state of server-management code.

Michael said that too many server manufacturers – and the hardware vendors that support them – rely on competing and inefficient server-management technologies to differentiate themselves from their competition. These systems make efficient datacenter design and control a pain in the neck, and provide no real benefit to the end user.

"All these different vendors have different methods to control servers, and they sell on different management features," he said. "It's a big headache, so we're trying to create minimum base of management functions that's more efficient."

Amir Michael Facebook

If it's not simple, Facebook doesn't want it

This is one of the key areas for the OCP going forward, he said, and one of six areas contributors are working on initially. Other areas include the Openrack project, which seeks to develop a common, highly efficient power source; a storage project to develop multiple connected hard drives; a virtual I/O system that doesn’t rely on Ethernet; and new efficient datacenter and motherboard designs in which every nonessential component has been stripped out.

Michael appealed to the Linux community to get involved with OCP, promising no membership fees and totally open disclosure and sharing of information. The whole project is being funded by selling booth space at the twice-yearly Open Compute Summits, and he promised that no matter how big its booth space, no one company would be allowed to push its own technology onto the OCP standards process.

Above all, he argued, companies need to move away from considering datacenter design as something that is proprietary. By switching to OCP systems, Facebook was saving over a third of the power used by a standard data center, and its minimalist server design saved nearly a quarter of the hardware costs of traditional server racks by stripping out all non-essential hardware.

It's now almost a year since Facebook began pushing OCP as the way forward, and the idea has picked up some traction in the industry. Dell and Intel are firmly behind it, and other hardware vendors and data center managers are also showing support, with Digital Reality already publishing lists of which of its facilities are OCP compliant.

Judging from the warm applause from the assembled Linux glitterati, Michael struck a chord with the open source crowd. Facebook is pushing OCP hard to the open source community, since it needs a lot of clean, open management code – although how quickly this will translate into hard code remains to be seen. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.