The prototype racks represent some of the first significant tangible gear from a year-old multicompany effort, called the Open Compute Project, to drive down costs and improve data center hardware, namely by open sourcing the designs.
“I’m embarrassed to say but it was kind of emotional to see the Open Rack” units, said Frank Frankovsky, Facebook vice president of hardware design and founding board member of the Open Compute Project. “We had been working on Open Rack for a long while.”
Open Rack can be seen as a test case for this approach. Facebook plans to test the prototypes over the next few months, and, if they work as planned, the company will start using them in its data centers by early next year, Frankovsky said. “From 2013 forward, every rack we deploy in our data centers will be Open Rack,” he said.