SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two “mega data center operators” are evaluating Open19 hardware, according to Yuval Bachar, the Open19 Foundation president, at the open source group’s second annual summit. “This, for us, is a huge step…they see the financial value” in deploying the data center technology, he added.
Bachar kicked off the Open19 Foundation Summit by declaring that “2019 is the year of Open19 adoption,” and touting that since the public release of the Open19 Project Specifications in March, they’ve seen more than 400 downloads for the open platform specifications.
He also announced a new self-certification process for Open19 hardware. “Moving forward you will be able to put an Open19 certified logo…on your switches, your servers, your power shelves,” Bachar said, adding that it’s the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that the hardware meets the Open19 specifications. The certification is only for hardware now, but will eventually include software.
Open, Disaggregated Platform
The Open19 Foundation grew out of the open data center concept that LinkedIn started in 2016 to create an open platform that can fit any 19-inch rack environment for servers, storage, and networking. In addition to LinkedIn, founding members include GE Digital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Flex, and Vapor IO.
It now counts 27 corporate members and more than 2,200 community members. And in addition to the two mega data center operators in proof of concept (PoC) with Open19, at least six other companies including LinkedIn and Packet have deployed Open19 hardware in their data centers.
While the original focus was on small- to mid-sized data centers, about six months ago that changed to “and extreme focus on the edge and what we’re doing in edge,” Bachar said. “We are now the de facto edge technology of choice.”
The open platform brings several benefits to edge locations, which are typically small, or in difficult-to-access locations. It’s designed to fit any 19-inch rack in any location with space and power savings compared to traditional deployments. Bachar said it’s also very easy to install and has a short integration time — between five to six times faster than rack-level integration — which is important to edge locations that may not have technicians onsite.
“Our motto was the UPS guy should be able to install your servers,” he said. “In general, you don’t need any training. You can load 100 servers into a rack from scratch in about 40 minutes. It usually takes days to do it, in some cases weeks.”
Because it’s a disaggregated platform, companies can use their existing servers and mix and match hardware vendors. “You can get five or more suppliers of servers sitting in the same chassis,” Bachar said. “It eliminates completely any aspect of lockdown.”
In addition to the nine Open19 servers in production from five different vendors, there’s also multiple Open19 power shelves, cages, power and data cables, and switches. And today at the summit Bachar also announced a new BYOS (bring your own switch) option to allow companies to use their switch vendor of choice using updated Open19 100G and 400G switch side cabling systems.