SAN JOSE, Calif. -- OCP Summit 2015 -- The Open Compute Project's vision of open source data center equipment sounds crazy at first.
Open source is free, right? And hardware can't be free. It's hardware. It costs money to manufacture and distribute. It's not just bits.
But the craziness disappears once you learn more. Sure, hardware costs money, but design is bits. And the designs can be created using the principles of open source. And that's where the OCP comes in. It's developing designs for networking, server, storage, hardware management, power supply, chassis and more.
Facebook drove creation of the OCP. That makes sense. Networking and data centers are essential to Facebook's business. But Facebook isn't in the networking and data center business -- it's not selling use of those services, but rather it's selling services that require sophisticated networking and data centers to deliver. That makes Facebook a great candidate for open source, to pool resources with other companies with similar needs. (See: Facebook Releases Data Center Tech.)
The shift to open source requires a change in strategy by both network operators and vendors, which gathered together in San Jose March 10 to discuss the issues.
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