It was bound to happen. The momentum behind open computing technologies in the enterprise has now officially crossed over into the telecom service provider market.
In a major announcement this morning, the Open Compute Project (OCP) unveiled the OCP Telco Project, a forum for the development of open telecom data center technologies. Joining the project are some of the biggest names in the telco industry including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), EE , SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
Facebook founded OCP five years ago as an independent nonprofit and has continually contributed its own technology to the group with the goal of speeding up data center hardware development and creating the kind of infrastructure that can support massive computing, storage and networking needs. Since its founding, OCP has drawn top companies in the industry to its mission, and made plenty of proprietary hardware manufacturers nervous along the way. (See Open Compute Project Hits Critical Mass.)
The new OCP Telco Project is an extension of the original OCP mission, but targeted at the comms industry. Recognizing the massive transformation that web-scale companies have initiated, telco operators are now also attempting to make the transition from dedicated, proprietary hardware and software to commodity systems that bear a striking resemblance to those used in enterprise IT. These commodity components are the building blocks for emerging New IP architectures where virtualization and software-driven designs are paramount.
Open computing technologies will have a major impact on many major telecom technology trends over the next decade. AT&T, for example, has said it will virtualize 75% of its network functions by 2020, which will only be possible with a strong ecosystem of open source computing technologies. The future of wireless services and the coming of 5G networks will also depend on open computing advancements.
In another OCP milestone, Facebook recently announced that its new EU2 data center opening in Clonee, Ireland is the first in the world to be entirely powered by OCP technology. Facebook itself will announce earnings after close of market today.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading