Facebook nets billions in savings from Open Compute Project

Facebook nets billions in savings from Open Compute Project

Facebook reaps benefits and dollars in optimizations to data center, software, and network

Facebook, by adhering to the Open Compute Project it founded in October 2011, has saved more than $2 billion over the past three years, a company official said Tuesday at the Open Compute Summit Conference in Silicon Valley.

The Open Compute Project (OCP) began as an effort to reduce Facebook's hardware costs, and since then, Vice President of Engineering Jay Parikh said the company has tracked more than $2 billion in savings via optimizations to its data center, software, and network. "The bottom line for us is actually pretty large," with the company working on efficiency as a first principal, Parikh said.

In the past year, designs compliant with OCP have produced enough energy savings to power 80,000 homes for a year, according to Facebook. Carbon emission reductions have been about 400,000 metric tons, equivalent to taking 95,000 cars of the road for a year as a result of OCP-related measures.

"This stuff really does matter when you think about this optimization." Leveraging OCP, Facebook gets flexibility and saves money and energy in building out infrastructure, according to Parikh.

The project has been intended to produce more efficient server, storage, and data center hardware designs, in a model mimicking the open source software movement. Facebook has contributed ideas and designs to OCP ranging from mechanical and electrical systems in the data center to server designs, Parikh said. The company made several announcements Tuesday related to the project, including the Yosemite SoC compute server it has been working on with Intel, intended to dramatically increase speed while lowering the cost of serving Facebook traffic.

The company also proposed a specification for its top-of-rack network switch, Wedge. Facebook is working with the likes of Accton and Broadcom on a Wedge product for the Open Compute Project community, with Accton to ship Wedge in the first half of this year.

Major backers -- including Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Canonical -- are appearing at this week's conference.

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Tags FacebookData Centerhardware systemsConfiguration / maintenanceOpen Compute Project

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