Recently, Facebook revealed their new networking switch, "Wedge", at the GigaOm Structure tech conference in the end of June. It is a new top-of-rack networking switch. They also unveiled their new Linux-based operating software for that switch, FBOSS. The Wedge and FBOSS allow for a new level of automation, visibility, and control in the operation of the network by breaking down the hardware and software components of the network even further. With this new reveal, speculation is circling about how this will impact Cisco and the other networking vendors.
We first talked about Facebook’s Open Compute Project back in June of last year in our blog post, “Will Cisco Survive Facebook? Sure they will, but it is going to get interesting.” After last week’s Open Compute Summit it is time to broach the subject once again. Facebook announced that it will be making big changes in its data centers this year. Changes that will no doubt rock a few of the incumbents like Cisco, Juniper, and Brocade, as they move away from conventional networking suppliers.
Frankly, Facebook’s vision of an open-source data center sounds less and less crazy every day. The Open Compute concept has been quickly gaining momentum for the last several years, as vendors have been coming around to the idea and signing up as partners. The Open Compute Project, started by Facebook, is an open source effort to redesign data centers and the hardware that resides in them. Facebook’s Jay Parikh, the company’s vice president of infrastructure, announced that the company has saved $1.2 billion over the last three years redesigning its data centers. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, talked about how the company has made clear strides as a result of the project at the conference as well.
It’s been said that two heads are better than one, and that just may be the case with Facebook’s Open Compute Project (OCP). Facebook started the OCP to build one of the most efficient computing infrastructures at the lowest possible cost. That means hardware vendors like HP, Dell and Cisco don't control the product designs. Instead, customers like Facebook and Goldman Sachs do.