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.
Cisco's startup unit Insieme introduced new switches, policy management software, and APIs that Cisco promises will enable an "application-centric infrastructure" (ACI) which will adapt to the needs of apps and cloud services, and provide an unmatched end-to-end view of physical and virtual IT resources.
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.
In an ever-changing world of technology you either jump on the bandwagon, or you get left, scratching your head, in the dust. Major networking vendors like Cisco and Juniper are scrambling to jump into the SDN (Software Defined Networking) race, but smaller startups like Embrane are currently beating them out without much of a struggle. Canadian Internet hosting and cloud service provider, Peer1, recently picked Embrane to meet their SDN needs over Cisco and Juniper.
If you haven’t caught wind of it yet, you’re sure to in 2013. Software defined networking (SDN) seems to be all the rage for the upcoming year, and quite possibly for many years to come. (SDN) is changing the way data centers run, and OEMs are racing to get a piece of the predicted $2 billion a year (by 2016) pie. The question is will everyone get an equal share of the pie, or will there be a few greedy pie hogs and only a crumb or two left for the rest. It’s too early to tell, but one thing’s for certain money is flying around the network world like a massive hurricane picking up any SDN startup that looks promising.