Ars recently visited Facebook’s campus to get a tour of the server lab from Senior Manager of Hardware Engineering Matt Corddry, leader of Facebook’s server hardware design team. What’s happening at Facebook’s lab isn’t just affecting the company’s data centers, it’s part of Facebook’s contribution to the Open Compute Project (OCP), an effort that hopes to bring open-source design to data center server and storage hardware, infrastructure, and management interfaces across the world.
Facebook, Amazon, and Google are all very picky about their server hardware, and these tech giants mostly build it themselves from commodity components. Frank Frankovsky, VP of hardware design and supply chain operations at Facebook, was instrumental in launching the Open Compute Project because he saw the waste in big cloud players reinventing things they could share. Frankovsky felt that bringing the open-source approach Facebook has followed for software to the hardware side could save the company and others millions—both in direct hardware costs and in maintenance and power costs.