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How Facebook aims to reinvent hardware

Brandon Butler | May 7, 2013
Facebook used to be a company just like many others: It would buy servers, racks and other hardware from vendors like HP and Dell and rent out co-location space from vendors like DuPont Fabros and others.

While hardware vendors have discussed such ideas in the past, Frankovsky says no measurable progress has been made. The idea of disaggregation is intrinsically linked to open source though, he argues. A market can't behind this model unless there are some common standards for manufacturers to design to and users to implement on. That's where OCP comes in, to create what Frankovsky calls -- for the lack of a better term -- a hardware API.

"There's an explosion of data center capacity, and the old proprietary approach just isn't going to keep up," he says. "No one technology provider in a closed source fashion will be able to provide the ability to deploy hardware in such an efficient manner."


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