Google Joins Facebook’s Open Compute Project to Revolutionise Data Centres

Google Joins Facebook's Open Compute Project to Revolutionise Data Centres

Search engine giant Google and the social networking website have teamed up to give Facebook’s “Open Compute Project” a new push that works to change the way data centres are designed and operated across the world.

Five years ago, Facebook started leading an effort called the “Open Compute Project”. Data centres power the internet. They are the nervous system that allows all kinds of services to run – including Facebook.

“Today, Google joined the ‘Open Compute Project’. Google has always built some of the best infrastructure in the industry, so this is strong symbolic move that our open model of development is the best way forward for everyone,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday.

“Until five years ago, the largest technology companies all designed their data centres and computing infrastructure in secret. They viewed this technology as a competitive advantage to beat others in the industry,” he added.

Facebook realised that if it opened up its designs and shared its progress with the industry, the world will make faster progress together.

“By working together, we’d produce more efficient designs that would save energy, protect the environment and build better infrastructure for our community,” the 31-year-old Facebook founder posted.

It has worked. So far, we’ve saved billions of dollars in energy and efficiency improvements. “Open Compute now brings together hundreds of companies and thousands of engineers to make progress together even faster,” he noted.

According to, Google was the first company to rethink data centre design for the modern age.

“With the ‘Open Compute Project’, Facebook aimed to create a whole community of companies that would freely share their data centre designs, hoping to accelerate the evolution of Internet hardware and, thanks to the economies of scale, drive down the cost of this hardware,” the report added.

According to Zuckerberg, over the next decade, they are going to build experiences that rely more on technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).

“These will require a lot more computing power, and through efforts like Open Compute Project, we’re developing a global infrastructure to enable everyone to enjoy them,” he said.


Microsoft Contributes Its Sonic Linux Networking Suite to Open Compute Project

Microsoft is taking a major step in the world of free, open-source software. The Windows maker has announced that it is giving away Sonic, its own designed software, to users for free.

At the Open Compute Project US Summit, Microsoft announced that it is proposing to contribute Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (Sonic) to the project. The suite in question is utilised to control networking hardware, which typically run on programs mandated by their respective vendor. Microsoft has published the open-source project on its GitHub repository.

Sonic, which runs on the Debian Linux distribution, can be deemed as a free alternative for many ofCisco’s networking suites. “Sonic is a collection of software networking components required to build network devices like switches,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

“Together with SAI (Switch Abstraction Interface — which Microsoft contributed last year), Sonic will enable cloud operators to take advantage of hardware innovation, while giving them a framework to build upon open source code for applications on the network switch. We believe it’s the final piece of the puzzle in delivering a fully open sourced switch platform that can share the same software stack across hardware from multiple switch vendors.”

Microsoft joined the Facebook-founded Open Compute Project in 2014 as a founding member. The initiative publishes new hardware designs to improve the performance and feasibility of data centre technologies. Microsoft’s growing effort towards contributing to open source technologies is one of the many major changes the company has adopted under the leadership of Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is not the only company making major news at the summit. Search giant Google also announced this week that it is joining the Open Compute Project.