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Facebook Hardware

Facebook Opens Their Data Center Infrastructure 90

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-facebook-is-supposed-to-be-evil dept.
gnu let us know about Facebook releasing specifications for their data center infrastructure as an open hardware project. They've released detailed electrical and mechanical data for everything from the server motherboards to the data center power distribution system. Digging further reveals that the specifications are licensed under the new Open Web Foundation Agreement which appears to be an actual open license. The breadth of data released really is quite amazing.
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Facebook Opens Their Data Center Infrastructure

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  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:49PM (#35751418)

    But didn't you just demonstrate the value by listing off the issues as you perceive them? Next step is discussion of your points to see if they are/are not addressed. Congratulations on your contribution to the open development process.

  • by Junta (36770) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:06PM (#35753290)

    Looking over the site, it's mostly warm fuzzies (look how green we are) and obvious (the system board specs are mostly bog standard reference designs). The chassis aren't particularly dense or make efficient use of the airflow, and no system vendor can ship implementations of this without running afoul of FCC regulations. There seems to be a lot of thought centered around a tech doing in-depth failure analysis of a failed board in person when even base boards come with IPMI implementations that allow all that to be done remotely. ROL is frankly a horribly dumb idea when you have IPMI capability in nearly every server board with acknowldgement and security. I know I'll get hit with people saying that IPMI costs extra, but the essentially free variants are sufficient to remove the RS232 connector and compete with 'ROL'. The free variants also tend to be flaky and sometimes need static arp tables, but so does WOL (in effect).

  • by kriston (7886) on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:03AM (#35753940) Homepage Journal

    Finally, it's so refreshing to see a server system specification that does not call for a video system, does not have onboard video, and properly directs console output to a serial port.

    I've been disgusted with all the VGA crash carts, PS/2 keyboards and mice in server rooms, and all those video processors eating up system memory on servers. Servers should not have video.

    Think of all the carbon dioxide and excess energy consumed by all the idle on-board video processors on most x86 and x64 servers out there. I shudder to think of all the planets resources being wasted displaying a graphical user interface that nobody will ever see, and, worse, reserving precious memory that should be used to serve users holding a useless frame buffer.

    Have you ever smirked at a Linux server machine that is still running X and six virtual consoles? This news is really exciting that someone is honestly taking server hardware design seriously, just like Sun, HP, DEC, SGI, IBM, and others did in the 1980s and 1990s before all these x86 servers came about.

    Bravo, Facebook, on a job well done.

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