Just been reading about FaceBook’s new initiative to Open Source their datacentre designs – opencompute.org.
Interesting stuff, although I can’t actually see that much thats original –
- cut out the stuff on the mother boards you don’t need – it is a sort of cut down server element – like a blade but on chilli dogs and full fat coke.
- stick it in a simple metal chassis that has a bunch of fans like a sort of, err; blade (again)
- run the PSU on three phase power, like oh one of those E10000 machines we used to have from Sun that had removeable CPU trays like erm, blades
- stick a DC UPS in for every six bays of 48 machines
- oh and naturally ventilate and cool the air with water, like Google and reuse the heat for building warmth (something Cray was kinda doing in the 60s – OK they used freon and that turned out well for the environment, but you get the point).
I would have thought it would be more efficient to put a bigger three phase to 12v PSU integrated with the UPS and distribute the 12v on bus bars to the machines (like this Cray XMP) and lose inefficient power inverters personally, that’s just my opinion of course.
What I didn’t see any mention of, was their software – I guess somethings are too commercially sensitive to release. However just like the iPhone is just a phone without iOS, these are just servers without the distributed database software running the back-end of the FaceBook system.
None of this is a revelation really, what is new however is that they are talking about it and posting pictures, like this of one of their Xeon blade system (which I have to say looks just like the ones Google were using years ago, albeit minus the onboard battery):
Hey, hold on. Did he just do a….?
Well I say!