The Open Compute Project is a movement dedicated to rethinking the way we build IT infrastructure. Schneider Electric has recently published a white paper on the subject, analyzing OCP and the data center architecture supporting it.
OCP stands for collaboration and community, with a focus on redesigning equipment to meet tomorrow's growing demands on infrastructure. This group understands that businesses are relying more on data centers thanks to our increasingly plugged-in society. The Open Compute Project Foundation was launched by members of Facebook, Intel, Rackspace and Goldman Sachs in 2011 after they realized that the vast influx of data was going to require more efficient IT architecture.
Until recently, most data center design discussions centered solely on the rack level. OCP has opened the discussion up around the infrastructure upstream of the rack. In their analysis, experts at Schneider reviewed the OCP design and more traditional design for redundancy, availability and flexibility.
"Businesses are relying more on data centers thanks to our increasingly plugged-in society."
Through innovative data center design, the OCP hopes to encourage thought leaders and stakeholders in the IT infrastructure space to collaborate on the development of more efficient IT equipment.
Schneider Electric compared the cost summaries of OCP and more traditional architecture. Here are highlights of their findings:
- Open Compute specific 1N architecture provided a 45 percent capex savings over traditional 2N data center.
- Open Computer specific 2N architecture saved 25 percent compared to traditional 2N.
- Simplified 2N architecture was only 3 percent higher than the OCP specific 2N design while supporting mixed loads.
There are cost tradeoffs with any of these options, and knowing each one will help you to make the right decision for data center efficiency. By simplifying data center equipment design, it's possible to develop architecture that allows for variable loads while also providing costs savings. For instance, between a traditional 2N and an OCP 2N, simplification accounts for 14 percent of the total 25 percent savings.
While OCP has established an important dialog on the future of IT architecture, there are still many questions on the best design for upstream data center equipment. Schneider Electric has created a helpful framework with cost analysis in order to guide more efficient data center design.
In order for Open Compute standards to be widely adopted, electrical infrastructure needs to be built with flexibility, as well as these OCR standards in mind. This flexibility will allow the data centers to fit OCR equipment as well as more traditional equipment.