Facebook is leading a revolution in how enterprise hardware is built.
About two and half years ago, it launched the Open Compute Project (OCP) to create “open source” data center hardware. That means hardware vendors like HP, Dell and Cisco, who basically own the $150 billion data center hardware market, no longer control the product designs. Customers like Facebook and Goldman Sachs do.
Because customers are the designers, OCP’s hardware projects use fewer materials, cost less and perform better than what traditional vendors typically offer.
Because they are “open source” projects, anyone can help with the designs and OCP gives the designs away for free. An enterprise can take them, modify them, and send them out to contract manufacturers, who are standing by to build them.
The OCP project has lead to about a dozen game-changing new pieces of hardware.