Tuesday, 01 November 2016 12:48

Open source hyper-scale cloud hardware – from Microsoft?


Microsoft, in conjunction with Open Compute Project (OCP), is introducing Project Olympus – its next generation hyper-scale cloud hardware design and a new model for open source hardware development with the open compute project (OCP) community.

At this time it will not enter the cloud hardware manufacturing side.

Kushagra Vaid, general manager, Azure Hardware Infrastructure, says in his blog “This is a significant moment as we usher in a new era of open source hardware development at cloud speed.”

“We’re taking a very different approach by contributing our next generation cloud hardware designs when they are approximately 50% complete – much earlier in the cycle than any previous OCP project. By sharing designs that are actively in development, Project Olympus will allow the community to contribute to the ecosystem by downloading, modifying, and forking the hardware design just like open source software.”

The community can expand the Project Olympus ecosystem by taking advantage of the early access and contributing additional building blocks to enable a new common hardware design portfolio.

The building blocks that Project Olympus will contribute consist of a new universal motherboard, high-availability power supply with included batteries, 1U/2U server chassis, high-density storage expansion, a new universal rack power distribution unit (PDU) for global data centre interoperability, and a standards-compliant rack management card.


Vaid says that Microsoft has been a significant and growing contributor to open source projects for the past decade, particularly with Microsoft Azure. In 2014, it began reimagining its Azure hardware through the lens of open source innovation and joined the OCP. Its initial contributions were server and data centre designs that power the Azure hyper-scale cloud.

It has also contributed technologies that showcase the software-defined networking (SDN) principles of speed and scale-out that serve as Azure’s backbone.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!



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