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 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.