One reason for this may be that companies are not yet sure that "open source" hardware design will really work, and prefer to take the safe route of buying from one of the established big name vendors, Frankovsky says. But he expects that will change quickly. "Think of Linux in the early years, and how unsure people were of the risks," he said "But think of the speed of development in the open source software market, and then envision that in hardware."
To help you take advantage of OCP, there is a growing list of "OCP solution providers" such as Avnet, ZT Systems and Hyve Solutions (owned by Synnex, a business process services company), while QCT (owned by Quanta, a Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) which makes many of Dell's servers) and Wiwynn (owned by Wistron, another Taiwanese ODM) have been set up to sell OCP hardware direct to end users.
HP and Dell have also announced new, server designs (codenamed "Coyote" --based on HP's ProLiant platform and Intel's Xeon E5-series processors--and "Zeus," respectively) which will be compatible with OCP's Open Rack specification, and VMware has announced that it will certify its vSphere virtualization platform to run on OCP iron.
OCP solution provider Hyve Solutions takes standard OCP servers, adds cabling, drives and networking gear, and then ships them out as OCP racks. Steve Ichinaga, the company's general manager, says Hyve has seen huge interest and significant sales volumes of OCP servers ever since Facebook announced the savings it had made by specifying them.
"Prior to this people bought what was available--maybe Dell or HP servers. But we have seen a flood in terms of big names coming to us looking for servers that are less expensive and consumed less power, but which can be customized," said Ichinaga.
Storage, Servers and Beyond
But some day will OCP encompass other areas, like networking or perhaps mobile devices? "You never know..." is all that Frankovsky will say at this stage.
Paul Rubens is a technology journalist based in England. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.
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