Facebook driving standards for big data hardware

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It was inevitable that a leading producer of the world's immense data bloom would try to assert its influence on hardware vendors and developers to create standards around the systems that store and process its massive data stores. This week, at the Open Compute Platform Summit, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and the Open Compute Project it launched 18 months ago, reported on their progress in creating standards for data center hardware and storage.  

InformationWeek reported that hardware vendors are designing hardware to the OCP's specifications and that AMD and Intel have worked with Fidelity and Goldman Sachs to develop new boards based on those specs, to suit their financial processing workloads. The companies and their partners presented finished products at the summit.

OCP is promising hardware that improves energy efficiency by 24 percent and is 38 percent more cost-efficient than commodity hardware. The group is working on specs for storage, motherboard and server design, as well as racks, interoperability, hardware management, and data center design, InformationWeek said.

Stacey Higginbotham, at GigaOM, said Facebook and Open Compute just blew up the server and disrupted a $55B market

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) said it would soon release a commercial 100 Gbps photonic interconnect technology that doubles the rate of interconnection speeds currently available.

Facebook also raised some eyebrows by invoking Blu-ray as a viable option for future data storage and retrieval, according to GigaOM.

The company says it wants options when it comes to storage and big data applications. Jay Parikh, vice president of engineering at Facebook, said in his keynote address at the summit that "storage companies need to think more broadly about how companies might use their technologies in order to serve applications that have different requirements about how they access and deliver data."

He told GigaOM that Blu-ray is low power, yet highly durable, and that it would be a long time before current storage technologies became obsolete.

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