2 min read

From the past few months, Facebook and Microsoft together have been working on a new architecture based on the Open Rack standards. Last week, Facebook announced a new initiative that aims to build uniformity around the Rack & Power design.

The Rack & Power Project Group is responsible for setting the rack standards designed for data centers, integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure. This project comes under a larger initiative started by Facebook called Open Compute Project.

Why a new version of Open Rack is needed?

Today, the industry is turning to AI and ML systems to solve several difficult problems. Though these systems are helpful, at the same time, they require increased power density at both the component level and the system level. The ever-increasing bandwidth speed demand for networking systems has also led to similar problems. So, in order to improve the overall system performance, it is important to get memory, processors, and system fabrics as close together as possible.

This new architecture of Open Rack will come with greater benefits as compared to the current version, Open Rack V2. “For this next version, we are collaborating to create flexible, interoperable, and scalable solutions for the community through a common OCP architecture. Accomplishing this goal will enable wider adoption of OCP technologies across multiple industries, which will benefit operators, solution providers, original design manufacturers, and configuration managers,” shared Facebook in the blog post.

What are the goals of this initiative?

This new initiative aims to achieve the following goals

  • A common OCP rack architecture to enable greater sharing between Microsoft and Facebook.
  • Creating a flexible frame and power infrastructure that will support a wide range of solutions across the OCP community
  • Apart from the features need by Facebook, this architecture will come with additional features for the larger community, including physical security for solutions deployed in co-location facilities.
  • New thermal solutions will be introduced such as liquid cooling manifolds, door-based heat exchanges, and defined physical and thermal interfaces. These solutions are currently under development by the Advanced Cooling Solutions sub-project.
  • Introducing new power and battery backup solutions that scale across different rack power levels and also accommodate different power input types.

To know more in detail, check out the official announcement on Facebook.

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