Google And Rackspace To Develop OpenPower Server Design

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Google and Rackspace co-develop open server architecture based on new IBM POWER9 hardware

Google is combining forces with Rackspace to co-develop an open server architecture design specification based on IBM’s upcoming Power9 processors.

It was December 2013 when IBM open-sourced its Power chip architecture, and subsequently launched the OpenPower Foundation in attempt to wrestle away Intel’s majority share in the data centre market with the power of open source.

OpenPower licenses IBM’s server and chip designs.

Google and Rackspace made their announcement at the second annual OpenPower conference this week. Google, a founding member of the OpenPower Foundation, is already using IBM’s Power8 chips in some server in its data centres, and revealed earlier this year that it is working with Facebook to design racks compatible with Open Compute Project specifications. The new servers will also be compatible with Facebook’s 48V design.

24 cores

rackspaceIBM’s Power9 CPU is set to arrive in the second half of 2017, offering up 24 cores rather than that 12 currently in its Power8 chips.

“Rethinking data centre design is happening out in the open here at Google,” wrote the company in a blog post.

“Today we’re announcing that we’re working with Rackspace to co-develop an open server architecture design specification based on IBM’s new Power9 CPU.”

The move is the latest evidence that OpenPower is serious about providing alternatives to Intel’s x86-base reign.

At last year’s inaugural OpenPower Summit, 130 members flaunted around 20 new OpenPower-based systems and products. This year, eWeek reported more than 200 members were present with around 60 products on offer.

“The growing rosters of OpenPower members and commercial solutions demonstrate that the Foundation is a stable, increasingly potent force in commercial data centres,” said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

“The new and upcoming solutions developed individually and collaboratively by Foundation members speak to the evolving value of IBM’s POWER Architecture. But they also highlight the desire for new, alternative computing innovations among global data center vendors and the customers they serve.”

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