What is Open Compute Colo Ready?

Open Compute Project (OCP) is a large and growing open source community project led by hyperscale companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Intel.

 Its mission is to reduce the lifetime cost and increase the efficiency of deploying and managing compute and store infrastructure at large scale.

It does this by rethinking and redesigning the “standard” way servers, networks and storage are built and operated.

Growing to $10b market, but why is OCP important?

At its heart, Open Compute is an efficiency play – the global growth of data center electricity demand (and therefore harmful emissions) has to be tackled on multiple fronts including hardware design integrated with data center design and total lifetime cost measured in both CO2 and money.

And the market has given the project an extremely positive welcome. Companies such as Huawei, Alibaba, LinkedIn and Nokia have expressed an “all-in”  approach. Expected annual growth of the OCP hardware market through to 2024 is 59%, developing into a $10b market.

OCP Ready Colo Facility programme – what is it?

Whilst hyperscale companies like Facebook and Microsoft are building their own private data center facilities in cool climate regions like Sweden, other OCP deployments can find a home in commercially available data centers – so-called colocation data centers. To satisfy this demand, the OCP organisers recognised the need for a certification program for colocation, and the OCP Ready Colo Facility program was born.

The goal of the program is to identify Colo Solution Providers and facilities that an end-user can deploy OCP IT gear into without delay or complications.  The majority of Open Compute hardware is deployed as a fully-populated rack. Data center facilities must be able to easily accommodate racks of these weights and dimensions and to be able to deploy multiple racks of such hardware at scale. In addition, the density of compute to meet scale demands and efficiency goals raises the bar for power and cooling specifications for racks.

All this combines to demand a new data center standard for Users to rely on when making data center site selection choices.

Why are OCP Users interested in the Colo Program?

For OCP Users it allows them to review the attributes of a facility and determine if a Colo Solution Provider has a facility which is suitable to accommodate OCP Open Racks and IT gear. The OCP Ready site assessment details the ‘Must-Have’ attributes of the Architectural, Electrical, and Mechanical subsystems that have been determined to be required to enable the deployment of OCP Open Racks and IT gear.

Hydro66 Data Center Ideal for OCP Colo

The Hydro66 data center is extremely well suited to housing prepopulated OCP racks due to the functionality-first design:

  • slab floor rather than raised floor,
  • wide access doorways throughout, no intervening pillars in the IT white space
  • overhead power and network delivery
  • ground floor only single storey construction with no ramps, lifts or stairs

These individual features combine to mitigate the classic issues that occur for delivery of preloaded racks to conventional legacy DCs such as door clearance and load capacities of floors and lifts. Our ability to accept single racks due to our modular design gives an advantage over other data center providers who have to segregate entire halls or pods for Open Rack equipment. For Colo Solution Providers the Colo Program allows them to audit their facility to understand their readiness to deploy OCP Open Racks and IT gear. If the facility meets the requirements they can pursue formal recognition with the OCP Foundation.

In Summary and Next Steps

Hydro66 aim to be one of the first commercial colocation data centers globally and the first in the Nordics to be OCP-certified. The OCP is fundamentally aligned with our environment-first ethos. The multi-billion dollar OCP hardware market is growing extremely rapidly and we aim to make a valuable contribution to the community. We expect to make further announcements to this effect in due course.


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