Microsoft has chosen to extend and continue its support for the Open Compute Project.
In the tech world, open communities are highly beneficial. In an industry which relies so heavily on resource-sucking intensive, defensive R&D, the simple sharing of technologies and techniques can be for the benefit of all involved.
To this end, the Open Compute Project aims to create a level playing field in the cloud server game. As a part of this, Microsoft has been sharing some of its gains in this area, including the submission of the "Local Energy Storage (LES)" which introduces dedicated power units to server rooms, allowing for uninterrupted power supplies.
Microsoft has also debuted the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) specification, with contributors Dell, Mellanox, and Broadcom, which provides simple common programming interfaces for common networking functions, allowing for greater efficiency savings to be made by network operators.
New provisions have also been made for new high-storage, low-cost storage options, allowing for greater flexibility when purchasing new equipment. As well as this, a new partnership with Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, has resulted in the deployment of the first fully automated OCP deployment.
Through partnering with Redfish, OCS server management has also been simplified through the creation of a new interface and data model for managing servers across a network. Regarding the improvements delivered, Kushagra Vaid, GM, Server Engineering, Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise, stated,
"Microsoft’s years of experience building and running cloud-scale datacenters provides us a unique perspective on how to help customers and service providers transform their own infrastructure to manage hyper-scale workloads. Today, all new hardware infrastructure being deployed for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Bing, and Xbox Live is based on the OCS version 2 specification."
This represents a rather thorough contribution on Microsoft's part, and is a telling example of its new commitment to working well with others.
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