LinkedIn Contributes Open19 Technology to the Open Compute Project

March 15, 2019

Last year, we announced that LinkedIn had become a Platinum member of the Open Compute Project (OCP). The move was a natural fit for us, given the organization’s mission, “To apply the benefits of open source hardware and rapidly increase the pace of innovation in, near, and around the data center and beyond,” and LinkedIn’s own support of open standards and software.

Building on that initial partnership, today we are excited to announce that LinkedIn’s Open19 technology specifications are now contributed to OCP and available to its entire community.

With this announcement, we are bringing together two forward-thinking organizations that are working on the next generation of innovative, open, and efficient data center hardware. This contribution enables the OCP community to have more options on data center open standards and helps create efficiency for data center markets. Today’s news builds on LinkedIn’s long list of collaborations with similarly-minded industry groups, including the SONiC community, Linux Foundation, and International Datacenter Authority (IDCA), with an eye towards helping shape the data center of the future.

Why Open19 technology?

The initial concept for the Open19 technology was developed while we were looking for new ways to innovate for hyperscale growth. LinkedIn was looking for a solution that would fit any location and any size, but which would also optimize mid-sized data center build-outs to the same degree that mega data centers can be optimized. At that time, our goals were to create a solution that would:

  • Address small- to large-scale data centers

  • Create an open standard that could fit any 19” rack environment for server, storage, and networking

  • Provide high compute node density

  • Support disaggregation

Today, the Open19 technology is a solution that defines a form factor for servers with optimized costs and operational models to support fast data center integration for a variety of solutions and technologies. It enables the server supplier to build IP-protected technology that will provide a variety of servers for the community. Other benefits include:

  • Fits into any 19” environment

  • Full rack and software/hardware disaggregated technology

  • Fully redundant across every element standard

  • Universal power solution

  • 5-6X faster rack integration time

  • Simplified server integration

  • High power conversion efficiency—Improved PUE

  • Cost effective (Cost savings based on your environment)

To further put this in context, since the Open19 tech has been deployed at LinkedIn, we have experienced up to 6X improvement in rack integration and now have the ability to install 4X the number of servers per rack.

  • open19ocp1

Project Olympus and Open19 technology

Part of the Open19 technology specification includes support for Project Olympus (a project developed by Microsoft and contributed to OCP in 2017). This integration enables Open19 to have a cloud-based, high-end Olympus-based server supporting high memory and high core count CPUs. The combination of Open19 and Project Olympus allows data centers of any scale to enjoy high efficiency and advanced open standards with their existing EIA19” racks.

What is next?

Over the last three years, we’ve made some incredible advancements with the Open19 Project, but we still have more work to do. In the coming months, we’ll be working to add new features, including enhancements for edge computing solutions, a server solution, and liquid cooling.

We are also committed to working alongside the broader OCP community, bringing our engineering teams together to share what we have learned, engage with other projects, adopt best practices, and find opportunities to converge and interoperate.