OpenPOWER Ecosystem Propels Open Innovation in Hyperscale Data Centers

Press Releases Blogs

Google and Rackspace Develop OpenPOWER System for the Open Compute Project;
IBM Announces Intent to Expand Line of POWER-based Scale-out Linux Servers

OPENPOWER SUMMIT, San Jose, Calif. – April 6, 2016: The OpenPOWER Foundation, a consortium of more than 200 leading technology companies, organizations and individuals innovating around the POWER processor, today announced more than 50 new open innovations to help companies better solve grand challenges around big data.

Many new community innovations unveiled today are designed to be incorporated into the Open Compute Project product portfolio.

Among these, Google, a founding member of the OpenPOWER Foundation, announced today that it is developing a next-generation OpenPOWER and Open Compute Project form factor server. Google is working with Rackspace to co-develop an open server specification based on the new POWER9 architecture, and the two companies will submit a candidate server design to the Open Compute Project.

Additionally, Rackspace has announced that “Barreleye” has moved from the lab to the data center.  Rackspace anticipates “Barreleye” will move into broader availability throughout the rest of the year, with the first applications on the Rackspace Public Cloud powered by OpenStack.  Rackspace and IBM collectively contributed the “Barreleye” specifications to the Open Compute Project in January 2016. The specifications were formally accepted by the Open Compute Project in February 2016.

“Today’s IT infrastructure leaders seek open technology alternatives to processor and system architectures,” said John Zannos, Chairman of the OpenPOWER Foundation, and Vice President of Cloud Channels and Alliances, Canonical. “Customized solutions and open building blocks are quickly becoming required options for system design. Collaborative innovation, the hallmark of both the OpenPOWER Foundation and the Open Compute Project, is essential to building the next generation data center.”

“We’re thrilled to take the next step in our work with the OpenPOWER and Open Compute Project communities,” said Maire Mahony, Hardware Engineering Manager, Google, and OpenPOWER Foundation Board Member. “We are committed to open innovation, and to optimizing performance and cost in data centers. Working with Rackspace, we will submit a POWER9 server design to the Open Compute Project that will address the diverse requirements of end customers for data center services.”

“We are excited to work with Google on our POWER9 OpenPOWER-based, Open Compute Project form factor server,” said Aaron Sullivan, Open Compute Project Incubation Committee Member and Distinguished Engineer at Rackspace. “OpenPOWER processors combined with acceleration technology are fundamentally changing server and data center design today and into the future. OpenPOWER provides a great platform for the speed and flexibility needs of hyperscale operators as they demand ever-increasing levels of scalability.”

“Our ongoing work with the OpenPOWER Foundation is a natural extension of our commitment to open collaboration and innovation in data center technology,” said Amber Graner, Director of Operations, Community Manager, the Open Compute Project. “The Open Compute Project is focused on efficiency, flexibility, and openness—and we recognize the importance of the POWER processor and the robust OpenPOWER ecosystem for the future of server design.”

The Open Compute Project is a member of the OpenPOWER Foundation Advisory Group.

IBM Expands its Linux-only Portfolio Leveraging OpenPOWER Innovation

IBM announced that it plans to add systems to its LC line of servers. The LC line, launched in October of 2015, infuses OpenPOWER technology into IBM’s scale-out server lineup. As a result of dozens of proof of concepts in areas like hyperscale data centers, high performance computing and large enterprises, IBM intends to make the following additions to the LC line, aimed at helping clients on the path to becoming cognitive businesses and furthering IBM’s commitment to open and collaborative innovation:

  • IBM intends to add Open Compute Project-compliant systems to its Power Systems LC portfolio to support big data analytics and cognitive applications in the cloud. This is in addition to three other OpenPOWER Foundation members that recently announced plans for Open Compute Project-compliant, OpenPOWER systems:  Mark III Systems, Penguin Computing and Stack Velocity.
  • SUPERMICRO is currently developing two new POWER-based servers for IBM. The systems are based on the company’s “Ultra” architecture and IBM intends to add them to the LC server line to add further design options. The two systems – a storage rich 2 socket, 2U design and a dense 2 socket, 1U design – will be POWER-based, GPU and CAPI acceleration enabled and fine-tuned for cloud and cognitive workloads.
  • IBM, in collaboration with NVIDIA and Wistron, plans to release its second-generation OpenPOWER high performance computing server, which includes support for the NVIDIA® Tesla® Accelerated Computing platform (learn more). The server will leverage POWER8 processors connected directly to the new NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators via embedded NVIDIA NVLink™ high-speed interconnect technology. Early systems will be available in Q4 2016. Additionally IBM and NVIDIA plan to create global acceleration labs to help developers and ISVs port applications on the POWER8 and NVIDIA NVLink™ based platform.

About the OpenPOWER Foundation
The OpenPOWER Foundation is a global, open development membership organization formed to facilitate and inspire collaborative innovation on the POWER architecture. OpenPOWER members share expertise, investment and server-class intellectual property to develop solutions that serve the evolving needs of technology customers.

The OpenPOWER Foundation enables members to customize POWER CPU processors, system platforms, firmware and middleware software for optimization for their business and organizational needs. Member innovations delivered and under development include custom systems for large scale data centers, workload acceleration through GPU, FPGA or advanced I/O, and platform optimization for software appliances, or advanced hardware technology exploitation.

For further details visit