Technology companies are embracing open source as a commercial advantage, as demonstrated by 2 of the announcements made at Gigaom Structure in San Francisco.
Back in January 2013, Rackspace announced its decision to design and build its own servers. And following in the steps Facebook and Google, Rackspace made plans to do so using the Open Compute project format.
Today, Rackspace announced its new OnMetal servers, which will be soon be available in the Rackspace Northern Virginia region.
The new single-tentant servers are geared towards addressing the noisy neighbor problem that occurs in multitenant servers, according to Jonathan Vanian.
Multitenant servers risk poor allocation of resources, where one user could potentially harness a large portion of the machines resources. A single-tenant infrastructure allows for greater flexibility and scaling capabilities.
Rackspaces new servers are operating with OpenStack and were developed using the Open Compute project as a template.
As the names suggest, both OpenStack and the Open Compute project use the open-source format, the former for software and the latter for hardware. OpenStack is a free and open-source software cloud computing platform, and the Open Compute project is as an initiative, evolved out of the redesign of Facebook’s data center in 2011, to openly share the design of data center products.
Over the years, the open-source model has established itself as a powerful tool for creating high-quality software in the most cost-efficient way. According to Vanian,
Rackspace developed its new OnMetal servers as a way to provide cost-effective machines to potential clients who don’t need all the bells and whistles of the more commoditized servers in the marketplace.
Another indication that companies are further embracing open source, is Facebook’s announcement of its new “networking-switch technology” that will soon be part of its Open Compute Project.
In the past “Facebook was able to craft [using the Open Compute Project] the exact machine it wanted to handle its specifications without any excess features,” according to Vanian. It appears that Facebook is hoping to achieve the same success by sharing its latest technology with its Open Compute Project.
With giants like Facebook, Google, WordPress, Tesla, and Rackspace jumping on board, perhaps San Francisco Chronicle writer Thomas Lee is right that Silicon Valley has embraced open source as a money maker.