With the strong development of the Internet of Things era, the leading technology companies, such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, are forced to upgrade the infrastructure in order to meet the rapidly increasing needs of users. And constructing new data centers is recognized as one of the critical factors.
So far, the data centers are based on the dedicated hardware provided by IBM, Dell, and HP, of course, they are often expensive and account a large budget. Thus, in order to save money, companies must look for other hardware solutions with a lower cost but still ensure the quality standards.
To do this, companies must design the hardware from "A to Z" by themselves and transport them to other small Asian companies to continue the manufacturing process. Usually, these companies are not mentioned publicly.
In addition to an abundant human resource, possessing unique patents, the technology giants also see data centers as one of the important factors in the current competition. Therefore, it is not too difficult to understand why most corporations are trying to keep secret the design and structure from the rivals.
However, Facebook does not think so, the secrecy only makes the process of building the data center more time-consuming and more expensive. So 5 years ago, the owner of the world’s largest social networking world initiated the Open Compute Project (OCP) with the purpose of changing the traditional design and operation of data centers.
Through this project, Facebook wants the others to understand that collaboration and sharing can improve the process of building data centers, save more energy, reduce cost of investment, protect environment, and construct better infrastructures to serve users. Facebook’s ORP project helped the company to save up to billions of dollars in energy costs. Hundreds of companies were involved, which included Microsoft, HP, Quanta, and Apple. Many enterprises, such as Rackspace, and Goldman Sachs, used the hardware of this project to expand their online business.
Recently, in the 2016 Open Compute placed in San Jose, California, Google officially joined the project and the first contribution from Google is its collaboration with Facebook to develop a new hardware design, saving over 30% energy compared to the old system.
The target of Google and Facebook is not confined to share designs, but they want to leverage the resources to carefully study Deep Learning, and a part of the artificial intelligence technology (AI). Both found that AI would be a key factor in the future, and believed that only sharing, cooperation, and development of new core technologies can control the vast neutral network.
Also at the 2016 Open Compute, Facebook announced the open source of the GPU-based system used to control the neural network. As we all know, GPU was originally designed for the processing of game images and other professional graphic software.
When AI technology started developing, people realized that GPU was suitable to operate the deep neutral network. The AI technology assists companies like Google in authenticating image, recognizing voice, selling Target Ads, and generating more search results. In other words, it is GPU that helps to accelerate this process.