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How Facebook Threatens HP, Cisco, and More With Its “Vanity Free” Servers

A test rack in Facebook's hardware electrical test lab filled with Facebook DIY hardware.
Sean Gallagher

MENLO PARK, CA—Building 17 of Facebook's headquarters sits on what was once a Sun Microsystems campus known fondly as "Sun Quentin." It now houses a team of Facebook engineers in the company's electrical lab. Everyday, they push forward the company vision of how data center hardware should be built. These engineers constantly bench-test designs for their built-in-house server hardware—essentially putting an end to server hardware as we know it.

Ars recently visited Facebook's campus to get a tour of the server lab from Senior Manager of Hardware Engineering Matt Corddry, leader of Facebook's server hardware design team. What's happening at Facebook's lab isn't just affecting the company's data centers, it's part of Facebook's contribution to the Open Compute Project (OCP), an effort that hopes to bring open-source design to data center server and storage hardware, infrastructure, and management interfaces across the world.

 

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