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Tech Insight The Case for Open Source Hardware and Software in the Cloud

Designing in-house software or leveraging open source communities has enabled cloud providers to do more with less. In fact, the data centre has become a software-led infrastructure influencing the cloud storage market as a whole.

 

Let’s face it, data centres are changing, thanks primarily to the advent of the cloud data centre—led by large cloud service providers such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, OVH and Baidu. Many of these providers utilise traditional solutions from the large OEMs, but are increasingly moving to lower cost, more optimised open architectures that are driven by software. Designing in-house software or leveraging open source communities has enabled cloud providers to do more with less. In fact, the data centre has become a software-led infrastructure influencing the cloud storage market as a whole.

Why the change?

Data centres are the profit engines for cloud service providers. To lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase agility, they increasingly demand:

  • Greater system optimisation
  • Smarter technology refreshes
  • Faster innovation
  • Simple implementation
  • Massive scale

This change is being led by Open Compute Project and OpenStack, among others.

Open Compute Project (OCP) was an initiative announced in April 2011 by Facebook to openly share customised data centre designs to improve efficiency across the industry. The OCP initiative includes
low-cost, minimalist design tracks for:

OpenStack is an IaaS cloud computing project started by Rackspace and NASA in 2010. Currently more than 150 companies have joined, including AMD, Intel, Canonical, SUSE Linux, RedHat, Cisco, Yahoo!, Dell, HP and IBM. It is free open source software released under the terms of the Apache Licence.

Before the advent of open hardware and software communities, innovation and advancement of cloud technology was siloed. Technology companies would develop proprietary new hardware and software solutions on their own or with limited partners. In an open source community, collaboration happens across companies and includes customers. This cross-functional collaboration enables greater innovation and advancement across compute, storage and network architectures. Even better, the collaboration is focused on a single goal or priority: lowering data centre total cost of ownership.

Why open source makes sense for Seagate

Through direct engagement with customers and open source communities, Seagate is better positioned to develop products that embrace changes in cloud architectures and set new standards for lower TCO and higher productivity. Seagate is focused on developing better ways to take advantage of the intrinsic capabilities of the storage device, while leveraging our system design and engineering capabilities.

Solutions the technology industry will bring to market must be a collaborative effort among suppliers, partners and end-customers. Seagate expects to be a key contributor to such open innovation.

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