In order to reduce hardware and costs, Microsoft has openly contributed the designs of the cloud servers that run some of its services like Windows Azure and Bing to the ‘Open Compute Project’ run by Facebook.
Patrick Moorhead, Founder and President of research firm Moor Insights and Strategy has said he believes ‘they are trying to have a voice in a community that they haven’t had a voice before. The Open Compute Project is largely geared towards open source and doing things for yourself and goes against Microsoft’s business model of proprietary software and paid services’.
The Microsoft server’s offers improvements such as a 40% server cost reduction, 15% power efficiency gains and 50% reduction in service times. The designs are expected to be environmentally friendly as they reduce 1,100 miles of network cabling and 10,000 tones of metal across Microsoft’s base of 1 million servers.
Facebook have initiated the Open Compute Project in order to share specifications and best practices to make hardware design more innovative and efficient. The goal of the project is to develop servers and data centres following a traditional model usually associated with open source software projects.