Google, Rackspace will co-design Power9 servers for Open Compute

The announcement is among more than 50 initiatives announced by IBM this week during the OpenPOWER Summit in San Jose.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

IBM's OpenPOWER foundation on Wednesday revealed that Google and Rackspace are working together to design servers using the architecture from IBM's Power9 processors.

The servers will be submitted to Facebook's Open Compute project, as the designs will fit the 48V racks Google is designing in partnership with the social network.

The announcement is among more than 50 initiatives announced by IBM this week during the OpenPOWER Summit in San Jose.

The OpenPOWER foundation is centered around open hardware designs that run on IBM's POWER processor. The aim of the group, which includes IBM, Google, Nvidia, Mellanox, Canonical and Wistron, is to offer a counterweight to Intel in the data center.

"Working with Rackspace, we will submit a Power9 server design to the Open Compute Project that will address the diverse requirements of end customers for data center services," said Maire Mahony, a Google hardware engineering manager, and an OpenPOWER Foundation board member.

As for Rackspace, the company said its server project, codenamed Barreleye, has been accepted by the Open Compute Project. The company said the servers will be the first in the industry to use technology from OpenPOWER, the Open Compute Project and OpenStack.

Meanwhile, IBM also said it would collaborate with Nvidia and Wistron on a second-generation HPC server. The companies said the platform would link Power8 processors to Nvidia's upcoming Tesla P100 GPU accelerators via Nvidia's interconnect technology. The companies expect the processors to become available in Q4 2016.

Big Blue will also add Open Compute Project-compliant systems to its lineup of Linux on POWER portfolio, supporting big data analytics and cognitive applications in the cloud.

Finally, IBM said that the University of Michigan would adopt Open Power technology developed with Nvidia and Mellanox to create data-centric supercomputers which could be used for projects ranging from airplane and rocket engine design to climate modeling and cosmology.

"The explosion of data requires systems and infrastructures based on Power8 plus accelerators that can both stream and manage the data and quickly synthesize and make sense of data," IBM said about the UM partnership.

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