I wrote recently about how a lot of hardware is now proprietary and that the largest buyers of network gear are designing and building their own equipment and bypassing the normal supply chains. My worry about this trend is that all of the small buyers of such equipment are getting left behind and it’s not hard to foresee a day when small carriers won’t be able to find affordable network routers and other similar equipment.
Today I want to look one layer deeper into that premise and look at the Open Compute Project. This was started just four years ago by Facebook and is creating the hardware equivalent of open source software like Linux.
Facebook found themselves wanting to do things in their data centers that were not being satisfied by Cisco, Dell, HP or the other traditional vendors of switches and routers. They were undergoing tremendous growth and their…
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