LinkedIn Begins Contributing Open19 Platform to the Community

Last summer, LinkedIn helped announce the launch of the Open19 Foundation and our role as a founding member. Our aim was to assist in building a community for a new generation of open data centers and edge solutions and to one day contribute our Open19 project to the foundation. Over the last year, we’ve successfully advanced that mission both in our support of the foundation and in our advancement of the Open19 platform.

Today, in conjunction with the Open19 Summit, we are happy to announce our project with the Open19 Foundation. Our Open19 contribution follows many successful software projects including Kafka, Samza, Burrow, and many others and is the first hardware LinkedIn will share with the open source community.

In the weeks and months to come, we plan to open source every aspect of the Open19 platform—from the mechanical design to the electrical design—to enable anyone to build and create an innovative and competitive ecosystem.

Taking a look back

Two years ago, we launched the plans for the Open19 project as the first LinkedIn open hardware data center project. When we began the work, we set several critical goals that would help us determine success:

  • Create an open standard that can fit any 19” rack environment for server, storage, and networking

  • Reduce overall data center cost

  • Enable faster rack integration, both onsite and offsite

  • Simplify the data center operations

  • Build an ecosystem and a community around the technology

So, where did we end up?

The design and implementation of Open19

The final design for Open19 is a solution that defines a form factor for servers with optimized costs and operational models to support fast data center integration for a variety of solutions and technologies. It is exciting to see that all our hard work has finally paid off. We are happy to share that Open19 technology is now deployed in LinkedIn’s data centers!

Over the last two years, we conducted due diligence while overcoming a few challenges that come with developing a new industry standard. It was essential that we maintain a high-quality solution that addressed not only the needs of LinkedIn but also those of the community that supports the Open19 initiative and the new community members that join us regularly. With this community-first mindset and our new collaboration with the Open Compute Project, we look forward to seeing where we can take this technology!

Let’s take a look back at each of the building blocks that have made this project a great success.

The Open19 cages
The Open19 cages come in two sizes 12RU and 8RU. They are entirely passive, and every 2RU can be converted to be half-width or full-width. The cages are straightforward, cost-effective, and foundational to the set up of the standard form factors for the Open19 technology.

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