Microsoft Open Sources Its Next Gen Cloud Hardware Design

Azure Hero Server

Microsoft wants every company to move to the cloud, this is not a surprise. Microsoft’s Azure platform is growing at a healthy rate and the company knows that it’s cloud services are its long-term business model which is why they are moving all of their platforms to this infrastructure. During this internal transition to the cloud, the company has learned quite a bit about how to build out servers designed for this environment and now they are sharing their new hardware designs with everyone.

Microsoft is submitting a new server design to the Open Compute Project (OCP) that they hope will open the door to the community-based hardware design of server infrastructure for cloud deployments. The company is publishing the specs of their new design earlier than typical Open Compute Project (they expect to finish up the design work in about eight months) that will allow any customers interested in using this design to submit feedback or add their own components to the design.

Like any other open source project, Microsoft expects that other vendors will fork their designs and build on-top of their base configuration. One of the unique aspects about Project Olympus, this is the name of the project, is that is has a universal power connection that should cut down on the deployment of the server as power supplies and connections vary widely in different countries.

Currently, more than 90% of the servers Microsoft has purchased are based on OCP hardware for the company’s data centers and they are using this knowledge and experience to help design this new infrastructure. The goal is to help make cloud computing easier for customers but at the same time, Dell and HPE, who design and sell servers, will feel the pressure as well as they typically charge a premium for custom-designed servers.

Microsoft will be sharing more about Project Olympus over the next two days at the Datacenter Dynamics: Zettastructure conference in London but if you’d like to learn more about this new hardware, you can find all the available information here.