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Google Steps Up Its Server Smarts

Apr 06, 2016

Google wants to share its data center hardware smarts with the world.

The search giant said on Wednesday that, along with cloud computing company Rackspace, it’s co-developing new server designs that are based on IBM (ibm) chip technology.

These new server designs are a result of Google’s involvement with the IBM-led OpenPower Foundation, which oversees IBM’s POWER lineup of chip-related technologies available for companies to license and build upon. Google (goog) is a founding member of the OpenPower Foundation.

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Eventually, Google will contribute those server blueprints to the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-formed foundation that helps its members share data center hardware designs with each other.

Sharing the server blueprints follows Google’s March decision to join the foundation. The hardware consortium counts big companies like Goldman Sachs (gs), Apple (aapl), and Samsung as members. Google now joins Facebook (fb) and Microsoft (msft) as member companies that have contributed server designs to the consortium, according to the Open Compute Project's website.

The new server designs are designed to fit with a custom data center rack design that Google is co-developing with Facebook, writes Google hardware engineering manager and OpenPower Foundation director Maire Mahony in a blog post.

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"It won’t surprise anyone to hear that demand for compute at Google has been relentless and it isn’t slowing down any time soon," Mahony wrote regarding the need for Google to build its own custom hardware to match user demand. "We’ve found 60 trillion web addresses so far, versus one trillion in 2008."

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