Open Compute is Facebook's defining moment of using the social net
Facebook didn't buy servers or run a data center like other companies. It built the first unit of what it thought was an ultra-modern data center in Prineville, Ore., it's first and realized it wanted major revisions for the servers going into the second of three massive centers scheduled to be built on the site. There would be strength in numbers, if Facebook could get other people interested in what constituted an efficient data center in the cloud. Plus competitors Google, Apple and Amazon were all eyeing the Facebook user base hungrily. None of them was willing to share its designs with anyone else. Realizing it was in a position to pioneer modern cloud data center design, it launched the Open Compute Project in April 2011. It's attracted Goldman Sachs, Fidelity investments and other financial services firms. It holds the long term potential of disrupting the way hardware supply is done. It was Facebook's own defining use of the social network.