Open Compute Project: Redefining Open Source for the Data Center

When the Open Compute Project was founded (about 10 years ago), it began redefining the term “open source.” Before then, the term had primarily been applied to software, although it had, to a lesser degree, been applied to hardware as well.

At OCP, the term open applies to specifications regarding all aspects of a data center — from servers and network switches to power and cooling.

While this means that OCP usage is often much different from the way the open source software community talks, sometimes it’s exactly the same. That’s because OCP shares some of the same concerns as the open source software folks, such as avoiding vendor lock-in and building “vendor-agnostic.”