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AT&T and Big Telco pals join Facebook OCP club

El Reg talks open with Equinix

Facebook's Open Compute Project has staked out its next battlefield: the conservative world of the telco. The OCP Telco Project whichjust launched counts AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom, Verizon, Nexius, Nokia Networks and Equinix as its foundation members.

The aims of OCP the Telco Project are:

  • communicate telco technical requirements effectively to the OCP community;
  • strengthen the OCP ecosystem to address the deployment and operational needs of telcos; and
  • bring OCP innovations to telco data centre infrastructure for increased cost-savings and agility.

Speaking to The Register's networking desk ahead of the launch, Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi put it more simply, saying the project is designed to engage carriers in the Open Compute Project.

The OCP, he explained, has had a marked impact in putting data centre capabilities onto commodity hardware to reduce costs. Building telecommunications infrastructure in the OCP world is a significant expansion of its capability, he said.

Equinix, Tarazi said, “wants to be part of the team that builds the stack” on top of the new, more scalable hardware that's becoming available.

“We have almost 1,000 clouds in our data centres, and our business model is about neutrality so these systems can interconnect,” he continued.

“The next generation of this is going to be about application peering and the compute stack – storage, compute and network as a software defined infrastructure.

“We want to enable all our customers to go through that transformation and interconnect with each other.”

While DCs will “always need the big-metal BGP routing and IP peering,” he said, there's an emerging need for “massively scaled software-based interconnect for real time analytics, moving containers around, and so on.”

“OCP is now enabling people to build commodity switches, routers and optical devices – but we haven't seen the full-scale routers and optical systems,” Tarazi said.

Other key chunks of the OCP Telco Project, he said, will be to create control mechanisms for the new hardware and architectures. ®

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