Building a Better Server Chassis

The academic community has long been a model for open collaboration and for innovation in sustainable technologies, and that’s something we’re hoping to tap into as the Open Compute Project evolves. With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce a design challenge with Purdue University's College of Technology entrepreneurship program, Tech Ventures, to develop a design for a more sustainable server chassis.

The challenge will begin with a Computer and Information Technology (CNIT) course at Purdue in the Spring 2013 semester. In the course, students will review relevant research and then break into teams to develop proposals. They’ll present their ideas at the end of the semester, and the winning teams will receive funding and further support to build a prototype.

We think there’s enormous potential here, as servers are sometimes replaced as often as every 2-3 years. And even though the steel in those server chassis is usually recycled, we think it’s worth exploring designs that retain the needed resiliency but push the boundaries of sustainability.

We’re excited to see what Purdue’s students come up with; stay tuned here for updates as the challenge progresses.