The Open Compute Project (OCP) China Day 2020 was recently held in Beijing as part of OCP Tech Week, attracting nearly 600 IT engineers and data center professionals. It was organized by the OCP Foundation PRC Community Leadership Team and hosted by Inspur. At the event, a number of leading OCP members shared their latest progress and innovative practices in open computing technologies, including Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, Enflame, Facebook, Inspur, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, NVIDIA, Seagate and Tencent.
As widespread adoption and rapid development of new technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) generate a growing number of emerging use cases for data centers, Open Accelerator Infrastructure (OAI) for AI accelerator chips, OpenEdge for 5G edge computing scenarios and Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) have emerged as the new industrialization trends in the OCP Community. After nearly a decade of development, the OCP Community is now shifting its focus beyond data center infrastructure to the integration of frontier technologies such as 5G, edge computing and AI, as well as emerging application scenarios.
Rack-Scale Delivery Model Has Become the New Normal
Driven by the fast-growing online economy, hyperscale data centers are developing rapidly, making a rack-scale delivery model – featuring rapid deployment, intelligent operation and flexible scaling – the new normal in hyperscale data center construction. As a result, mainstream open technology standards for rack scale servers such as Open Rack, Scorpio and Open19 have been quickly adopted by large data centers.
Due to scaling and centralization trends, data centers have raised their expectations for IT infrastructure management, rapid equipment configuration, remote fault location and automated and intelligent operation. In response, the OCP Community has set up a program for an automated data center operation technology suite. The OpenRMC working group has established the I9000 hardware verification of the OpenRMC code framework and plans to introduce OpenRMC 3.0 in the fourth quarter of 2021.
OAI's Open Mode Fuels Innovation in AI Industrialization
OCP’s OAI open standards have greatly stimulated innovation in the integration of AI computing infrastructure. The open technical specifications of the OCP Community’s OAI group are currently focused on nine main areas – including OAI, OAM, UBB and HIB – covering architectural design, temperature, management, power supply, hardware security and usability. They are aiming to establish a set of technical standards compatible with various types of AI accelerators, in order to address the major challenges of hardware and ecosystem fragmentation in the construction of AI computing infrastructure. The OAI group members include Baidu, Facebook, Inspur , and Microsoft.
OpenEdge Computing Realizes Large-Scale Application
The rapid development of 5G and AI technologies is driving diversified demands for edge computing application scenarios. In response, the OCP, who are committed to actively promoting edge computing, have set up the OpenEdge taskforces. As an important project group in the OCP community, OpenEdge has formulated the world’s first general edge server standard that addresses the fundamental problem of integration between edge server and telecom specifications.
SONiC Liberates the Data Center Network
SONiC was born out of the need for a more intelligent, automated, high-performing, highly-reliable and flexible data center network transport layer. As the data center has accelerated its evolution to a software-defined infrastructure, SONiC was created to meet needs for the rapid development of AI, data analysis and high-performance computing.
A sub-project of the OCP OPEN NETWORK project group, SONiC has delivered approximately 15 new feature sets in the last six months, including features such as D-BUS as a container to host communications, dynamic port splitting and port mirroring. SONiC plans to deliver approximately 35 new features and enhancements over the next six months.
NVIDIA, one of the top three code contributors to the SONiC community, has offered the solution to the accuracy and efficiency of Spectrum switch network fault diagnosis and troubleshooting with SONiC. Inspur has carried out a number of testing, security reinforcement and application scenario initiatives for the Community version to support the flexible SPINE-LEAF network architecture, which is more reliable than the traditional three-tier network architecture.
Open integration and open computing are rapidly changing the IT industry. In the future, the SONiC Community will provide the industry with new and easier-to-use features, such as support for 400G networks, Chassis scenarios, Kubernetes management, high-speed RDMA and security modules.
With the continuous integration of open source software and open hardware, open source technology is profoundly changing the model for collaboration in the IT industry worldwide. OCP gathers the leading enterprises from around the globe to accelerate productization and industrialization at the community level, effectively promoting the penetration of cutting-edge technologies from hyperscale data centers to traditional data centers and thus driving the development of the entire industry.