Rackspace Collaborates with Facebook and Other Industry Leaders to Design Greener, Open-Source Data Centers

by Mark Roenigk, COO, Rackspace

This past April, Facebook rocked the IT industry by announcing the Open Compute Project, in which it shared the specifications of one of the world’s most energy-efficient data centers, already in operation in Prineville, Oregon.  Facebook named as founding members of the project a handful of industry leaders, including Rackspace. Given our company’s dedication to energy conservation and open standards, joining this movement was a natural fit.    We felt honored and enthusiastic for Rackers to be in on the ground floor of an industry changing movement.

Today, at the Open Compute Summit in New York City, Rackspace takes the next step, showing our strengthened commitment, by joining other industry leaders including Facebook, Intel, Goldman Sachs and tech investor Andy Bechtolsheim as board members of the new Open Compute Project Foundation.

In the months since the Open Compute Project launched, Rackspace has been working closely with the community on product benchmarking and providing design feedback. As the Open Compute Project is amassing momentum, we are excited about its potential and are exploring ways to best use this new design to fit the unique needs of our customers.


This project fits our business model and values.   Rackspace is dedicated to open standards, for software and hardware. We have gone so far as to open-source our own cloud software through the Open Stack project. The same approach can apply to our data centers. We see data center infrastructure as a commodity, with the true value residing in the way that we differentiate — by providing an unrivaled customer-service experience that we call Fanatical Support.  The Open Compute Project and the active community around it will enable Rackspace to extend our vision of open standards.

As a web-scale, global data center operator, serving 150,000 business customers in more than over 120 countries, Rackspace is excited to draw on our unique perspective to give back to the Open Compute project. We plan on using experience hosting a wide variety of workloads and having insight into a wide array of customer needs to continue to evolve the Open Compute designs and make it more broadly available, expanding its reach and doing the most possible good, not only for users of cloud computing but for everyone who shares this planet. Using our insights, and joining forces with industry leaders on the Open Compute Foundation board, we have the opportunity to create a new blueprint for our industry, which breaks down the barriers to broader cloud adoption.

In addition, we are more ready than ever to explore, contribute to and implement the green advantages of this project. At Rackspace, we know first hand that running IT in their own datacenters can be inefficient and expensive for many companies.  As a leader in the fast-growing market for cloud computing, we see cloud as an inherently green option — one that is much more efficient when compared to computing in the typical company’s datacenter or server closet. Using the new Open Compute design could dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of current datacenter design.  Facebook’s Prineville data center is said to use about 38% less energy than its predecessor, so using the Open Compute design could have a material positive impact on a data center’s efficiency. These can mean real change in the way we build datacenters and consume computing.

As the service leader in cloud computing, we see a huge opportunity to both make the benefits of the Open Compute Project widely available and provide an excellent support experience to those who utilize that technology. Today’s formation of the Open Compute Foundation is an exciting step forward!