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How Facebook is open-sourcing its data centers and servers

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Hardware
OSS

It’s one thing to open-source the code for your app — that’s a simple matter of mashing a button on Github. But how do you really open-source hardware?

Think about that: Facebook committed to open-sourcing the infrastructure of its data centers through the Open Compute Project, which launched back in April. But there’s more to maintaining an open-source project than just releasing data into the wild. You also have to accept contributions from other members of the community.

So how do you accept a patch for a motherboard? Or an improvement to a power supply?

This was just one of many challenges facing Amir Michael and the rest of Facebook’s open-source hardware team as they began redesigning the company’s servers and data centers. And to be frank, it wasn’t even the most challenging problem they’ve faced so far.

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