May 3, 2012 – A Facebook-backed data center efficiency and standards group received support from more high-profile vendors on the heels of a new open hardware release. 

HP, Salesforce.com, AMD and VMware are among the dozens of new members of the Open Compute Project, the 13-month old engineering organization started by the social media giant. Standing members of the project include Dell, and Rackspace and Intel executives have roles on the project’s board of directors. 

Additional member support comes the same week as the organization’s release of Open Rack, a server rack based on open standards designed for data centers and their infrastructure. Contrary to longstanding server rack design, Open Rack features a cable-free power distribution system, dimensions to maximize air flow and connections, and lifecycle replacement related to components rather than the entire server. HP and Dell announced new server and storage designs that will be compatible to Open Rack’s specifications among the group’s upcoming projects. 

In a blog on the new members and releases, Open Compute Project President and Facebook hardware design and supply chain Director Frank Frankovsky noted the range of new choices for scale computing technology over the last few months, which he said will “enable consumers of all kinds to consume open, efficient hardware in the ways that suit them best.”

“On the other side of the equation, we’ve started to see a convergence of voices among the consumers of this technology around where we think the industry would benefit from standardization and where we think the opportunities for innovation are,” Frankovsky wrote in the blog.

Facebook established the organization in April 2011 in a venture to “honor our hacker roots” by building, from the ground up, “one of the most efficient computing infrastructures at the lowest possible cost.” The project aims to give an open source view to the development of server and data center infrastructure through releasing its technology and developments as open hardware.