POWER > Business Strategy > Executive Perspective

The Open Revolution Continues

Doug Balog
Photo by Craig Washburn

What started as a radical and risky idea two years ago has blossomed into a full-scale tech movement. Technology leaders throughout the industry continue to flock to the open development model of the OpenPOWER Foundation. Now more than 200 members strong, this strategic organization is changing the way we think, design and talk about server technology across the entire system stack.

At the second annual OpenPOWER Summit in San Jose, California, this past April, OpenPOWER was in full force to show the industry what collaborative innovation around the POWER processor enables companies to achieve. The nearly 60 products we lifted the curtain on were almost 4x what we had last year–an explosion of innovation, as well as investment, that isn’t often seen in the technology world.

Additionally, with many of the innovations announced, we were able to draw a closer tie to our fellow open-source innovators at the Open Compute Project. In fact, during the opening keynotes, Google, a founding member of the foundation, announced its development of a next-generation OpenPOWER and Open Compute Project form factor server. Google is working with Rackspace to co-develop an open server specification based on the new POWER9* architecture, and the two companies will submit a candidate server design to the Open Compute Project. This demonstrates a great connection between the OpenPOWER Foundation and the Open Compute Project, as more mutual members develop Open Compute Project-compliant, OpenPOWER- based solutions.

Adoption and deployment was also an important message from the summit. We heard from members, such as Rackspace and the University of Michigan, about their upcoming deployments of POWER8* OpenPOWER-based servers for end users in the cloud and to advance scientific research, respectively. In 2016, the OpenPOWER story will be conveyed to more businesses and developers than ever. This month marks an important time for the foundation as we bring OpenPOWER Summits to both Europe and China to focus on local innovation, adoption and collaboration.

This is an exciting time for OpenPOWER. The strategy is being realized by its members day in and day out, and we’re starting to turn an important corner where we exhibit the benefits to clients and end users across hyperscale data centers, high-performance computing environments and large, enterprise-scale businesses.

General Manager, IBM Power Systems

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