LinkedIn’s Open19 Server Design is Ready for Prime Time

Bob West
October 02, 2018

LinkedIn’s hardware design is all set for prime time. The company announced the deployment of Open19 technology in its data centers. The social network company plans to open source every aspect of the Open19 platform—from the mechanical design to the electrical design—to enable anyone to build and create an innovative and competitive ecosystem.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the Open19 Summit in San Jose. The event is organized by the Open19 Foundation, which LinkedIn co-launched with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, GE, and electronics manufacturer Flex, among others.

Open19 project was launched two years ago as the first LinkedIn open hardware data center project. The aim of the project was to create an open standard that can fit any 19” rack environment for server, storage, and networking. The project also aimed at reducing overall data center cost, enabling faster rack integration, both onsite and offsite, and simplifying the data center operations.

According to LinkedIn, the final design for Open19 is successful in meeting these goals. “The final design for Open19 is a solution that defines a form factor for servers with optimized costs and operational models to support fast data center integration for a variety of solutions and technologies. It is exciting to see that all our hard work has finally paid off. We are happy to share that Open19 technology is now deployed in LinkedIn's data centers,” Yuval Bachar, a top LinkedIn data center engineer wrote in a blog post.

In the blog, he further explained each of the building blocks that have made this project a great success—Open19’s four standard server form factors (chassis dimensions), two “cages” for those servers to slide into, power and data cables, a power shelf, and a network switch.

“The Open19 standard is representing a new way of defining open hardware while setting up a common, open, and reproducible form factor. This also enables the server supplier to build IP-protected technology that will provide a variety of servers for the community,”  Yuval Bachar said.



Bob West

Bob West is a tech savvy, digital enthusiast with a deep-rooted passion for data centers, cloud, internet exchanges (IX) and cryptocurrency. He was a driving force within the original team that built Datacenters.com in 2011. It’s his belief that a new breed of data centers will become increasingly important as we move towards IoT, AI and edge computing.