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Facebook is opening its Wedge network switch to everyone

Facebook’s recent step into the hardware business isn’t a step at all. The company is selling the network switch that it designed for its own data centers through Accton Technologies as part of the Open Compute Project project that Facebook setup a few years ago. The company won’t actually make any money off of this but will benefit from open sourcing and getting improvements from third-parties. 

A network switch that Facebook designed for its own data centers will soon be on sale from Taiwanese manufacturer Accton Technologies, the latest sign of progress from the community hardware effort known as the Open Compute Project. Facebook set up the OCP about four years ago as a way for data center operators to collaborate on new hardware designs that they can then ask low-cost manufacturers to produce. Part of the goal is to get cheaper, more standardized hardware than what’s normally supplied by top-tier vendors like Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell. Facebook is already using the top-of-rack switch, known as Wedge, in its own data centers, and it will be available to others in the first half from Accton and its OEM partners, said Jay Parikh, head of Facebook’s infrastructure division. Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks will provide software for it, and Facebook has put some of its own network software on Github for companies that want to “roll their own.”

 

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