The Open Computer Project (OCP) China Day 2020 was recently successfully held in Beijing as part of OCP Tech Week, attracting over 600 IT engineers and data center professionals. It is organized by the OCP Foundation PRC Community Leadership Team and hosted by Inspur Information. At the event, a number of leading OCP members including Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Inspur, Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, NVIDIA, Nokia, China Mobile, Seagate and Enflame shared their latest progress and innovative practices in open computing technologies.
As widespread adoption and rapid development of new technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) generate a growing number of emerging use cases for data centers, Open Accelerator Infrastructure (OAI) for AI accelerator chips, OpenEdge for 5G edge computing scenarios and Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) have emerged as the new industrialization trends in the OCP community. After nearly a decade of development, the OCP community is now shifting its focus beyond data center infrastructure to the integration of frontier technologies such as 5G, edge computing and AI, as well as emerging application scenarios.
Rack-Scale Delivery Model Has Become the New Normal
Driven by the fast-growing online economy, hyperscale data centers are developing rapidly, making a rack-scale delivery model – featuring rapid deployment, intelligent operation, and flexible scaling – a new normal in hyperscale data center construction. As a result, mainstream open technology standards for rack scale servers such as Open Rack, Scorpio, and Open19 have been quickly adopted by large data centers.
Inspur delivered L11 rack scale servers for Baidu’s data center in 2019, when it set the industry record of delivering more than 10,000 nodes in eight hours and achieving a 10x improvement in delivery efficiency.
Due to scaling and centralization trends, data centers have raised their expectations for IT infrastructure management, rapid equipment configuration, remote fault location, and automated and intelligent operation. In response, the OCP community has set up a program for an automated data center operation technology suite. The OpenRMC working group has established the I9000 hardware verification of the OpenRMC code framework and plans to introduce OpenRMC 3.0 in the fourth quarter of 2021.
OAI’s Open Mode Fuels Innovation in AI Industrialization
OCP’s OAI open standards have greatly stimulated innovation in the integration of AI computing infrastructure. The open technical specifications of the OCP community’s OAI group are currently focused on nine main areas – including OAI, OAM, UBB and HIB – covering architectural design, temperature, management, power supply, hardware security, and usability. They are aiming to establish a set of technical standards compatible with various types of AI accelerators, in order to address the major challenges of hardware and ecosystem fragmentation in the construction of AI computing infrastructure.
This year, Inspur Information partnered with leading OAM members Habana of Intel and Enflame to complete the adaptation of Inspur’s OAI system. Inspur has formulated a UBB SPEC design specification that is based on OAM standards, which significantly enhances the compatibility of various OAM-compliant AI accelerator chips. The OAI group members include Baidu, Facebook, Microsoft and Inspur Information.
OpenEdge Computing Realizes Large-Scale Application
The rapid development of 5G and AI technologies is driving diversified demands for edge computing application scenarios. In response, the OCP and the Open Data Center Committee (ODCC), who are committed to actively promoting edge computing, have set up the OpenEdge and OTII taskforces, respectively. As an important project group in the OCP community, OpenEdge has formulated the world’s first general edge server standard that addresses the fundamental problem of integration between edge server and telecom specifications. China Mobile worked together with Intel, China Telecom and other partners to initiate the OTII project, which rolled out its first product in 2019 – so far, it has achieved large-scale applications.
Inspur Information, a joint member of OTII and OpenEdge, has been making significant investments in the field of edge computing. It has developed a variety of edge computing solutions such as an edge micro-data center, edge cloud server, edge AI server and a smart computing kiosk. These solutions have been applied across various sectors including mining, petroleum, the industrial internet and smart cities.
SONiC Liberates the Data Center Network
Inspur Information is also an active participant of the SONiC community. SONiC was born out of the need for a more intelligent, automated, high-performing, highly-reliable and flexible data center network transport layer. As the data center has accelerated its evolution to a software-defined infrastructure, SONiC was created to meet needs for the rapid development of AI, data analysis and high-performance computing.
A sub-project of the OCP Networking Project group, SONiC has delivered around 15 new feature sets in the last six months, including features such as D-BUS as a container to host communications, dynamic port splitting and port mirroring. SONiC plans to deliver approximately 35 new features and enhancements over the next six months.
NVIDIA, one of the top three code contributors to the SONiC community, has offered the solution to the accuracy and efficiency of Spectrum switch network fault diagnosis and troubleshooting with SONiC. Inspur Information has carried out a number of testing, security reinforcement and application scenario initiatives for the community version to support the flexible SPINE-LEAF network architecture, which is more reliable than the traditional three-tier network architecture. NOS, which was developed by Tencent through the Phoenix Project, has inherited the main architectural advantages of SONiC. Thanks to its mature tools and good ecosystem, NOS has delivered a lot of convenience to the development and maintenance of the switch, compared with the embedded system-specific kernel of traditional switches.
Open integration and open computing are rapidly changing the IT industry. In the future, the SONiC community will provide the industry with new and easier-to-use features, such as support for 400G networks, Chassis scenarios, Kubernetes management, high-speed RDMA and security modules.
With the continuous integration of open source software and open hardware, open source technology is profoundly changing the model for collaboration in the IT industry worldwide. As the world’s largest open computing community, OCP gathers the leading enterprises from around the globe to accelerate productization and industrialization at the community level, effectively promoting the penetration of cutting-edge technologies from hyperscale data centers to traditional data centers and thus driving the development of the entire industry.
Inspur Electronic Information Industry Co., LTD is a leading provider of data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and AI solutions, ranking among the world’s top 3 server manufacturers. Through engineering and innovation, Inspur delivers cutting-edge computing hardware design and extensive product offerings to address important technology arenas like open computing, cloud data center, AI and deep learning. Performance-optimized and purpose-built, our world-class solutions empower customers to tackle specific workloads and real-world challenges. To learn more, please go to www.inspursystems.com.