This alliance marks the first time IBM is making its key server hardware and firmware available under license to other companies.
This alliance will be called OpenPower and will also include infiniband switch provider Mellanox Technologies, graphics chips developer Nvidia and server and motherboard maker Tyan Computer Corp. of Taiwan.
The OpenPower Consortium’s goal is to deliver the first, open server alternatives to the x86 architecture.
According to IBM sources, the strategy behind this alliance with Google and others is to extend Big Blue’s hardware future against hyperscale cloud data centers. It also lends to the current trend of data centre operators designing their own hardware rather than buying commodity hardware.
The OpenPower participants plan to build an open, development ecosystem that will build customized cloud servers and hardware.
The Consortium also plans to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology.
Steve Mills, senior vice president, and group executive, IBM Software & Systems, said the founding members of the OpenPower Consortium represent the next generation in data centre innovation. Combining IBM talents and assets around the Power architecture can greatly increase the rate of innovation throughout the industry. Developers now have access to an expanded and open set of server technologies for the first time. This type of ‘collaborative development’ model will change the way data center hardware is designed and deployed.
Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox, said the Consortium’s mission is to further accelerate the rate of innovation, performance and efficiency for advanced data centre solutions. Open source and community development are key to enabling innovative computer platforms and better serve the scalable and emerging applications in the areas of high-performance, Web 2.0 and cloud computing.
As part of their initial collaboration within the consortium, Nvidia and IBM will work together to integrate the CUDA GPU and Power ecosystems.