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Open source projects created by Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn

Matthew Finnegan | June 28, 2016
Some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world have offered their technology to IT communities

"It's a highly scalable machine learning system," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said of TensorFlow in a blog post. "TensorFlow is faster, smarter, and more flexible than our old system, so it can be adapted much more easily to new products and research."

4. Facebook - Open Compute Project

Facebook - Open Compute Project
Image: Open Compute Project

Facebook has taken an interesting approach to its open source endeavours, focusing to a large degree on hardware rather than software.

The social media giant launched the initiative, which aims to share its data centre design innovations, four years ago in an attempt to "revolutionise data centre hardware". 

"The result is that today we have open-sourced every major physical component of our data centre stack - a stack that is powerful enough to connect 1.39 billion people around the world and is efficient enough to have saved us $2 billion in infrastructure costs over the last three years. But we're not finished - not even close."

Initiatives include Yosemite, announced earlier this year as what Facebook claims to be the 'first open source modular chassis for high powered microservers'.

Whether or not the OCP will filter down to more mainstream businesses remains to be seen - though some of the larger enterprises are using it, such as big banks, with Goldman Sachs represented on the board - but a number of tech firms such as Apple and Microsoft have already been won over.

5. Google - Open Compute Project

Google - Open Compute Project

Google announced on Wednesday that it would join OCP, adding to the ranks of service providers and some the world's largest banks such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Google proposed a new design for server racks that could help cloud data centers cut their energy bills.

Its first contribution will be a new rack design that distributes power to servers at 48 volts, compared with the 12 volts that's common in most data centres.

"Today's launch is a first step in a larger effort. We think there are other areas of possible collaboration with OCP," wrote John Zipfel, technical program manager, Google, in a blog post.

"We've recently begun engaging the industry to identify better disk solutions for cloud based applications. And we think that we can work with OCP to go even further, looking up the software stack to standardise server and networking management systems."

6. Facebook - Big Sur

Facebook - Big Sur

Facebook progressed its open source hardware concept recently, providing a server framework that is targeted directly at AI use cases - dubbed Big Sur. By sharing its server blueprints, the social network firm went a step further than Google with its recent decision to open source its own AI software library, TensorFlow.

 

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