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Facebook's Open Compute Project eyes accessible, scalable network switches

Facebook's two-year-old Open Compute Project is fast becoming a potential cure-all for servers, with efforts underway that tackle efficiency, storage and monolithic design. Its next target: the frequently closed-source, small-scale world of network switches. The OCP team wants networking devices as open and scalable as the servers underneath them, and it's teaming up with heavy hitters such as Broadcom, Intel and VMware to make that happen. Unlike past initatives, though, there isn't an obvious template to work from. When development starts at the OCP Engineering Summit on May 16th, the alliance will be starting from scratch -- which suggests that we'll be waiting a long time to see what truly flexible switches can do.