Tuesday, 16th July 2019
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The Open Lab – a first in Europe – launches in central London

Europe’s first ‘Open Lab’ launches in London to accelerate adoption of Open Hardware and Software for European companies.

CSsquared and Volta Data Centres have launched The Open Lab, in London UK. The facility is aimed at organisations needing to plan a migration to super efficient and highly cost effective open compute and open stack technologies, as first pioneered by the Open Compute Project.
The Open Lab mirrors the ethos and ambitions of a Facebook lab in Menlo Park, California. Service providers and enterprises will be able to deploy and test their compute workloads on OCP-approved and OCP-inspired hardware and software, in a controlled, independent and collaborative environment.
Volta Data Centres will house The Open Lab at its Clerkenwell facility, in the centre of London. It will be built and operated by CSsquared, an open stack and open hardware integrator.
With support from the Open Compute Project, and guidance from Facebook, the lab brings together all the major players in the world of “Open” – Canonical, Redhat, Cumulus, QCT, Wiwynn, EdgeCore Networks and many others, yielding a truly open and collaborative environment for testing and evaluating these Open technologies.
“We’re proud to be a founding member of the The Open Lab and look forward to welcoming the first organisations into this unique European test facility,” says Jonathan Arnold, Managing Director at Volta Data Centres. “We see a growing interest from European data centre operators to explore the benefits of open hardware and software in a controlled environment.”
The lab will be built on 1U, 2U and 4U open compute servers, High Performance Compute servers, JBOD/JBOF storage devices and bare metal Ethernet switches. It will include operating environments from Canonical and others. Users will be able to:
  • Evaluate the performance of Open Hardware
  • Evaluate the performance of Open Stack software running on an Open Hardware platform including provisioning software, management software, data centre operating systems, virtual machine/containerised data management, application management platforms and storage management platforms
  • Migrate, validate and certify applications and workloads into an Open Stack environment running on Open Hardware
  • Develop and refine software based outcomes
Open Data Center initiatives have been mostly taking place in North America, but this is the first of its kind in Europe.
“Our vision is to bring the huge benefits of the open compute ecosystem - conclusively proven in the hyperscale environment - within reach of European organisations. It’s new and that can be a bit scary, especially if you’ve committed to the world view of one of the traditional hardware vendors. We’re here to help organisation prove the benefits for themselves, and then to make a planned, insight-driven migration to the ‘world of open’,says Keith Sullivan, Managing Director at CSsquared.
‘More companies are beginning to support open compute infrastructure, driven by the promise of cost savings and standardization, and suppliers are responding’, stated Jeffrey Fidacaro, senior analyst for the Datacenter Technologies channel at 451 Research. ‘We are seeing interest in open source datacenter designs gain momentum, particularly in Europe from telcos and financial institutions.’
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