@DMc: Agreed. Google is taking the route of keeping its designs private.
Facebook is betting if they get more people developing for them they could close the gap Google has in economies of scale. There's a human factor, too, in how fast big competing organizations (such as a Google) can shift to new technologies even if they are out in the open.
The question is at what point do the lawyers take over from the engineers and start stamping stuff as proprietary.
The lawyers don't operate in a vacuum. They get involved because corporate management sees money in owning the rights something.
That's unlikely to be the case here.FBdocuments impressive cost savings on a purpose-built-from scratch data center (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=101501440395639200), but what FB can do, someone else could reverse engineer if FB didn't release the specs.
And while the more efficient design saves money, it does not directly generate revenue or aid FB in its competition with Google.
It's no skin off FB's nose if others adopt their innovations, so why not make it open? You get the advantage of valuable contributions from folks who aren't part of your staff and may just haver come up with a neat idea you didn't think of.
I must admit that I have been impressed by the degree of openness that these companies have exhibited in these design innovations. The question is at what point do the lawyers take over from the engineers and start stamping stuff as proprietary.
This goes beyond just this example. Note the reporting that Junko has done on the increased interest among OEMs on doing their own ASIC design. Add to that the moves in low-volume manufacturing driven by 3D printing. You could make a case that companies are increasingly breaking from the distributed specialization model and moving to a more vertically integrated one. The next few years could be exciting.
@Larry: The big data center are definitely among the big drivers of directions in infrastructure gear design and technology these days. That coulod open up a gulf between their needs and those of the enterprise -- both of which vendors need to serve.
>> FB has to find unique and economical ways to store this much data. They need customized solution.
This has gone beyond Facebook to other firms. The data deludge is causing a lot of problems in the industry. Everyone wants to find a way to manage storage as they keep promining you can store anything for free. The business model is one of open things as from Yahoo to Google, no one is providing any limitation on how much you can store free. Dropbox main competitor will be one that will do all that is doing today free without any need for payment.
Customized solutions only for few companies..because they are able to show the money and social involement or public shares. Actually giant social networking sites like Facebook needs customized storage solutions, not that other sectors dont need. I am sure its all in the money power and people power.
We went from vertically integrated computer companies to distributed PC production based on interchangeable parts. It looks like we are moving into the next stage, where we have vertically integrated customer solutions for a few select companies. Where does that leave the rest of us?
With so many people around the world activ on Facebook, keeping huge amount of data and everything for free. FB has to find unique and economical ways to store this much data. They need customized solution.