Open Compute Project Chief Frankovsky Quits Facebook

The promoter of open-source data center designs will keep leading OCP and work for a storage startup

Open Compute Project Foundation leader Frank Frankovsky, who founded the project with colleagues at Facebook to help foster scalable data centers in large enterprises, has left the social-networking company for an optical storage startup.

Frankovsky was vice president of hardware design and supply chain operations at Facebook. Jason Taylor, director of infrastructure, has been leading those teams for about a year as Frankovsky focused more on OCP, the company confirmed.

"Frank was a valuable member of the Facebook team. We look forward to continuing to work with him on the Open Compute Project, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors," the company said in a statement.

At OCP, Frankovsky will remain chairman and president. Also on Tuesday, he announced that Taylor and Microsoft Corporate Vice President Bill Laing have joined the foundation's board, bringing its membership to seven.

The idea behind OCP originated at Facebook, where Frankovsky and the company's engineering and supply chain teams started to build their own data-center equipment from components rather than buy finished servers and storage systems from vendors. In 2011, Facebook formed OCP to develop open-source specifications and designs for such systems. Companies including Intel, Dell, Rackspace and Red Hat were among the initial members of the group, which also includes Arm Holdings, Microsoft, Arista Networks and other participants.

"What started as a crazy idea has grown up to become a project that is having a positive impact on the entire industry," Frankovsky wrote in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

"I am planning to work on a new open-source hardware business focused on developing and delivering optical technology for capacity-optimized storage needs," he wrote.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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