Categories: Third-Party Maintenance ||

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Third-Party Support Models for OCP Architecture Deployments

A heavily vetted, credibly-sourced infrastructure can be a corporate game changer for some companies. Still, there are caveats to consider when utilizing an open source technology like the Open Compute Project (OCP). On the front end of OCP: you get a free resource. But you also need to consider the subsequent responsibility for the lifecycle management of that resource.

Back in 2011, Facebook designed an open source reference architecture for data center hardware. It provides a spectrum of solutions for the “growing demands on computer infrastructure” and is available to the general public.

Common sense dictates that, from the start, you should establish whether OCP is compatible with your cloud initiatives. You are also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of that infrastructure.

No (Open Source) Help Desk to Be Found?

In many cases, there are no help desk solutions or SLA offerings to support your hardware—the original developer of the open source reference architecture typically doesn’t offer complimentary maintenance and services with their design. You can see this model at work in many open-source technologies already in your datacenter. Take Linux, for example. Companies like RedHat and Canonical build their software offerings around open source technologies—but their support offerings aren’t free. Customers not only purchase licenses the software itself (in the case of RedHat), they also pay for access to support teams as well.

What if you want to leverage open source hardware technologies like OCP? Where do you find support without resorting to DIY?

As we usually do when we see an industry need, CentricsIT has architected a solution to match. We provide cost-effective maintenance support to enable your autonomy over your OCP systems. And we let you do it without having to take the entire management lifecycle in-house as well.

Open Compute Project Support in Your Environment

OCP provides companies with specific architecture for hardware design and implementation—from which hard drives to use, to how they should be configured, to motherboard requirements, and Intel® chip placements. Often, these servers are configured using “white box hardware” from third-tier companies in Southeast Asia. These subsequent cobbled-together units are generic. They also don’t come with an OEM to which you can conduct your questions, concerns, or maintenance requests. You are on your own.

How are you supposed to support this environment without the maintenance support from an established OEM?

Proactive vs. Reactive Support

Stop being reactive to your hardware; it’s time to get proactive.

When it comes to OCP operations, sustainable hardware maintenance isn’t just about responding to tickets after the hardware has already failed. Rather, it’s about consistent monitoring and regular repair schedules. The reactive process is fraught with inefficiencies and budgetary waste. We prefer to mitigate the chance of hardware failure occurring at all[1].

And we accomplish this through more efficient data center management and batch repair processes.

Relying on Built-In Redundancy

Once you contract with our OCP support services, our CentricsIT SmartHands technicians will deploy to your data center several times a week—depending on your critical infrastructure and hardware needs—to physically walk the rows of servers.

Our specialists meticulously search for and document any amber lights or hardware errors that they find. They then open maintenance tickets on your behalf, adding the errors to a comprehensive list of troubleshooting and repairs that will be executed during the following walkthrough. Once a pattern has been established, our CentricsIT experts will walk into your data center each time with a detailed list of hardware errors to resolve. Your hardware will be fixed at regular intervals, reducing both server downtime and unnecessary maintenance expenditures.

In doing this, we relieve the strain of maintenance from your IT team and return to them the time and the resources necessary to focus on future projects and development. We are also respectful of your IT OPEX restrictions. Our global reach within secondary markets enables us to accomplish hardware procurement and repair without the prevalent price gouging of OEMs—which may be why you began looking at OCP to begin with.

We’re good at maintenance, but we always like to take IT a step further. We’ve got your OCP support from here.

[1] Don’t worry. We respond in real-time when you need us. Check out our client-favorable SLAs that accommodate for those rare P1 level issues.