HP, Quanta Computer Joining Facebook-Backed Open Compute Project

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Quanta Computer Inc. are among the new companies joining the Facebook Inc.-backed Open Compute Project, an effort started last year to improve efficiency in data-center and hardware designs.

The two companies are teaming up with other technology providers such as Dell Inc., Intel Corp. and Netflix Inc., which already have become official members. The addition of Quanta, the world’s largest contract manufacturer for laptops, and HP, the largest computer maker, will be announced today as part of the Open Compute Project summit, which is expected to draw more than 500 people in San Antonio.

“I really expected it to take a lot longer to have the type of impact that we’re having,” said Frank Frankovsky, vice president of hardware design and supply chain at Facebook. “The pace at which the momentum is building around this is pretty incredible.”

Facebook, owner of the world’s most popular social-networking service, is seeking ways to reduce energy consumption at its data centers, which power the site used by more than 900 million members. While improvements can lessen the impact of massive data centers on the environment, they also can cut costs.

Other new partners in the project include Salesforce.com Inc., FMR LLC’s Fidelity Investments and Baidu Inc. Frankovsky said there have been discussions with International Business Machines Corp., which has yet to become an official member.

The project, which was started by Facebook, became an independent organization in October. Frankovsky is chairman and president of the organization.

As part of today’s announcement, HP and Dell are introducing new server and storage designs that are compatible with project specifications. HP’s design is called “Project Coyote” and Dell’s is called “Zeus.”

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