The Open19 Initiative, a foundation focused on open data center and edge solutions, has officially launched. The group hopes to create standardized solutions for open hardware and software solutions in data centers worldwide.

Originally formulated by the engineering team at LinkedIn, the initiative launched with additional founding members including Flex, GE Digital, HP Enterprise, and Vapor IO.

Open19 aims to develop a model for future data center construction that uses standardized racks and cages, and pre-defined network and power. The Open19 platform defines the form factor, power, and network to servers in the data center. The idea was to create a standard that could be applied in any 19-inch rack, promoting the idea that suppliers could produce interoperable servers that could be interchangeable in any rack environment.

open19.jpgThe first product from the foundation will be a new server developed on a common form factor. The foundation will work with other industry associations including the Open Compute Project and the Apache Foundation in order to define a cross-industry server form factor. This will then be used to develop a server that will be flexible and economical, and scalable to enterprises of all different sizes.

Open19 server specifications include a 19-inch 4-post rack, a brick cage that can be configured with brick, double brick and double high brick modules, and optional battery backup and networking switches. Power was set at 200-250 watts per brick, with snap-on data cables with 100G bandwidth per brick.

Ultimately, the goal of the foundation is to promote data center standardization solutions that are cost-effective, and scalable to any sized enterprise.

Yuval Bachar, president of the Open19 Foundation and Principal Engineer at LinkedIn said that Open19 has had a strong, positive response from the data center engineering community because it offers “a simple solution for a complex problem.”

“With the formation of the foundation, and the addition of our new partners, we can now begin capitalizing on this interest from the community and building on the vision for the Open19 open platform.”

Flex, the ‘sketch-to-scale’ engineering company, announced the creation of the first server and rack system built to Open19 specifications. Clients can either mix and match servers from partner companies that are built according to Open19 standards, or contract with Flex to build Open19 hardware and customized software solutions specifically for their company.

The Open19 initiative is open for contributions and new members, who will form a team of users, partners and suppliers.