"The Microsoft cloud server specification essentially provides the blueprints for the datacenter servers we have designed to deliver the world's most diverse portfolio of cloud services," Laing said. Microsoft and Facebook are the only cloud service providers to publicly release the server specifications, he added.
Microsoft manages data centers with an installed base of over 1 million servers, and delivers more than 200 services for over 1 billion customers and more than 20 million businesses in over 90 markets, which requires attention to several system design principles, such as simplicity, modularity of the design and supply chain agility, Vaid said.
Microsoft Open Technologies, a Microsoft subsidiary focused on open standards and open source, is also releasing an open source reference implementation of the Chassis Manager specification. The code is already available on the GitHub code-sharing repository, and offers functions such as server diagnostics, and fan and power supply control.
The move by Microsoft comes ahead of a two-day Open Compute Summit in San Jose, California, that starts Tuesday. Laing is scheduled to deliver a keynote on the first day at the summit, when he will announce that Microsoft is joining the Open Compute Project.
Microsoft may be joining the Open Compute Project to better understand the community ahead of Linux and the do-it-yourself mentality spreading to the enterprise market, Moorhead said. It will give the company an opportunity to better understand the way the community functions and the best practices, he added.