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Microsoft Details Project Olympus Servers

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Microsoft presents the latest iterations of Project Olympus, its hardware take on Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP), with designs based on Intel, AMD, Nvidia and, surprisingly, ARM-based processors.

Microsoft Project OlympusPosited by the Windows maker as the "de facto open compute standard," Project Olympus is an open source server design aimed at advanced cloud workloads such as big data, machine learning and AI. The 2017 OCP Summit has the company show off Project Olympus running on Intel Xeon (Skylake and future updates featuring Intel FPGA or Intel-Nervana accelerators) and next-generation AMD "Naples" processors, marking AMD's increased push the server industry.

Interestingly, Microsoft is also working on a "long-term project" with Qualcomm and Cavium involving ARM-based cloud servers. Qualcomm and Cavium have designed motherboards for the Project Olympus form factor using ARM chips, namely Centriq 2400 and ThunerX2 ARM v8-A. Both are integrated systems-on-chps with PCIe, SATA and gigabits of ethernet.

Mark Chlebek to Head Pan-EMEA Ingram Micro Division

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Ingram Micro announces a change of leadership-- Mark Chlebek replaces Robert Beck as executive director of the distributor's pan-EMEA division, managing relationships with pan-EMEA vendor partners.

Mark ChlebekBeck will "gradually withdraw from the day-to-day business," before ending his 25 year career with the distributor.

A 20-year company veteran, having joined Ingram in 1997, Chlebek takes responsibility for "purchasing and business management" for regional vendor partners managed by the distributor on a centralised basis. As part of the EMEA senior management team he reports to global group president of EMEA Mark Snider.

IDC: Weaker Q4 for WLAN Market

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According to IDC the combined consumer and enterprise WLAN market sees flat revenue growth of 0.1% Y-o-Y in Q4 2016, while full-year 2016 revenues total $2.43 billion, a 3.1% increase.

The quarter is more positive for the enterprise segment, with revenues growing by 3.1% Y-o-Y to reach $5.4bn. Full year 2016 is also positive, with 7.2% growth leading to revenues worth $5.4bn. The analyst points out strong demand for network refreshes and digital transformation initiatives as main growth drivers leading to stronger growth over the 4.2% seen in 2015.


W. Europe sees enterprise WLAN growth of 2.1% in Q4 2016 and 5.9% for the full year, with Norway showing "significant" 30.8% Y-o-Y growth. CEE experiences a "moderate" -3.1% Y-o-Y decline in Q4 2016 while growing by 0.9% on a full-year 2016, with Hungary showing the strongest growth at 40.6% Y-o-Y. MEA is up by 5.9% Y-o-Y in Q4 2016 and 4.1% for the full year. Egypt leads the region, with Q4 2016 growth reaching 94.9% Y-o-Y.

Facebook Reveals More OCP Servers

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Facebook builds on its Open Compute Project (OCP) with four new servers-- Bryce Canyon, Yosemite v2, Tioga Pass and Big Basin, all designed to serve different functions for the social network.

Facebook Big BasinAs part of the OCP initiative, all server designs are freely available, and interested parties can take them, modify them and have them built by OEMs, be it Chinese companies such as Quanta or big vendors of the HPE variety. Facebook says a number of major companies are involved with OCP, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, AT&T and Verizon, among others.

Bryce Canyon is a refresh of Open Vault, the Facebook storage server design. It is a storage chassis able to hold 72HDDs in four OU, an HDD density 20% higher than Open Vault. A modular design allows multiple configurations, and it supports more powerful processors and a larger memory footprint. Cooling comes from larger 92mm fans able to simultaneously cool the front 3 rows of HDDs, and the design is compatible with the Open Rack v2 standard.

1 Beyond Intros Collaborate AVS Conferencing Solution

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1 Beyond announces the Collaborate AVS-- a conferencing solution designed to automatically focus the camera on the active speaker designed for larger meeting rooms, classrooms and panel discussions.

1 Beyond CollaborationThe Collaborate AVS gives a close-up view of the person talking, and can be used for video conferencing as well as recording, streaming or IMAG (Image Magnification). No camera operator is required, since switching is automatic.

The system handles up to 8 cameras and 250 microphones placed anywhere, and it even accomodates rooms where the presenter and audience face different directions. Configuration comes through a browser-based interface, and other features include a side-by-side Conversation mode (when two people are in conversation) and integration with the 1 Beyond Auto Tracker camera following a mobile presenter.

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