Another way to Look at Open Compute Project, a Massive Open Online Course

Economist has a post on Higher Education being disrupted by Massive Open Online Courses.  There are only a few of us in the data center industry who think about this if they are facing their kids path in higher education.  What is closer to what we encounter is why go to a data center conference?  The more experienced find there is little to learn at a conference and it is not worth thousands of registration fee and T&E to go to a conference.

Massive open online forces

The rise of online instruction will upend the economics of higher education

Feb 8th 2014 | From the print edition

UNIVERSITIES have not changed much since students first gathered in Oxford and Bologna in the 11th century. Teaching has been constrained by technology. Until recently a student needed to be in a lecture hall to hear the professor or around a table to debate with fellow students. Innovation is eliminating those constraints, however, and bringing sweeping change to higher education.


A senior analyst for one of the highly respected IT advisory companies once went to Open Compute Summit and late at night after a few drinks he was talking to Frank Frankovsky and told Frank he should charge to attend the OCP Summits.  He said that his company charges thousands to attend yet there is more useful content from OCP than his company’s events.  I’ve been to both and I would agree I would pay for OCP before his company’s events.

OCP has taken a leadership position to be free to attend and content is free to use.  What other data center event can you go to that has free attendance and free to get to the content, including no registration.This is drawing in users and knowledge from the people who have good things to say yet don’t have the marketing budget to sponsor events or the experience to get their talk in as a presentation.

Any one can find flaws in OCP, and those flaws are exposed to all to see and make comments.  That’s part of being Open.  What data center conference do you attend where you feel like you can freely express your opinion?

OCP’s success is coming at the expense of other data center events that can’t compete against free and open.  With 3,500 registered attendees, 2,400 or more who showed up, and thousands watching the live stream it is a force of change.  Companies who want to reach the OCP audience of scale-out data center infrastructure, hardware, and software continue to support the event.

Media coverage of OCP beats most data center events.  I honestly can’t say what data center event consistently has media coverage better than OCP.