Oct 30, 2020
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America, Inc.
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (Ichiro Tsuge, President & CEO; headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America, Inc. (Nagaki Fujioka, President & CEO; headquartered in California, USA) have delivered additional capacity of AI/big data infrastructure with the highly energy-efficient and operationally-efficient Open Compute Project (hereinafter "OCP")*1 to Actapio*2, the US subsidiary of Yahoo Japan Corporation (hereinafter "Yahoo! JAPAN"),
Yahoo! JAPAN has been pursuing the reduction of operational costs by running its large-scale AI/big data infrastructure with OCP servers in its Washington state-based data center as leveraging the low cost electricity since 2015. For the continuous improvement of the operational efficiency by adopting OCP for its AI/big data infrastructure, Yahoo! JAPAN launched its second data center in the United States in 2019 and continued to deploy OCP servers. In this expansion, 3,000 servers (over 100 racks), including dedicated AI (machine learning) servers equipped with NVIDIA V100 GPUs have been deployed by ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America.
In March, in the midst of the disruption of manufacturing and logistics supply chains across North America and Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was pushed ahead full-steam. Actapio, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)/original design manufacturers (ODMs)*3, and parts manufacturers worked together to establish a risk management process. Besides utilizing the benefits of OCP with standardized components for the competitive procurement, the project succeeded in visualizing and managing supply chains that span more than 100,000 items, such as PCBs, fans, CPUs, memories, and other parts inside of servers. Capturing and responding to the dynamically changing situations experienced by a number of countries around the world, in addition to the impact that these conditions have on manufacturing and logistics, the project completed by September while taking measures against potential risks.
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America continues to improve its deployment processes, through its OCP activities with Facebook that began in 2013 and its involvement in various other projects. In this project, we have also leveraged the standardization and automation expertise and have achieved both hedging of supply chain risk by distributing manufacturers and deployment partners and pursuing quality assurance.
With the aim of continuing to grow and advance its operational expertise, Actapio is also actively pursuing activities with open communities, including Cloud Native.*4 The ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Group will continue to maximize its comprehensive capabilities, addressing challenges collaboratively and as a dedicated partner of Yahoo! JAPAN and Actapio, and contribute to the improvement of quality over its service and the value creation.
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions received the following comments about this announcement.
In March, while supply chains were disrupted by the pandemic, the OCP server deployment process was given to move ahead at full steam. While a delay in the schedule was easily imaginable, as server and component production sites are globally distributed, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America and the manufacturers participating in this project actively shared information. This level of transparency in communication and collaboration enabled us to rapidly re-arrange the series of processes to complete this deployment without delay. We regularly work together with an open communication with manufacturers in OCP. I believe the project couldn't have built this significantly transparent deployment process and without OCP.
Actapio's OCP activities
In the OCP community led by Facebook and other leading companies, Actapio is consistently at the cutting-edge of the large-scale deployment of OCP, accumulating operational expertise every step of the way. Through presentations at the Open Compute Summit, etc., Actapio demonstrates its leadership by presenting the value that OCP creates and the effects of deployment. Furthermore, Actapio also collaborates in the development of the community, by contributing to the development of rack mounting kits that enable the use of OCP in 19-inch racks.
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions/ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America's OCP activities
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America have been providing professional services for companies adopting OCP via its core technological examination and verification support, in reference to the OCP activities demonstrated by Facebook and other operators that manage large, "hyper-scale," IT infrastructure. In addition, in cooperation with various ODMs manufacturing OCP-specified servers and storage and related vendors, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America provides competitive procurement process and total service from the delivery of rack units through to maintenance support. Together with customers and partners, including Actapio, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions America continue to invest more in the open source eco-system, aiming to expand business.
- *1 OCP: Open Compute Project led by large IT user companies including Facebook, with the goal of designing hardware optimized for data centers by incorporating requirements from the user perspective. OCP began when Facebook openly shared its specifications designed to achieve the greatest efficiencies for data center server infrastructure. ITOCHU Techno-Solutions concluded a Solution Provider Agreement with the Open Compute Project Foundation and became the first Solution Provider in Japan in 2013.
- *2 Actapio, Inc.: The company name was changed from YJ America, Inc to Actapio, Inc. in September, 2017.
- *3 OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer, a company manufacturing products based on the designs and specifications from an order placing company.ODM: Stands for Original Design Manufacturer, a company taking charge of design as well as manufacturing under the brand name of an order placing company.
- *4 Cloud Native: A general term for approaches in application development and advanced operation that began to be applied on a large scale after Kubernetes, which enables container orchestration, was open-sourced. Cloud Native is promoted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and hundreds of companies participate worldwide. Various activities including the spread of open source projects concerning containers, microservices and orchestration have been promoted.
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