03 July 2017
Ocado Technology – a division of the online supermarket – has come up with a free and open source package designed to simplify data centre architectures for smart factories.
The Kubermesh package uses container-based technology and the open source Kubernetes system to implement an on-premise private cloud architecture. Ocado says this then enables desktop computers to be easily configured to become nodes that support the compute or storage functionality typically delivered by a high-performance server in a data centre.
By distributing data centre functionality in a mesh network of nodes, it’s claimed Kubermesh removes the need for a dedicated data centre and complex networking infrastructure. Ocado says this leads to significant energy savings and reduces the capex and opex associated with maintaining on-premise high-performance servers.
The company adds that the nodes are fault-tolerant, secure, flexible, and are designed to process the vast amounts of real-time data generated in smart factories such as automated warehouses.
Chris Dabrowski, GM of infrastructure, operations and site reliability engineering at Ocado Technology, believes all this has the potential to revolutionise the way companies approach on-site data centre architectures.
He adds: “Kubermesh is an elegant and cost-efficient solution to running our highly-automated customer fulfilment centres based on a distributed network of computing nodes spread around the warehouse rather than high-performance servers concentrated in one large data centre.”
Ocado is planning to use the same container technology and Kubernetes system to build an upcoming massive multiplayer online game that teaches secondary school students the principles of AI.