League of Legends is the most-played, multi-player PC game in the world, with gamers logging nearly 1.3 billion hours of play time. The Riot Games title has more hours logged than World of Warcraft and Minecraft.
With that kind of scale, Riot Games faced some challenges that any company experiences when they have that kind of load in its data center. Electricity costs, server capacity and a host of other issues emerged. Riot Games saw in Open Compute a chance to lower its costs by using a server rack that Facebook designed with scaling in mind.
League of Legends runs on the Open Compute Project hardware, using the same standardized racks that Facebook uses in its data centers. Riot Games’ adoption of Open Compute specs, particularly the Open Compute Rack (OCR), illustrates the value of open hardware and shows how quickly the movement is progressing. From test to production to implementation, the game publisher took about three months to implement the OCR. According to Open Compute:
Open Rack is the first rack standard that’s designed for data centers, integrating the rack into the data center infrastructure, part of the Open Compute Project’s “grid to gates” philosophy, a holistic design process that considers the interdependence of everything from the power grid to the gates in the chips on each motherboard.
In this interview from the Open Compute Summit, I spoke with Steve Ichinaga, senior vice president of Hyve Solutions, the company that worked with Riot Games to integrate Open Rack.