Facebook steps up effort to prototype, deploy new network applications

Facebook used the [email protected] event to introduce Open/R, a custom-built, extensible distributed network application platform that was originally developed as a shortest-path routing system to power Terragraph, its multi-node wireless network that delivers high-speed internet connectivity in dense urban areas via short-hop transmission between small nodes.

Facebook says Open/R makes it possible to prototype and deploy new network applications much more quickly than with the industry's standard development process. "Being able to iterate quickly is central to our ability to improve the speed, efficiency, and quality of internet connectivity around the world," said Facebook network engineer Petr Lapukhov in a blog post.

Facebook will continue to iterate on Open/R and determine the best approach for contributing the software to the open source community and to the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). Cognizant of the demands that data-intensive services like video and virtual reality are bringing, TIP is Facebook's initiative designed to bring operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other tech companies together to collaborate. Facebook says it recognizes that no one company can tackle the problem alone, and driving a faster pace of innovation in telecom infrastructure is necessary to meet the new technology challenges. For more on Open/R, see this Facebook post