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Data Centre

We're not in ordinary servers anymore: EMC readies open sorcery spells

RackHD, CoprHD and REX-Ray - autocorrect paradise

Careful EMC, no good deed goes unpunished

EMC is weaving more Open Source strands into its activities with RackHD, the CoprHD open-source ViPR project, and REX-Ray. It wants IT shops with open source-based system application developers to be able to use EMC hardware.

RackHD is designed to manage and orchestrate server and network hardware resources at hyper-scale, and EMC claims it is platform-agnostic.

The idea behind it is to automate installing low-level operating systems or updating firmware and BIOS across devices, tens or hundreds of them, in a hyper-scale data centre environment.

It currently automates the discovery, description, provisioning and programming of a range of Intel-based servers. Meanwhile, networking products will be added at some point, with a roadmap already established for this.

An API is ready for developer use so RackHD can be used as a component in a larger orchestration system, or as a user interface for managing the hardware.

EMC says: "RackHD is already playing a key role in things such as VxRack, which of course runs on industry standard servers, enclosures and switches at massive scale. Virtustream and Pivotal are making use of it too."

A RackHD open source project is available under a v2.0 Apache licence and there is a RackHD project community established through EMC {code}, where you will also find REX-Ray and CoprHD.

The "{code}" bit stands for the Community Onramp for Developer Enablement.

The CoprHD community has released v2.4 of the technology, which adds support for EMC's Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), object storage software, and a REST API for XtremIO 4.0. There are two projects with Intel and Oregon State University for adding third-party storage support and OpenStack integration, which will expand CoprHD from being an EMC-only initiative.

CoprHD is available with the Apache 2.0 licence. Check out the community here.

REX-Ray is an open-source storage orchestration facility for containerised servers which provides persistent storage access for containers. Version 0.3 adds support for EMC's VMAX and Isilon, and Google Compute Engine (GCE) to the existing ScaleIO and XtremIO support.

It also has a pre-emptive volume mount function to enable hosts to reassign mounted volumes from non-responsive hosts to ensure apps maintain access to persistent storage.

There are REX-Ray prototypes that integrate with the VMware Photon Controller and Photon Machine layer.

We see here the power of developers and open source, with them and it being a doorway through which EMC on-premises storage products can continue to be used when, otherwise, non-EMC storage would be used instead.

Check out a blog with videos on RackHD by EMC CTO John Roese here and get EMC virtual geek Chad Sakac's view here. ®

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