EMC World Day 3: Emerging Technology and the Force of Open Source
EMC World 2015 is in the books. Fallout Boy and One Republic put on an amazing show, and the after parties were pretty wild. But, the biggest force around Emerging Technology, and possibly the whole show, was open source.
The reason was EMC’s announcement of Project CoprHD (pronounced “Copperhead”), an open source version of ViPR controller that is expected to be available through GitHub next month. CoprHD is a huge milestone in that it’s EMC’s first open source release. But, according to C.J. Desani, President of EMC’s Emerging Technology Division, it will be far from the last. Open source is now a big part of EMC’s strategy and future, and we supported that vision by providing a very early preview of Project Caspian; appliance running OpenStack on commodity hardware (think OpenStack in a box), which EMC expects to contain significant open source components.
So, why open source, and why now?
As Jeremy Burton (EMC’s President of Products and Marketing) said, the reason is two fold. First, open source will enable us to move faster through community development. Second, we want to remove objections to vendor lock-in. And while these objectives will be true for all the code EMC commits to open source, I think it’s especially important for ViPR Controller/CoprHD.
ViPR Controller is an abstraction layer, and most enterprises have heterogeneous IT environments. So, to realize the full potential of ViPR, customers need that abstraction layer to support most, if not all the attributes of all their underlying storage. By going open source, platform teams or other third parties can build in the support themselves, driving richer virtualization at a much greater velocity.
In addition, there’s a potentially even greater open source benefit to consider: use case/application support.
One of the things that was clear at EMC World 2015 was that platform 3 is about rapid application cycles. I believe Jeremy Burton used the analogy of Pets (Platform 2) vs Chickens (Platform 3). You take care of pets for the long haul and- with the exception of crazy cat ladies- you don’t keep THAT many of them in your house. Chickens on the other hand, are kept in greater number, have a much shorter useful lifecycle, and are likely to be swapped out pretty frequently.
This dynamic means that the ability to RAPIDLY support new use cases (chickens), with a limited economic and development cycle horizon, is going to be critical for every infrastructure element…. It’s a development funnel challenge, and this is why EMC’s open sourcing of ViPR is going to be such a boon for our customers.
The open source community brings diversity of thinking, experience, and more dynamic economic models. So whether customers are trying to address long-standing challenges, like migration and agility (I’ll be sharing a really cool demo of this in a couple of weeks), or innovating to address new opportunities conceived in social and mobile, open source will give customers access to an even larger base of resources to add new value to their businesses.
The convergence of cloud and big data will create some pretty amazing opportunities for IT professionals. Adding this open source strategy to the mix doesn’t change that, but it will enable IT to capitalize on fast moving opportunities much more quickly.