EMC Advances Open Source IT Automation Projects

Mike Vizard
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Five Innovations in the Data Storage Landscape

With the present course the IT industry is on, just about every vendor that makes any kind of infrastructure is developing a framework to automate the management of it. Naturally, that could lead to even more fragmentation in terms of how IT infrastructure gets managed across the enterprise.

Looking to rationalize all those competing IT automation frameworks, EMC this week launched an extensible RackHD open source project that creates a hardware management and orchestration framework and associated application programming interface (API) for automating the discovery, description, provisioning and programming across a broad range of servers and, in the future, networking equipment as well.

At the same time, EMC announced an update to an existing complementary open source storage automation project, dubbed CoprHD, which is based on the software that EMC originally created for its ViPR storage controller.

Version 2.4 of CoprHD adds support for EMC ECS object storage, as well as a new REST API for the EMC XtremIO 4.0 storage system. As of this week, Intel and Oregon State University have also joined the CoprHD Community as the newest contributors. Intel is leading a project to integrate Keystone with CoprHD, allowing the use of the Cinder API and/or the CoprHD API to provide block storage services in an OpenStack environment. Oregon State, meanwhile, is working on a plugin using a new southbound SDK that the CoprHD community created to integrate EMC ScaleIO storage systems with CoprHD.

Finally, EMC announced an update to its open source REX-Ray storage orchestration engine that adds support for container run-time engines such as Docker, as well as support for the Google Compute Engine cloud platform and EMC Isilon and EMC VMAX storage systems. Additionally, REX-Ray has been updated with a pre-emptive volume mount function that enables the host to reassign mounted volumes from non-responsive hosts.

Brad Maltz, senior director of converged infrastructure for EMC, says that in order for internal IT organizations to be able to offer an effective alternative to public cloud services that run on premise, they need to be able to easily embrace IT automation.

Today those internal IT organizations are confronted with multiple IT automation frameworks that wind up creating silos of automation inside their IT departments. Rather than letting that occur, Maltz says, EMC is proposing an open source framework through which the automation of all IT infrastructure will be unified as part of a truly software-defined data center. To that end, Maltz says, EMC anticipates that it will be working more closely with other open source IT automation frameworks to ensure compatibility across APIs.


As IT infrastructure APIs continue to evolve, it’s apparent that the management of all classes of IT infrastructure will soon be automated at levels of scale that once would have seemed unimaginable. The only issue now is figuring out exactly how to go about making that an everyday IT reality.



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