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Taneja Blog / Data Center Systems

EMC Releases ViPR into the Wild - Storage Controllers for Everyone!

At EMC World 2015 this year EMC made a bunch of announcements, but one of the most discussed, and causing the most head-scratching, was the open sourcing of their ViPR storage controller as the new Project CoprHD. Why would EMC give away the core automation component to their much bandied about "Platform 3" strategy?

According to the new projects FAQ -

Making ViPR Controller available as the CoprHD project in the open source community allows customers, partners, service providers, systems integrators and even other storage vendors to download, expand and contribute to ViPR Controller's breadth and depth of features and functions. 

Some are of course judiciously skeptical. This is EMC's first foray into open source. One cynic suggested that open sourcing was the best way to kill off an unwanted product, and EMC hasn't yet gotten storage virtualization/abstraction right in the past. And EMC has made some intersting changes in their Emerging Technologies Division in the last year - adding Isilon into the mix, moving ViPR object (inheriting from Atmos) into the ECS solution, sliding ScaleIO (block SDS) out of ECS  into the new VXRACK convergence solution (which is under the now EMC owned VCE).  Yet I think the open sourcing of CoprHD is a sincere strategic chess move.

In order to create the largest future market for their so-called Platform 3 solutions (although I think their 3-level platform model was way too simplistic and in fact is already breaking down even in their marketing - they were talking about "platform 2.5" solutions this year), they'll want a very wide adoption of ViPR controller automation - almost as standard common platform API's (might Openstack eventually adopt CoprHD?).  EMC already has a few years developing to the ViPR interfaces from both above (management solutions, etc) and below (from storage arrays).  And unlike IBM SVC rise to prominence, it's way too late in the storage industry game to get ViPR widely adopted in the back door as a storage migration tool.

I can feel my entrprenurial spirit rising myself as a I think about some possible storage/data service startups that could be built leveraging CoprHD.  Of course, EMC will have to bring some of those envisioned startups, excited partners, a growing storage vendor list, and a developer community to the stage by next EMC World to really get this going and prove they've done something significant here.

But even if that doesn't happen, or happen soon, there is little risk to EMC overall.  If folks widely adopt it, they have a cornerstone in all the storage of the future cloudy world. If they don't, they still have their majority footprint, and I'm sure, many other moves ready to play.

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  • Premiered: 05/14/15
  • Author: Mike Matchett
Topic(s): EMC ViPR CoprHD OpenStack SDS

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