EMC scales up and opens up with software

  • Software the ‘key enabler’ to creating compelling business outcomes, it says
  • Also dedicates resources to developer and open source community
EMC scales up and opens up with software

THE second day of EMC World 2015 in Las Vegas that concluded this week shifted focus to the software side of the business, with multiple announcements revolving around managing big data, content creation and software-defined storage.
During his keynote address during the first day of EMC World, EMC Information Infrastructure chief executive officer David Goulden said that software is the “key enabler” to creating compelling business outcomes.
“Software is not just about killer apps, it’s about enabling smart devices and moving forward in an interconnected world,” he added.
Among the announcements were updates to Pivotal Big Data Suite, designed to help customers manage ballooning data sets driven by mobile, cloud, social, and the Internet of Things, and to tackle the most complex queries across these data sets at unprecedented speed, scale, and flexibility, according to the company.
This includes upgrades to EMC’s enterprise-grade Pivotal HD Apache Hadoop distribution, and up to 100x performance improvements for its analytic solutions, including Pivotal Greenplum Database.
Driving the significant performance gains of Pivotal Greenplum Database and Pivotal HAWQ is the new Pivotal Query Optimizer, an advanced cost-based query optimiser for big data, which EMC claimed delivers significant performance boosts to Pivotal HAWQ.
The suite delivers the first version of Pivotal HD based on an Open Data Platform (ODP) core and includes major updates to Apache Hadoop components, including Apache Spark.
The offering allows companies to modernise their data infrastructure, discover more insights with advanced analytics, and build applications at scale with a number of leading data products available to them at one subscription price, EMC claimed.
It includes recently announced application services that give developers the ability to leverage SQL and NoSQL databases, in-memory processing, and real-time environments to ensure high availability and resilience of strategic apps.
Pivotal Big Data Suite components can be deployed on commodity hardware, pre-certified appliances, virtualised and private cloud instances, and in public clouds.
A new horizon
EMC also announced new product offerings related to the future of content management.
As part of a new multi-year vision, EMCs Enterprise Content Division (ECM) announced Project Horizon, a next-generation content platform and apps marketplace to help CIOs (chief information officers) and enterprises drive their digital agenda, strengthen their competitive advantage, and harness the untapped value of business content.
Melissa Webster, programme vice president of Content and Digital Media Technologies at research firm IDC, said that component- and cloud-based architectures offer enterprises significant benefits in time to market, economies of scale, and business agility.
“At the same time, customers need a path to the future that lets them leverage and extend their existing investments.
“We are seeing growing interest in cloud – in its many variations – for ECM and for cloud-based content applications that automate critical enterprise business processes,” she added.
The Project Horizon marketplace will be curated by EMC, and will include both EMC-built and partner-built apps and solutions. The latest offerings of Documentum Capital Projects Express and Documentum Life Sciences Solutions Suite will also be available on Project Horizon.
Scaling out
EMC also announced the ScaleIO Product Community on the EMC Community Network (ECN).
The ScaleIO Product Community is designed to be an interactive information exchange platform for technical support, questions for ScaleIO experts, product documentation, downloads, user guides, FAQs and training.
Through this community, EMC will allow customers, partners and developers to download EMC ScaleIO software for free for non-production use, without restrictions on time or capacity.
This is designed to enable customers to create full-fledged ScaleIO environments for free non-production use before upgrading to a paid production licence.
EMC ScaleIO offers a software-only solution that turns existing server storage into shared block storage to help empower IT organisations with flexible and scalable performance and capacity on demand.
This hardware-agnostic, software-defined converged storage platform has been designed with enterprise-grade resiliency to power next-generation applications requiring hyper-scale and lower operational cost, EMC said.
Its scale-out server SAN (storage area network) architecture enables customers to grow from just a few servers to thousands of servers with linear performance scalability, the company claimed.
EMC also previewed future enterprise-grade enhancements for ScaleIO to power critical business applications and large-scale, rapidly growing infrastructures.
The enhancements, which will be made generally available later this year, are planned to deliver new features to meet the emerging needs of enterprise customers and service providers deploying Third Platform applications.
These enhancements will expand upon existing enterprise-grade capabilities to support strategic priorities for IT organisations and will address the areas of high availability, security, resiliency and supportability, EMC said.
The company also announced a new deployment option and alternative consumption choice for ScaleIO – customers can now choose to use ScaleIO as a software-only solution from EMC, or as a fully integrated Hyper-Converged Rackscale System through VCE.
Opening up to the community
EMC also announced plans to release an open source project based on EMC ViPR Controller, Project CoprHD, into the open source community, its first project based on one of its commercial software products.
ViPR Controller is storage automation software that centralises and transforms EMC and third-party storage into a simple, extensible and open platform.
EMC said it will continue to sell the commercial version of Project CoprHD, the EMC ViPR Controller, as a fully supported offering.
ViPR Controller is offered as a key enabler for Third Platform applications that require fully integrated, next-generation scale-out storage architectures.
Project CoprHD makes the code for ViPR Controller – all the storage automation and control functionality – open for community-driven development.
Planned for availability on GitHub next month, Project CoprHD is expected to be licensed under the Mozilla Public Licence 2.0 (MPL 2.0) and enables customers, partners, developers and other storage vendors to access, expand and contribute to its breadth and depth of features and functionality.
Positioned in the data centre as a single, open control plane for multivendor storage, Project CoprHD offers the same level of flexibility, choice, security and transparency as ViPR Controller, while adding the ability to create new services and applications, EMC said.
Building a strong developer community is crucial to the future success of EMC’s software-defined storage and storage automation and management products, the company said.
To ensure strong support for this effort, EMC is investing engineering and community resources to contribute and support Project CoprHD. In addition, it also recently launched EMC {code}, the Community Onramp for Developer Enablement.
EMC {code} is a technical evangelism team focused on enabling the DevOps community with EMC technology by contributing to open projects and DevOps events. Project CoprHD and EMC {code} are considered two essential components to EMC’s overall open source strategy.
While EMC said it supports and contributes to the open source community in a number of ways, Project CoprHD is a critical step in its open source strategy.
EMC is a founding member of – and chairs – the Cloud Foundry Foundation and recently announced the EMC OpenStack Reference Architecture Partner Programme.
Gabey Goh reports from EMC World in Las Vegas at the kind invitation of EMC Corp. All editorials are independent.
Previous EMC World 2015 stories:
EMC chief on what businesses need to transition to digital future
Unfazed by storage revenue dip, EMC lifts lid on innovations

With US$1bil in revenue, XtremIO unleashes ‘The Beast’
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