What has EMC been up to? Working on Open Source RackHD Software...

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Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Where are the new hardware announcements?

Since announcing the Dell/EMC merger, both companies have been very quiet on the hardware front. But there have been some movements on the software side of the business.

News of the upcoming merger with Dell has overshadowed virtually everything else that EMC has tried to do since last October. And as a hardware vendor, many analysts have been surprised about the lack of new product releases announced.

But the reality is that EMC has been busy working on the software side of their business. And their efforts could have long lasting benefits for the enterprise storage market.

Embracing Open Source

The increased complexity of the modern storage environment is creating new challenges for the CTO on an almost daily basis. To help CTOs regain control of their storage, EMC is working on a collection of tools that will help build the software-defined datacenter of the future.

EMC’s latest release, RackHD, is aimed at the emerging commodity hardware market, simplifying the management of each component part. Deploying firmware or BIOS upgrades across the entire storage estate can be managed from the central RackHD console for instance. In the age of hyperscale infrastructure, tools that effectively simplify management will become invaluable.

Good news for vendor agnostic datacenters

Perhaps more important is the recognition that datacenters are becoming increasingly vendor agnostic. RackHD has been designed to interface with hardware from a wide range of vendors, beyond EMC’s own equipment.

This open approach to management also provides CTOs with greater choice when it comes to extending their storage provisions. Avoiding vendor lock-in helps better manage costs and leaves more options available for future developments. 

As you would expect with an Open Source toolkit, RackHD also offers an API for developers to extend the core functionality of the system – and to potentially increase the range of supported hardware. Taking this to its logical conclusion, CTOs could potentially extend their use of hardware indefinitely, well beyond the OEM’s EoSL.

EMC may not have released any brand new hardware recently, but their latest software contributions may be far of far greater interest in the long run.