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EMC opens up ViPR, hope developers take to it

LAS VEGAS — You don’t usually associate EMC with open or free, but at EMC World today the vendor said it is making ViPR an open-source project and is offering a free non-production version of its ScaleIO storage software.

Project CoprHD will make the storage automation and control functionality code for ViPR Controller open for community-driven development. EMC plans to make CoprHD available on GitHub in June, licensed under the Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL 2.0).

It will enable customers, partners, developers and other storage vendors to contribute new services and applications for ViPR. ViPR automates storage management and can virtualize EMC and third-party storage into one pool. EMC would like to draw more developers into working on ViPR and would welcome the embrace of the OpenStack community.

Free ScaleIO is an unlimited capacity version of EMC’s shared block storage software available for non-production use. EMC also launched the ScaleIO Product Community on the EMC Community Network (ECN). Customers, partners and developers can download EMC ScaleIO software from ECN. EMC’s goal is to tempt customers with the free version, and convince them to upgrade to a paid production license.

Skeptics might say EMC is opening ViPR because it can’t get third parties to develop to it, but EMC president of products Jeremy Burton said it is part of new strategy.

Burton pointed out that EMC’s acquisition of CloudScaling last year gave it an OpenStack-powered cloud technology and the EMC Pivotal group’s Cloud Foundry service is community based.

“This is a big philosophical shift inside EMC,” Burton said. “I don’t think we could have done this a few years ago. We’re making our customers part of our development process.”

Burton said he would like to see ViPR embraced by the OpenStack community.

“We would rather contribute to existing OpenStack projects than stand alone,” he said. “If we could move ViPR to be more part of OpenStack, that would be the preferred route.

C.J. Desai, president of EMC’s emerging technologies division, said he expects more EMC software to be made available for developers.

“This is the beginning, its step number one,” he said.