EMC accelerates shift to open source

New RackHD Project attacks industry-wide challenge in hyper-scale data centres; CoprHD Community announces new release and new collaborations with Intel and Oregon State University.

Johannesburg, 28 Jan 2016
EMC Southern Africa Press Office
Read time 6min 10sec

Story highlights:
* EMC releases RackHD open source project available under Apache Licence, Version 2.0.
* RackHD offers platform-agnostic technology to drive more effective automation of hardware management and orchestration at hyper-scale.
* CoprHD Community releases first update, CoprHD 2.4, adding new support for EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) and EMC XtremIO 4.0.
* CoprHD Community launches two new projects with Intel and Oregon State University for adding third-party storage support and OpenStack integration.
* EMC updates REX-Ray storage orchestration engine with support for EMC VMAX, EMC Isilon and Google Compute Engine (GCE).

Building on its commitment to deliver major new contributions in the open source community, EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) today announced RackHD (Rack 'H' 'D'), a platform-agnostic technology stack designed to solve an industry-wide challenge of managing and orchestrating server and network resources at hyper-scale.

Additionally, the CoprHD Community announced the release of CoprHD 2.4 and new collaborations with Intel and Oregon State University, marking a significant community milestone as CoprHD grows beyond a single-vendor open source project.

Lastly, EMC also announced new updates to Project REX-Ray, its open source storage orchestration engine for use with containers provided by Docker, Mesos and others.

RackHD API available to developers

RackHD software offers hardware management and orchestration (M&O) that automates discovery, description, provisioning and programming across a broad range of servers today, and a roadmap to add networking devices in the future.

Modern data centres are a mix of multi-vendor storage, networking and servers with an increasing variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware being used for powering hyper-scale use cases. Installing low-level operating systems or updating firmware and BIOS across numerous devices is already a cumbersome manual task for data centre engineers and becomes orders of magnitude more difficult and costly at hyper-scale. RackHD was created to automate and simplify these fundamental tasks across a broad range of data centre hardware.

Developers can use the RackHD API as a component in a larger orchestration system or create a user interface for managing hardware services regardless of the underlying hardware in place. It is designed to help organisations accelerate deployment of modern (Platform 3) applications that rely on large numbers of commodity servers and heterogeneous infrastructure.

Today, RackHD supports a wide variety of Intel processor-based data centre servers and discovery and monitoring for switches. A RackHD Project community has been established through EMC {code}, the Community Onramp for Developer Enablement, to encourage contributions that will extend heterogeneous device support as well as to develop useful new features for the software-defined data centre. A detailed list of features is available on the RackHD Project community page on GitHub:

CoprHD Community releases CoprHD 2.4

CoprHD is open source storage automation software that centralises and transforms multi-vendor storage into a simple and extensible platform. The CoprHD Community made its first official release with CoprHD 2.4 to include new features, projects, community contributors and a new licensing switch to Apache Licence, Version 2.0. The new release expands the scope of CoprHD to include EMC ECS object storage, as well as a new REST API for EMC XtremIO 4.0 software. A detailed list of features and supported platforms is available on the Project CoprHD community:

Intel and Oregon State University 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. This feature allows organisations to provide a single storage management interface with CoprHD for their OpenStack services.

In an effort to further expand the CoprHD ecosystem, the CoprHD Community has developed a southbound Software Development Kit (SDK) designed to allow storage vendors and other third parties to more easily add support for other storage systems to CoprHD. Students at Oregon State University are developing the first plugin using the SouthBound SDK for a new EMC ScaleIO driver. This will eventually replace the ScaleIO driver in the current release and will serve as a test case for further development of the SouthBound SDK.

EMC {code} updates REX-Ray storage orchestration engine

EMC also announced a new release of its REX-Ray storage orchestration engine. REX-Ray is an open source project driven by EMC {code} that delivers persistent storage access for container run-times, including those provided by Docker, Mesos and others. It is designed to enable advanced storage functionality across common storage, virtualisation and cloud platforms.

The 0.3 release contains a variety of new updates through community contribution, including expanded storage platform support for GCE (Google Compute Engine) as well as 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. This ensures applications maintain access to persistent storage.


The RackHD Project is available under the Apache Licence, Version 2.0 and is hosted on GitHub at CoprHD 2.4 is available under the Apache Licence, Version 2.0 and is hosted at REX-Ray 0.3 is available under the Apache Licence, Version 2.0 and is hosted on GitHub at:

RackHD user comment

James Watters, Vice-President and General Manager, Cloud Platform Business, Pivotal, says: "Through a partnership with the RackHD Project team, Pivotal can now enable bare metal and hybrid deployments for the first time. The power and adaptability of RackHD has allowed for a transition from concept to demonstration of technology in just two weeks, with no changes to the core CloudFoundry code."

CoprHD community comments

Bev Crair, Vice-President and General Manager, Storage Group, Intel
"End-user demands for flexible, reliable performance of IT services are driving a shift in the storage industry towards software-defined storage solutions. The CoprHD Software-Defined Storage controller enables cloud platforms, such as OpenStack, to manage heterogeneous storage, which aligns both with Intel's commitment and contributions to the open source community and our storage vision."

Shayne Huddleston, Director IT Infrastructure, Oregon State University
"We discovered how difficult it was to implement any kind of automation tooling for a heterogeneous mix of storage systems. Collaborating with the CoprHD community will allow us to realise our goal of avoiding vendor lock-in and supporting our entire infrastructure."

EMC executive comment:

John Roese, Senior Vice-President and CTO, EMC Corporation
"It's an exciting time for EMC in this new development model, where we have EMC employees developing code directly that can help solve big industry challenges while advancing new technologies in a way that everyone can participate in, contribute, criticise and collaborate. RackHD, CoprHD and REX-Ray are technologies that address significant challenges in the software-defined data centre. We hope that by making these technologies open and accessible, our collective efforts with the development community will benefit a broad range of organisations and applications."


EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyse their most valuable asset - information - in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at

Editorial contacts
PBPR Pieter Bruwer (082) 776 6863
EMC Southern Africa Sonelia Du Preez (011) 581 0033
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