News & Insights for the AI Journey|Sunday, December 15, 2019
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EMC Expands Open Source Collaboration 

When the Cloud Foundry Foundation was launched last December, the open platform-as-a-service proponent also rolled out a new approach to open source development called "Dojo." The idea was to train developers and put their new application projects on a fast track.

EMC Corp., a founding member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation along with its Pivotal Inc. unit, said Thursday (March 19) it will invest $10 million in the Cloud Foundry Dojo initiative over the next three-to five years with the launch this summer of training center at its Cambridge, Mass., location.

The open source initiative is also part of the storage leader's continuing shift toward enterprise hybrid cloud deployments, which it considers "a vital market for [EMC] to lead." EMC's Isilon unit announced a series of software-defined storage initiatives in February that also target new cloud markets like big data analytics.

EMC and hybrid cloud rivals like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and SAP along with potential EMC spinoff VMware are all backing the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a way, according to EMC, to avoid vendor lock-in on a single cloud platform.

The training initiative "signals a new strategic focus for EMC as a major contributor to open source," the company added.

Along with intensive training and application development, the dojo concept is designed to help developers gain full contributor, or "committer" status on an open source development project. Under normal circumstances, gaining "commit rights" can take a year or more. The Cloud Foundry Dojo initiative is designed to reduce the time required to gain the status to as little as six weeks.

EMC said its Cambridge center could train as many as 138 open source developers in the first year.

The Cloud Foundry dojo initiative builds on an agile application development process developed by San Francisco-based Pivotal, which EMC acquired in March 2012. The "paired programming" approach teams software coders with Cloud Foundry veterans on projects extending up to 12 weeks. Along with qualifying new open source application developers, the foundation is instituting a certification program "to ensure consistency and compatibility across Cloud Foundry-branded products and services."

Cloud Foundry members are also betting that the expanding role of DevOps in the enterprise along with the shift to hybrid clouds will fuel the platform-as-a-service market. Cloud Foundry said it aims to ensure the platform remains open source.

Meanwhile, EMC has been expanding on other cloud fronts, including a push into software-defined storage capabilities via its data lake initiative. EMC Isilon unit unveiled a "next-generation data access" push in February built around EMC's data lake approach that includes an Isilon network-attached storage platform. The 2.5x increase in maximum storage capacity would enable EMC data lake deployments with cluster sizes up to 50 PB, the company said.

Also part of the data lake push is support for both OpenStack Swift object storage and big data analytics push via a new "Hadoop bundle." Audie Hittle, CTO for emerging technologies at EMC's Federal unit, told an industry conference that the new software-defined storage push includes a data analytics capability to allow cloud compute resources to interact with data "in place."

Combined with its other open source initiatives, the storage leader also is collaborating with other partners like Cloudera to develop reference architectures that could yield a "cloud in a box" offering, Hittle said.cloud-foundry-logo

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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