Open source is powering the digital enterprise

BrandPostBy Brent Doncaster
Aug 02, 2017
Analytics Big Data Cloud Computing

Dell EMC contributions to the next generation of open source

By leveraging broad based collaboration and strong communities of independent developers, open source innovation is transforming the very core of information technology and enabling organizations to win in today’s digital economy. As a community we all gain from these efforts.

Technology is now being strategically applied to support the fast-paced and rapidly changing demands of businesses and the customers they serve. In the new digital reality, an organization’s cloud, application, IoT, and data analytics strategies (to name a few) can make or break an organization’s success. Businesses are realizing they are now in the technology business.

This drive to meet business needs for innovation has in-part led to a surge in the adoption of enterprise-grade open source technology. A 2016 survey by North Bridge & Black Duck on the “Future of Open Source” reported respondents see open source “as an engine for innovation, with 90% reporting they rely on open source for improved efficiency, innovation and interoperability.”

The Dell EMC approach to open source is driven by three core principals, namely:

1)     That open source efforts are developed in the best interests of the community

2)     Projects are executed with complete transparency and openness

3)     Open source technologies are made to be consumable by the widest range of users and organizations

Dell EMC support for open source projects

Here are a few examples to illustrate our strong belief in and commitment to all things open.

Dell Technologies’ {code} team is a group of passionate open source engineers and advocates building community through contribution and engagement in emerging technologies. The {code} team contributes to and creates open source projects, acts in the interest of building a community and drives awareness of emerging technology trends. The {code} Community has grown to over 4,000 members who have open dialogues across company boundaries from topics ranging from contributions to cloud native projects, discussing persistent storage in containers to virtual reality and drone racing.

{code} has created and shepherded over 95 open source projects through the DevHigh5 program, which solve community challenges. Two of the projects are:

  • REX Ray – the container storage orchestration engine enabling persistence for cloud native workloads. Because supporting persistent storage with containers has been challenging, REX-Ray was created to ensure front-end interoperability with cloud native orchestrators and runtimes to persist data irrespective of a container’s lifecycle and through its support for a broad range of storage platforms. Developers have the flexibility to run any application (statefull or otherwise) in containers with their chosen storage platform(s).
  • RackHD – automates typically laborious manual processes for firmware and BIOS updates. It serves as an abstraction layer between other management layers and the underlying, vendor-specific physical hardware. By combining open source tools with an event-based workflow engine RackHD makes it possible to architect custom deployment workflows and pass dynamic configuration details with its open API.

Additional efforts include:

EdgeX Foundry Project –is building an open source ecosystem of interoperable plug-n-play devices for IoT edge computing designed to run on any hardware and operating system. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, EdgeX will help unify the IoT marketplace and help enable developers to create IoT solutions quickly. Dell EMC contributed more than 125,000 lines of source code developed over nearly two years to spearhead the project and to help create interoperability for edge analytics, security, system management and other IoT processes.

Dell EMC Open Networking – started in 2014 this community initiative has the simple goal of providing new levels flexibility and agility by decoupling networking switching hardware from its software. With open networking organizations can innovate in software to better tailor their services to match their customer’s needs. In 2016, Dell EMC contributed our Operating System 10 (OS10) Open Edition software to the OpenSwitch project. Dell EMC’s OS10 open network operating system is offered to customers for free and runs a fully-open, unmodified Linux kernel and Debian distribution.

Project JetPack – a toolkit jointly developed by Dell EMC and Red Hat to address challenges in deploying OpenStack environments consistently and reliably and for automating OpenStack version updates without disrupting operations. JetPack automates the deployment of OpenStack services from bare metal to a fully functional OpenStack environment. We are now preparing to open source the entire Jetpack toolkit.

Developer laptops and workstations – this line of Linux-based developer and engineering systems has been developed completely in the open and driven by the input and support of the community.

Support for Foundations and Communities

At the community level, sponsoring and advocating for organizations such as Cloud Foundry Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Linux Foundation, Open Compute Project, OpenDaylight Foundation, OpenStack Foundation, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and we helped create the DMTF RedFish API open standard for management of scalable platform hardware. In addition to sponsorships/memberships, our team members participate as project contributors, foundation board members, project leaders, and as evangelists and advocates for various open source projects.  

We have always been big believers in open source, and open standards because open technologies make our customers successful by accelerating innovation, providing flexibility to customize solutions, and delivering the freedom to choose the ideal technology for their needs.

Learn more about the Open Source Effect on Dell EMC in Joshua Bernstein’s presentation @ Dell EMC World 2017