EMC to Distribute Free, Open-Source Software for the First Time

By Dina Bass

(Bloomberg) –- EMC Corp. for the first time will make a product available free through an open-source license as the computer-storage company responds to customer demand and competitive pressure.

Corporate information-technology staff increasingly are turning to open-source tools -- which developers can use free, with few restrictions -- as they build systems for the cloud, mobile services and handling large volumes of data. Large software makers including Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. also have made some products available through open-source code. The hope is that users of the code will buy other products and support services.

“At least for this new world, it is not going to be your father’s EMC,” Jeremy Burton, the company’s president for products and marketing, said in an interview. “It’s the first of probably many open-source initiatives you will see from EMC.”

Software for controlling storage devices, part of EMC’s ViPR product, will be available in June on Github under the Mozilla Public License, Burton said. The software will have the name CoprHD, pronounced Copperhead, so the company can stick with the snake theme, he said.

ViPR, which was introduced in 2013, uses an idea known as software-defined storage, in which the program acts like a universal remote control, providing a common way to operate different machines, Burton said. ViPR also lets users manage so-called object storage, which is well suited for many new Internet applications.

EMC, which is based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, last month reported first-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates as revenue rose 2.4 percent to $5.6 billion. The company’s forecast also missed Wall Street’s projections.

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