Cloud

EMC announces open source orchestration tool for cloud, IoT apps

EMC recently announced UniK, a tool that hopes to bring unikernel functionality to app platforms.

Image: iStockphoto/gdas

On Tuesday, EMC announced it first open source Unikernel orchestration tool for app developers. Unik (pronounced like the word "unique") allows developers to compile application sources into unikernels, which could lead to more efficient and secure cloud and IoT application deployments.

EMC released UniK as a collaborative open source project (recognized under DevHigh5 through EMC {code})—the latest in a series of products the Federation has released as open source, including an open source version of its ViPR controller seen at EMC World. According to the press release, EMC has high hopes for what will come of it.

SEE: Five ways to determine who should lead your IoT initiatives (Tech Pro Research)

"By releasing UniK as a collaborative open source project, EMC expects the tool to help bring customers closer to cloud native application platforms through the choice of running applications with containers or unikernels," the release said.

For the uninitiated, a unikernel is a simpler version of a kernel—the smallest amount of code needed to run a given application. Unikernels enable developers to build smaller apps that can boot quickly and are more portable.

Typically, a unikernel will run directly on a hypervisor, on a cloud platform, or in an embedded device without any intervention from the OS. Because of their simplicity and ability to run on the abovementioned platforms, unikernels could be a great tool for enterprises looking to build better IoT services and connected devices or cloud-native applications.

EMC also mentioned thinking of unikernels as discrete virtual machines, which would allow developers to leverage levels of availability and security for their applications.

Of course, a host of other modern platforms have emerged recently to change the way the enterprise looks at applications, including Docker, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry.

Application and container platforms including Cloud Foundry, Docker and Kubernetes. However, these will likely work in tandem with EMC's new offering as "UniK bridges the gap between these modern application platforms and unikernels."

SEE: EMC announces LEAP suite of cloud-native apps and InfoArchive 4.0 (TechRepublic)

Developers connect UniK to other application platforms using a REST API. UniK's architecture will allow for future integrations from other architectures, programming languages, unikernel compilers, and cloud providers.

UniK is currently available under the Apache 2.0 license on Github.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. EMC announced UniK, an open source tool that brings unikernel functionality to cloud and IoT apps, leading to faster and more secure app deployments.
  2. Because of the simplicity of unikernels, enterprises could use UniK to build better IoT products and stronger cloud-native applications.
  3. EMC continues to contribute to the open source community with releases like UniK, which could help them attract a broader customer base through their investments in efforts such as Cloud Foundry and OpenStack.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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