EMC Opens APIs to Developers

The sky's wide open

While Microsoft Corp. fights bitterly to keep its APIs secret, another IT titan opened up its APIs – and gave developers tools to harness them. Continuing its “WideSky” initiative, EMC Corp. released developer tools yesterday to adapt software to its storage management platform.

The WideSky project aims to establish EMC’s WideSky SRM (storage resource management) product as a comprehensive platform for managing storage devices, regardless of vendor. Both storage hardware systems from the likes of Compaq and software products from Microsoft and Oracle can plug into WideSky SRM, allowing it to act as a storage traffic cop.

The API maps the way an application such as a database writes data to storage and the way a filesystem places data on the disk, creating an end-to-end view of where and how data goes to disk.

Today’s announcement extends the ability of developers to adapt their software to plug into WideSky SRM. Application vendors can make their software talk to WideSky, which enables administrators to manage the application data through WideSky. In addition, snap-ins for management consoles such as the Windows 2000 MMC can get a view of WideSky through the API.

EMC aspires to nothing less than domination of the storage management market. It hopes to leverage its status as a top vendor of storage systems and software to make WideSky a catchall for products from a variety of vendors.

A Gartner Group report issued this week declared EMC the top dog in worldwide storage software revenue in 2001. The report says EMC captured 30.4% of the market last year, while Veritas Software Corp. and IBM Corp. trailed with 19.8% and 14.2% of the market, respectively.

The strategy seems to be working. Although Compaq Computer Corp. and EMC compete for sales of large storage hardware systems, the companies agreed last November to share APIs so Compaq’s systems could be managed by EMC’s software.

About the Author

Chris McConnell is Product and Technology Editor for Enterprise Systems.