Dell, HP, Emerson, Intel Team Up on Data Center Standard

New Redfish spec aims at improving scalability, expanding data access and analysis, saving time and enabling feature-rich remote management.

New-generation IT is all about removing friction from getting things done—such as speeding up the iteration and distribution of software versions and patches, accelerating process fulfillment and standardizing as many processes as possible.

Nowhere is this quest for IT smoothness more important than in data centers, where virtually all cloud and enterprise systems are housed.

With this in mind, longtime industry megapowers Dell, Emerson Network Power, Hewlett-Packard and Intel on Sept. 4 announced the creation of Redfish, a specification under development for data center and systems management systems that aims to supply improved performance, functionality, scalability and security.

Intel makes most of the processors that server makers Dell and HP develop. Emerson Network Power, which historically has been a data center heavy equipment provider (e.g., AC power and uninterruptible power systems), has branched out in the last several years into the data center management software sector with its Avocent division.

Redfish uses lightweight code and new-generation network interfaces that enable access to data by using simple, script-based programming methods. The specification is being designed to improve scalability and expand data access and analysis, save time, lower costs and further enable feature-rich remote management while protecting data at a high level.

These attributes make Redfish the most comprehensive data center specification project since the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) was launched in 1998, Emerson said.

Redfish is also all about efficient cross-platform connections among various types of servers, operating systems, networks and storage. Redfish-enabled devices are designed to be scalable, discoverable, extensible and easy to manage. It will be suitable for a multitude of end users and applications—from data center operators to enterprise management consoles, Emerson said.

Redfish development is focused on allowing administrators to speak one language and be more productive. Additionally, Redfish is expected to be welcomed in the big data analytics sector because it will reduce much of the friction of processing and moving data from location to location.

This project uses the experience of a cross-industry team in IT systems hardware, microprocessors and data center infrastructure management technologies.

The specification will be submitted to the Distributed Management Task Force for consideration by the recently created Scalable Platform Management Forum, which has been chartered to publish a standard in this space. Once the specification is approved, it will be made publicly available.

More information about Redfish will be made available at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), taking place Sept. 9 to 11 in San Francisco.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...