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EMC on Tuesday officially announced the launch of Unik, an open source tool that allows developers to build and manage unikernels -- specialized, lightweight kernels that could open up possibilities in the cloud computing ecosystem and Internet of Things (IoT) market.

Unikernels are specialized operating system kernels written to act like individual software components. Because unikernels represent the smallest subset of code needed to run an application, they inherently offer more security and faster boot times than traditional operating systems, which is particularly useful in the cloud and IoT maret.

Unikernels have picked up steam thanks to attention from the likes of Docker, which acquired Unikernel Systems in January of this year. Still, as a relatively new innovation, unikernels have to be widely adopted.

Unik, available under the Apache 2.0 license, uses a simple docker-like command line interface, to make building unikernels as easy as building containers.

The tool gives developers "the ability to compile an operating system and run it on virtually any cloud platform," EMC CTO John Roese said in a statement. "We believe that offering UniK to the open source community will help accelerate innovation with unikernels."

The release of Unik follows a series of other data center and hybrid cloud building blocks that the storage giant has recently released.

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