Piston Releases Private Cloud Based on OpenStack

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Public cloud computing is fast to deploy, scalable and economical, but it’s not a fit for all enterprises. Regulated industries and government agencies must look to private clouds to meet their compute and storage needs, while still remaining in compliance with restrictive security requirements.

In the open source arena, Piston Cloud Computing has taken a step forward in meeting the need for a massively scalable private cloud operating system by releasing Piston Enterprise OS, which is built on the OpenStack cloud computing platform. OpenStack is the fastest-growing open source project in the world, with over 2,321 contributors and 147 participating companies including Rackspace, NASA, Citrix, Intel, Cisco, AT&T, Arista Networks, Microsoft and Dell.

Founded by OpenStack Creators

Founded last year, Piston is the brainchild of OpenStack’s creators, including former NASA Nebula Chief Technical Architect Joshua McKenty, former Rackspace lead Christopher MacGown and NASA Communications Director Gretchen Curtis. Venture capitalists Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, True Ventures and Divergent Ventures are funding the firm, which is based in San Francisco.

“Financial firms, government, health care and biotech companies are using private cloud,” says McKenty, the CEO and co-founder of Piston Cloud. “We find tech companies using private cloud because of the economics and scalability.”

The Piston Enterprise OS clouds are either hosted by Piston’s partners or on internal infrastructure. Because it is based on OpenStack, the OS can run on any number of commodity hardware (x86) servers, says McKenty. “Our customers can be flexible with vendor selection and the OS is interoperable, much like Ethernet and TCP,” he said. “When you purchase switches from different vendors they are all able to work together.”

The system integrates seamlessly with products from companies like Intel, Dell and Arista. The product also provides ease of use because compute, storage and networking all reside in one server, and all the management happens in the software. “The systems are run totally ‘hands-free’,” says McKenty. “There is no system admin overhead.”

The economic savings here can be important to large and small data center operators. “People are the most expensive part of any computer system,” he adds, noting this OS can “reduce headcount.”

Additionally, the Piston product, unlike competitors like VMWare, can reduce the number of servers required to be provisioned. “Every server can run any service required,” McKenty said. “The capacity management is really straightforward.”

Includes Implentation of CloudAudit

Custom built to address regulatory requirements, Piston Enterprise OS also represents the industry’s first implementation of CloudAudit, an open security standard for cloud and virtualized environments.

“To date, VMware was the only widely accepted option for private cloud, which brought with it associated cost, complexity and vendor lock-in. Piston Enterprise OS disrupts the market with the easiest, most secure and open approach to private cloud,” notes McKenty.

With pricing starting at $3,500 per server, Piston Enterprise OS is available now on the company website.

About the Author

Colleen Miller is a journalist and social media specialist. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, with her most recent work dedicated to the online space. Colleen covers the data center industry, including topics such as modular, cloud and storage/big data.

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