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Piston’s New TCO Calculator Shows the True Price of an OpenStack Cloud

Piston’s New TCO Calculator Shows the True Price of an OpenStack Cloud

In conjunction with the release of Piston OpenStack 3.5, Piston has introduced the Piston OpenStack TCO Calculator.


This article originally appeared at The WHIR

In conjunction with the release of Piston OpenStack 3.5, which includes improvements around security and operational savings, Piston has introduced the Piston OpenStack TCO Calculator which is designed to estimate the total cost of a Piston OpenStack private cloud compared.

An IT administrator simply needs to provide the online TCO Calculator with their estimated private cloud requirements and preferred hardware vendors. Based on this data, the free calculator provides a custom projection of the total cost of a Piston OpenStack private cloud amortized monthly, as well as the option of comparing this estimated cost to what it would cost on Amazon Web Services.

Shawn Madden, product manager at Piston Cloud Computing, told the WHIR that there have been instances where companies have paid upwards of $100,000 per month to AWS, and found much better economics through deploying an on-premise cloud.

Madden said the TCO Calculator helps customers understand the potential savings based on their particular needs. “It shows you how much your Piston OpenStack cloud is going to cost when you buy the hardware and the software, and things like that,” he said. “And it also compares what Piston OpenStack would look like compared to AWS – and where that ‘sweetspot’ is when it becomes cheaper to own your own on-premise cloud.”

Piston is designed to fully automate the orchestration of an entire private cloud environment on x86 servers, making them into a pool of elastic and scalable computing resources. It also includes many AWS-like features that make it easier to transition from Amazon’s public cloud to their own OpenStack private cloud, including features for Big Data applications. With the market for OpenStack set to reach $1.7 billion by 2016, Piston’s TCO calculator is just one of the tools that will help companies justify setting up an OpenStack cloud to contribute to this growth.

Piston co-founder and CTO Joshua McKenty said the reason that Piston is often compared to AWS is tied to the development of OpenStack itself. McKenty played a crucial role in the early stages of OpenStack as the Technical Architect of NASA’s Nebula Cloud Computing Platform and the OpenStack compute components, and continues to be a member of the OpenStack Foundation board.

“When we built OpenSpack at NASA, the original mandate was to figure out how the agency could take advantage of cloud computing, and really the only public cloud we looked at at the time was AWS,” McKenty said. Among the number of reasons AWS wasn’t chosen included security concerns, performance, capacity and sizing concerns, and overall cost.

“We actually had a TCO calculator at NASA that we had to build because we were providing services to the White House,” he said. “We had to build it under government full-cost accounting regulations. So, we had really granular understanding of what it costs to run a private cloud. And so the TCO calculator we’ve done at Piston is based on that original model.”

He said that with the launch of OpenStack, its main competitors were basically AWS and on one side and VMware on the other. “All of these various service providers were using OpenStack to fight with Amazon in public clouds, or fight against VMware in private clouds. And so the cost of ownership calculations have always been done in those two directions – those two basis.”

Even with public cloud providers in a price war, there are many instances where private clouds can actually be more cost-effective to run – in addition to the various other advantages of running a private cloud. This TCO calculator provides IT departments with a way to quantify the price difference between public and private cloud options in order for them to make a more informed decision on where their cloud belongs.

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