IT Pro Impact: Piston Cloud

Mar 12, 2012


Piston Cloud OpenStack Environment

Want a private cloud? Can you rack up a few servers, cable in a couple of ToR switches, edit a config file on a vendor-supplied USB key and use the key to reboot and flash the edge switch, power up the servers, and wait 10 or 20 minutes? If so, you can build a private cloud that's compatible with Amazon Web Services and ready to accept virtualized workloads, over a virtualized network, using server-based distributed file systems.

Such is the promise of Piston Cloud, one of the first commercial manifestations of the open source OpenStack project. The product, from Piston Cloud Computing, is designed to take cloud stacks from the realm of research labs and service providers to the enterprise. By adding a hardened Linux distro; a redundant, distributed software control plane; and a unique installation process to the standard OpenStack virtual machine manager, distributed file systems and end user provisioning portal, Piston aims to bring high-end features to enterprises--even those whose private clouds consist of a handful of white-box servers.

Piston offers an open alternative to the proprietary hypervisor and management platform approach taken by VMware and Microsoft. While organizations fully committed to VMware's vision probably won't see enough new in OpenStack to make a switch, others--including some of the 36% of respondents to our InformationWeek Data Center Convergence survey who haven't yet implemented private cloud strategies--will no doubt find a lot to like in Piston Cloud. We’ll get under the covers and expose the details. (S4580312)

Research Report