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Piston Builds Airframe for OpenStack Private Clouds

Piston aims to topple the hurdles inhibiting private cloud adoption with a free, quick-install OpenStack distribution.

Piston, a San Francisco-based cloud computing startup, is making it easier for organizations to jump on the OpenStack bandwagon with a free distribution of the fast-growing open source cloud platform called Airframe.

Intended as a stepping stone to the company's paid Piston Enterprise OpenStack product, Airframe is targeted at organizations that are thinking of adopting the private cloud services model and are evaluating the alternatives. Piston hopes to stand out by making it easy for organizations to get up and running quickly with minimal risk, low management overhead and little in the way of IT investment.

Piston's focus on paving the way to private clouds for enterprises is emblematic of the OpenStack's meteoric rise. In just two short years, OpenStack has grown from a cloud software project from NASA and Rackspace into an increasingly vibrant software solutions and development ecosystem.

Companies across the IT spectrum have been flocking to the open source cloud platform. HP based its public cloud services portfolio on OpenStack. Last week, Red Hat launched its first public OpenStack release in hopes of increasing enterprise update and garnering support.

Now, the industry is working to bring OpenStack into the enterprise computing mainstream.

In a statement, Piston CEO Joshua McKenty summarized the difficulties faced by early OpenStack adopters. "OpenStack installers on the market today are either too complicated to deploy and manage, or just not a complete solution," he said.

"We felt it was important to provide an 'easy' method of installing OpenStack that didn't require sacrificing a production-class architecture," remarked McKenty.

According to Piston, Airframe features a hands-free installation process that completes in less than 10 minutes. Based on the same technology foundation in its enterprise product, the company claims that it can deliver on all of OpenStack's core capabilities, namely compute, storage, networking and cloud management.

Bundled into Airframe is Cloud Foundry, the open source platform-as-a-service cloud application development and testing environment from VMware, and Piston's own Moxie self-healing, high availability software. A Ceph-powered distributed storage system is also included.

The goal, says McKenty, is to make the inevitable transition from a private cloud pilots to a full-blown production environments a seamless one. "Users can upgrade from a pilot deployment to a fully-supported production environment without having to start over," he says.

Piston will be distributing Airframe to VMworld attendees starting on August 27th. General availability kicks off on September 4th.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: cloud computing, private cloud, OpenStack


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