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Cisco acquires Piston Cloud Computing, will use to ramp up Intercloud offerings

Piston gives Cisco more muscle around distributed systems and automated deployment, in addition to adding another level of infrastructure to the Cisco OpenStack private cloud.

Cisco on Wednesday said it would acquire Piston Cloud Computing, a startup known for its OpenStack cloud distribution.

In a blog post announcing the deal, Cisco's business development head Hilton Romanski said Piston will play a key role in the company's "ambitious Intercloud vision."

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Launched in 2014, Intercloud is Cisco's effort to create a connected network of clouds. It's made up of two components: the Intercloud Fabric, which allows workloads to be migrated among various public clouds; and the Application Centric Infrastructure software, which automatically provisions resources depending on the workload.

"The Intercloud is designed to deliver secure cloud services everywhere in the world," Romanski said. "The Intercloud provides choice of services, all with compliance and control. In a nutshell: we're delivering cloud the way our customers need it."

Piston fits in because it gives Cisco more muscle around distributed systems and automated deployment, in addition to adding another level of infrastructure to the Cisco OpenStack private cloud. It's unclear how many members of the Piston team will head to Cisco, but Romanski said Piston will eventually merge with Cisco's Cloud Services team.

Piston was co-founded by Joshua McKenty, a former employee at NASA. McKenty played a key role in launching the OpenStack Project at the space agency, but has since left Piston to join Pivotal and Cloud Foundry.

The Piston deal is the second acquisition for Cisco in the last month. In early May the networking giant bought Tropo, a company that provides a cloud application programming interface platform.

No financial terms were not disclosed on either deal.

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