Will Iocane make the difference? Piston Cloud releases OpenStack 3.5

In the red hot cloud computing market, major players such as Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and VMware now offer their own distribution of OpenStack. Meanwhile, Piston Cloud is playing its security, management and installation as differentiators. Will it work?

Joshua McKenty, CTO and Co-Founder of Piston Cloud, and Shawn Madden, Product Manager, dropped by to discuss version 3.5 of Piston Cloud, an OpenStack based cloud framework for on-premise, private clouds. I've spoken with them before and have enjoyed both the depth of their knowledge about OpenStack and their subtle sense of humor. (Please see Piston Cloud adds Iocane Micro-OS to OpenStack for a summary of our last conversation.)

Piston Cloud OpenStack 3.5

Here's a quick summary of Piston Cloud's 3.5 release:

  • Automates the orchestration of an entire private cloud environment on commodity servers.
  • New release includes support for Icehouse, added security features and more flexibility.
  • Enables companies building web, mobile, and big data apps to bring new products to market faster.

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Piston has taken the open source OpenStack Icehouse release and added a highly-secure stateless Micro-OS, Iocane, so that OpenStack components and workloads are protected and secure. The company points out that the new release also is the first commercial OpenStack software to support Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT).

It also points out that it has developed technology making it easier for future updates to be rolled out with little or no disruption. It also has included tools that provide better levels of management in the OpenStack cluster. One of the interesting catch phrases Piston is using is "deploy your entire cloud in a day."

Snapshot Analysis

Now that eNovance has been acquired by Red Hat, there are very few independent players in the OpenStack cloud computing market. Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and VMware have introduced their own OpenStack distributions. The only other major independent OpenStack software and services supplier left is Mirantis. This means that a small software company is on the same playing field with giants having more resources.

Piston Cloud is playing a few features and capabilities to compete on that playing field. It's Micro OS, Iocane, could be a significant differentiator in environments needing high levels of security. Its quick installation tool could also help when OpenStack expertise is limited.

Those advantages won't be differentiators for long, however. Them company needs to keep moving to stay relevant.