OpenStack

HP Acquires Eucalyptus And Names Marten Mickos Leader Of Its Cloud Business

HP announced plans to acquire Eucalyptus, the company whose open source private cloud software interoperates with Amazon Web Services, on Thursday, September 11. Under the terms of the agreement, Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos will lead HP’s cloud business as Senior Vice President and General Manager and report directly to Meg Whitman, HP’s President and CEO. Mickos, a longtime critic of the OpenStack project, has recently adopted a more conciliatory approach with respect to OpenStack in what was, in hindsight, rhetorical positioning for his role at HP as leader of the OpenStack-based HP Helion cloud product portfolio. Despite his historical criticism of OpenStack, Mickos has an enviable pedigree for commercializing open source software as the prior CEO of MySQL, now one of the most widely used open source software products in the world. HP CEO Meg Whitman elaborated on Mickos’s pedigree for the position as follows:

The addition of Marten to HP’s world-class Cloud leadership team will strengthen and accelerate the strategy we’ve had in place for more than three years, which is to help businesses build, consume and manage open source hybrid clouds. Marten will enhance HP’s outstanding bench of Cloud executives and expand HP Helion capabilities, giving customers more choice and greater control of private and hybrid cloud solutions.

As Whitman notes, HP’s acquisition of Eucalyptus strengthens its position with respect to hybrid cloud solutions for the enterprise, particularly given the success had by Eucalyptus in interoperating its private clouds with the Amazon Web Services public cloud. Moreover, the experience of Mickos in successfully commercializing open source software suddenly vaults HP’s chances of succeeding in the commercial OpenStack space to the level of Red Hat, IBM and Piston Cloud Computing, whereas previously its Helion cloud portfolio evinced little in the way of a promising commercialization strategy or roadmap. Even though details of the integration of Eucalyptus with HP remain scant, the one certainty that results from HP’s acquisition of Eucalyptus is that the market dynamics within the commercial OpenStack space have now shifted dramatically, almost as if overnight. The rest remains to be seen as Mickos has his work cut out for him if he is indeed going to rescue HP from the abyss of empty OpenStack rhetoric to a promising, full fledged product that can compete with the likes of Piston, who have already demonstrated success in mitigating the complexities specific to OpenStack deployment and operations by way of their Piston OpenStack platform. As a result of the acquisition, Martin Fink, the current leader of HP’s cloud business will continue as CTO. Terms of the purchase of Eucalyptus were not disclosed although sources close to the deal speculate that the acquisition price was less than $100M for its technology and 70 or so employees. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of HP’s 2014 fiscal year.

Categories: HP, OpenStack | Tags: , , , , ,

StackStorm To Deliver Enhanced Operational Automation For OpenStack Vendor Mirantis

On September 10, StackStorm revealed a partnership with Mirantis to in integrate its operations automation products into products from Mirantis, the Mountain View-based commercial OpenStack vendor. As a result of the partnership, StackStorm’s DevOps and automation products will enhance the Mirantis OpenStack distribution and contribute toward the operational agility of Mirantis OpenStack deployments. Evan Powell, CEO of StackStorm, remarked on the significance of the partnership between StackStorm and Mirantis as follows:

Mirantis is one of the leading OpenStack distributions in the industry today, and we intend to heavily invest in our partnerships so that users can leverage StackStorm alongside Mirantis software and services. OpenStack is playing an increasingly important role in the industry, and enables users to achieve the power and flexibility of the cloud without the rigidity and cost of proprietary cloud services and private cloud platforms. While our software supports more than OpenStack, we depend heavily on the community and are happy to be increasing our support.

Here, Powell underscores the criticality of OpenStack to contemporary cloud computing because of its ability to enable customers to realize the “power and flexibility of the cloud” without the “rigidity and cost of proprietary cloud services.” Powell also notes StackStorm’s intent to expand its partnership program as its technology comes out of a private Beta and achieves general availability later this year. Stackstorm delivers automation and artificial intelligence to the automation of workflows for IaaS platforms in ways that increase operational efficiencies by factors of 10 to 100. Part of the company’s mission involves bringing the automation and massive economies of scale enjoyed by technology giants such as Facebook and Google to mainstream enterprise IT by means of its machine-learning based automation technology. Today’s announcement represents an important milestone for StackStorm as Mirantis will provide a lively Beta site for the evaluation and refinement of its platform. The integration with Mirantis promises to prefigure further partnerships between StackStorm and other OpenStack vendors and a corresponding enrichment of the OpenStack ecosystem more generally. StackStorm is already a leading contributor to OpenStack Workflow as a Service collaboration, Project Mistral.

Categories: Mirantis, OpenStack, StackStorm

Piston OpenStack 3.5 Brings Simplicity Of Apple Alongside AWS-like Functionality To OpenStack And IaaS

Piston Cloud Computing today announces the availability of Piston OpenStack 3.5 for enterprise-grade IaaS platforms for private clouds. Piston OpenStack 3.5 features support for OpenStack Icehouse, the latest release of the open source IaaS collaboration from the OpenStack Foundation. Version 3.5 of Piston’s commercial variant of OpenStack features support for Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) for enhanced hardware-based security that mitigates against threats posed by “hypervisor attacks, BIOS or other firmware attacks, malicious root kit installations, or other software attacks.” This release also features enhanced support for rolling upgrades including live migration that enables customers to seamlessly migrate their deployments from one version of OpenStack to another with zero downtime. In conjunction with the news of today’s release, Piston revealed a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator that allows customers to compare the cost of Piston deployments with Amazon Web Services. When asked whether the TCO reflected prices of other well known IaaS platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine, Piston CTO and co-founder Joshua McKenty noted that AWS represents the sole vendor used for comparison because it has become the standard for IaaS price comparisons. In a phone interview with Cloud Computing Today, McKenty also noted that Piston typically weighs in at roughly 1/3 the price of a comparable AWS deployment and thereby competes with IaaS vendors not only in price, but also with respect to operational simplicity and of course, interoperability as well.

In all, today’s release delivers a significant, no-frills upgrade to February’s Piston OpenStack 3.0 release that underscores Piston’s commitment to bringing Apple-like simplicity to OpenStack deployments. Piston OpenStack just works in much the same vein as Apple products in bringing consumers premium level functionality without miring users in the intricacies of OpenStack that have traditionally been reserved for its power users. Piston customer Solidify Security expanded on Piston’s commitment to doing the “boring” work of delivering IT infrastructures for application development as follows:

We believe your ability to install, configure, integrate, maintain and life cycle applications shouldn’t stop you from having access to tools that will help you create an active security footprint. Piston is very much built from the same cloth. They believe in doing the hard boring things very well, leaving our team time to focus on building PaaS and SaaS offerings, and not on running our cluster. Piston has been able to do that and more with Piston OpenStack. With just a few considerations for compatibility we were able to select our hardware from a wide variety of vendors. And in one short afternoon we had our code migrated and own internal cluster up and running at a price previously thought out of reach.

Here, the Solidify Security team testifies to Piston’s unique focus on facilitating rapid, low cost deployments of infrastructure that enables them to “focus on building PaaS and SaaS offerings” instead of provisioning and configuring hardware. Piston’s ability to simplify OpenStack deployment and operations as indicated here may well be a game changer in the OpenStack space given OpenStack’s reputation for complexity and intensely manual deployments. That Piston appears to have cracked the nut regarding the commoditization of OpenStack bodes well not only for Piston, but for the OpenStack community at large, which stands to benefit immensely from the lead taken by McKenty’s visionary focus on delivering a product that blends the AWS-like functionality with the simplicity of Apple for private cloud IaaS deployments. Expect Piston’s reputation for user friendly products that excel at doing a few things well to propel increased market traction as its reputation for simplicity and value continues to proliferate in the OpenStack and IaaS communities.

Categories: IaaS, OpenStack, Piston Cloud Computing | Tags: , ,

OpenStack Marketplace Launches To Simplify Selection Of OpenStack Technologies

This week, the OpenStack Foundation launched the OpenStack Marketplace to provide interested parties with a centralized resource for vetted OpenStack products and services. The marketplace is organized into the five categories of Training, Distros (distributions) and Appliances, Public Clouds, Consulting & Integrators and Drivers. Public clouds listed in the OpenStack marketplace have to run a recent version of OpenStack and reveal their OpenStack APIs. Public cloud vendors included in the initial version of the marketplace include Cloudwatt, HP, IO, Internap, Kio Networks, Rackspace, UnitedStack and Vexxhost. OpenStack distributions and appliances that cater to private clouds similarly must pass the constraint of running a recent OpenStack version and exposed OpenStack APIs. Distros and appliances in the marketplace include Canonical, Cloudscaling, EMC, HP, IBM, MetaCloud, Mirantis, Nebula, Oracle, Piston, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and SwiftStack. Importantly, the marketplace also contains a list of drivers that ensure the compatibility of OpenStack technology with hardware and software that leverages data from the Driverlog project maintained by the OpenStack community. Because all products within the marketplace must be screened by the OpenStack Foundation prior to inclusion, the marketplace allows consumers to make choices knowing that products in its purview have been reviewed carefully by the OpenStack Foundation and community. Designed to accelerate OpenStack adoption by simplifying the process of the selection of vendors and technologies, the launch of the marketplace represents a significant milestone for the OpenStack community insofar as it vaults OpenStack into the company of enterprise software communities such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM that similarly boast online marketplaces. IBM, for example, today announced the availability of its IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack product on its recently launched IBM Cloud Marketplace.

Categories: OpenStack | Tags:

Piston Cloud Computing Selected By Swisscom To Advance Its Cloud Strategy

Piston Cloud Computing today announced its selection by Swiss telecommunications provider Swisscom to lead the development of its cloud-based infrastructure. As a result of the partnership, Piston will provide Swisscom with a cloud-based infrastructure built on its turn-key commercial OpenStack solution in addition to professional services. Swisscom plans to migrate the “majority” of its IT applications to the cloud over the next few years and as such, OpenStack-based cloud environments represent a key component of its overarching cloud strategy. Piston plans to deliver Swisscom with two interfaces in the form of one platform for Swisscom’s day to day operations, and another for its customers. Swisscom boasts over 6.4 million mobile customers, a million TV customers and 2 million broadband connections for retail. The deal represents an important coup for Piston as it continues to expand its presence in the commercial, private cloud OpenStack space, as well as for the OpenStack platform more generally. Swisscom’s selection of Piston Cloud Computing also illustrates the early success of the February release of Piston OpenStack 3.0, Piston’s most advanced turn-key platform for deployment and management of OpenStack-based IaaS infrastructures.

Categories: OpenStack, Piston Cloud Computing

Metacloud Raises $15M In Series B Funding For OpenStack-Based Private Cloud Solutions

Metacloud recently announced the finalization of $15M in Series B funding in a round led by Pelion Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, and UMC Capital, with additional participation from existing investors AME Cloud Ventures, Canaan Partners, and Storm Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s product development as well as to expand its team. Currently, Metacloud offers two OpenStack-based private cloud products in the form of Metacloud OnPrem and Metacloud Hosted. Metacloud OnPrem represents an enterprise-grade on premise private cloud solution whereas Metacloud Hosted constitutes a private cloud solution hosted by Metacloud that absolves customers of the hassles of maintaining a datacenter. The Series B funding testifies to Metacloud’s increasing traction in the commercial OpenStack space and the conviction of its investors that it can carve out a niche in the highly competitive, OpenStack-based private cloud market. Metacloud’s total funding now stands at $27M.

Categories: Metacloud, OpenStack, Venture Capital | Tags:

OpenStack Icehouse Supports Rolling Upgrades and Tighter Overall Integration

On April 17, the OpenStack Foundation announced the availability of the ninth release of OpenStack, the open source, Infrastructure as a Service collaboration. Codenamed Icehouse, the release boasts 350 new features, 2,902 bug fixes and contributions from over 1200 contributors. Icehouse focuses on maturity and stability as illustrated by its attention to continuous integration (CI) systems, which featured the testing of 53 third party hardware and software systems on OpenStack Icehouse. The hallmark of the Icehouse release consists of its support for rolling upgrades in OpenStack Compute Nova. With Icehouse’s support for rolling upgrades, VMs need not be shut down in order to install upgrades. Icehouse “enables deployers to upgrade controller infrastructure first, and subsequently upgrade individual compute nodes without requiring downtime of the entire cloud to complete.” As a result, upgrades can be completed with decreased system downtime, thereby rendering OpenStack significantly more appealing to enterprise customers that can afford little to no downtime for mission-critical applications and services. Icehouse also features a “discoverability” enhancement to OpenStack Swift that allows admins to obtain data about which features are supported in a specific cluster by means of an API call. On the networking front, OpenStack now contains new drivers and support for the IBM SDN-VE, Nuage, OneConvergence and OpenDaylight software defined networking protocols. Meanwhile, OpenStack Keystone identity management allows users to leverage federated authentication for “multiple identity providers” such that customers can now use the same authentication credentials for public and private OpenStack clouds.

In total, Icehouse constitutes an impressive release that focuses on improving existing functionality as opposed to deploying a slew of Beta-level functionalities. OpenStack’s press release claims “the voice of the user” is reflected in Icehouse but the real defining feature of this release is a tighter integration of OpenStack’s computing, storage, networking, identity and orchestration functionality. Just when Google Compute Engine, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure looked set to turn the battle for IaaS market share into a three horse race with some impressive functionality announcements and price cuts, the release of OpenStack Icehouse serves as a staunch reminder that OpenStack continues to innovate aggressively and systematically in its bid to assert feature parity with respect to proprietary IaaS platforms. This release, for example, announced three incubator projects in the form of OpenStack Sahara, OpenStack Ironic and OpenStack Marconi. OpenStack Sahara enables the provisioning of Hadoop clusters within an OpenStack environment, OpenStack Ironic provisions bare metal physical servers as opposed to virtual machines and OpenStack Marconi aims to deliver “highly-available messaging to web applications that run on OpenStack” in ways analogous to the Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS). The bottom line here is that OpenStack is rapidly catching up to its competitors while making a compelling case for inter-operability given the volume of contributions from Red Hat, IBM, HP, Rackspace, Mirantis, SUSE, OpenStack Foundation, eNovance, VMware and Intel in the Icehouse release. The key thing OpenStack needs now is more production-grade deployments and case studies of customer success that compel even more innovation and credibility within the IaaS space.

Categories: IaaS, OpenStack | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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