Radio Free Asia Deploys OpenStack-based Cloud Offering From Piston Cloud

Piston Cloud Computing, one of the first companies to offer an enterprise-grade deployment of OpenStack, revealed that Radio Free Asia (RFA) will deploy Piston’s pentOS™ cloud platform to create private clouds that support RFA’s practice of broadcasting “news and information in nine native Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media.” RFA broadcasts news in Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, Uyghur, Burmese, Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer, and Korean to China, Tibet, Uyghur, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and North Korea. Because of its mission to provide news to countries that do not enjoy freedom of the press, RFA has historically encountered a myriad of political challenges specific to the practice of operating data centers in remote locations under government scrutiny.

Piston’s OpenStack-based pentOS™ solution provided Radio Free Asia with a scalable cloud solution to their data storage and dissemination needs while at the same time giving the vendor the comfort of knowing they were not locked in to a proprietary solution. Libby Liu, President of Radio Free Asia, commented on RFA’s selection of Piston Cloud’s solution by highlighting the synergies between the organization’s mission of promoting freedom and Piston’s freedom from vendor lock-in:

“Piston Cloud and OpenStack have filled a huge gap and truly revolutionized the way we manage remote sites and data centers, providing a new level of connectivity that allows us to share and analyze data quickly and easily on a global scale, regardless of hardware vendor or location. Radio Free Asia faces tough challenges in technology implementation and ongoing maintenance. We needed a flexible, scalable solution to support information sharing on a global scale, and support our own commitment to freedom – freedom of information, as well as technology freedom from vendor lock-in and we found that in Piston Cloud.”

Here, Liu points out Piston’s freedom from a commitment to a specific hardware vendor as well as the way in which pentOS™ promises to revolutionize data delivery given the reality of Radio Free Asia’s operation in multiple political geographies. Piston CEO Joshua McKenty echoed the theme of freedom specific to RFA’s choice of pentOS™ by reiterating OpenStack’s freedom from hardware lock-in and Piston’s commitment to technological freedom that, in this case, promotes freedom of the press:

“We add the installation ease of use, speed and security on top of OpenStack, and the freedom to choose hardware, helping RFA to implement technology on a global scale, without restriction. While Radio Free Asia breaks down the political barriers that block the freedom of information, OpenStack will help to break down the technological barriers.”

McKenty’s remarks illustrate the enduring attractiveness of cloud-based solutions that give customers choices when it comes to hardware selection and the possibility of transferring their deployment to another vendor down the road. Meanwhile, the agreement with Radio Free Asia constitutes yet another commercial OpenStack deployment that the cloud computing community will watch closely as the battle amongst enterprise-grade, inter-operable cloud solutions unfolds.


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