Piston Cloud Adds Big Data Frameworks To OpenStack With Piston CloudOS 4.0

Piston Cloud Computing today announced the availability of Piston Cloud OS 4.0, an operating system that builds upon the company’s platform for deploying enterprise-grade OpenStack deployments by enabling customers to deploy Hadoop and Spark on bare metal. In addition to support for Hadoop and Spark, Piston CloudOS 4.0 will support Kubernetes, Mesos and Docker Swarm in a forthcoming release. As such, Piston CloudOS 4.0 represents a notable expansion of Piston CloudOS because it aims to support the larger vision of empowering enterprises to quickly deploy the infrastructure and applications they need by using a unified platform in contrast to siloed platforms and interfaces. In its current state, Piston CloudOS 4.0 supports the open source Apache Hadoop distribution but plans to support commercial releases of Hadoop in the future as illustrated in the graphic below:

The graphic shows how Piston CloudOS 4.0 aspires to become a one stop shopping ground for frameworks that allow enterprises to launch application development, application management and data analytics-related projects. The deployment of Hadoop on bare metal allows organizations to enjoy performance benefits in comparison to virtualized environments, thereby enabling in-memory technologies such as Apache Spark to function at a high level of performance. By delivering the capability to enjoy push-button deployments of Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, Piston Cloud accelerates the operational agility of deployment teams that are interested in spinning up virtualized, cloud infrastructures in conjunction with bare-metal environments for their Big Data use cases. Moreover, by supporting technologies such as Docker, Mesos, Kubernetes, MongoDB and Cassandra, Piston Cloud gives customers an impressive array of frameworks and tools in what amounts to the industry’s first turnkey platform for cloud, Big Data and container management. Another advantage of Piston CloudOS 4.0 is that it gives users the ability to redistribute workloads across different frameworks to ensure the continued optimization of the infrastructure.

While Piston CloudOS 4.0 represents an important complement to Piston’s renowned OpenStack capabilities, the obvious question raised by this product offering concerns the significance of the company’s decision to pivot on its core OpenStack offering toward a platform that embraces a broader set of use cases and workloads. While the decision to shift course from a pure OpenStack-play strategy constitutes an astute move to gain an early foothold in the emerging market for integrated cloud, Big Data and application management platforms, the attendant question involves the long-term viability of commercial OpenStack solutions as a standalone offering, particularly in light of Nebula’s decision to close on April 1. Regardless of its implications for OpenStack, however, Piston’s new CloudOS platform represents a noteworthy intervention in the evolution of cloud and Big Data technologies by delivering a unified platform for OpenStack-based infrastructure provisioning, Hadoop deployment and, in forthcoming releases, container management and access to NoSQL as well. The bewildering heterogeneity of cloud, Big Data and application management technologies means that unified interfaces for the provisioning of infrastructures and associated data and applications promise to simplify the workflows and technology management overhead faced by organizations. Meanwhile, by tying OpenStack deployments more closely to contemporary data and application frameworks, Piston promises to increase the attractiveness of its core OpenStack offering by surrounding it with technologies and frameworks that are garnering increased traction in the enterprise.


Docker Releases Suite Of Orchestration Tools And Expands Partner Ecosystem

On Thursday, Docker announced the release in public beta of a suite of orchestration tools that enhance the ability of developers to manage containers used for the development of distributed applications. Docker Machine, for example, empowers developers to install the Docker engine on a host machine by provisioning the host and then installing the engine within that infrastructure. Docker Machine can provision containers on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Digital Ocean, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Hyper-V, OpenStack, Rackspace Cloud, VirtualBox, VMware Fusion®, VMware vCloud® Air™, and VMware vSphere. Docker’s deep integrations with the most widely used IaaS platforms and technologies in the industry allows developers to deploy Docker containers using one command that takes responsibility for provisioning the host infrastructure in addition to installing the Docker engine. Meanwhile, Docker Swarm creates clusters of Docker engines and manages relationships between containers as an application scales. In addition, Docker Swarm gives developers a unified developer interface for managing multiple Docker engines and handles the scheduling of application-related jobs and processes as they relate to multiple containers. Finally, Docker Compose enables developers to manage a multi-container application using a YAML file that defines and updates the relationships between the various containers that collectively constitute an application.

Docker’s release of its suite of orchestration tools comes head on the heels of an announcement by Mirantis and Google to integrate Google’s Kubernetes framework for managing containers with the OpenStack platform, thereby enhancing the ability of developers to transport container-based applications from OpenStack-based private clouds to public clouds that support Kubernetes such as the Google Cloud Platform. One advantage of Docker’s orchestration tools in comparison to other container management frameworks is that they deliver a unified end to end experience for deploying and managing Docker containers. Docker Swarm, for example, integrates with the Amazon Web Services Container Service as well as IBM Bluemix Container Service, Joyent Smart Data Center and Microsoft Azure, thereby enhancing the portability of applications and enabling the avoidance of vendor lock-in. Moreover, Swarm works with third party orchestration products in addition to the orchestration services specific to different cloud platforms. In all, Docker’s Beta release of its orchestration tools in conjunction with its expanded roster of partner integrations suggests that Docker and the container management industry at large may well have cracked the nut specific to the transportation of applications from one infrastructure to another and by extension solved part of the cloud computing industry’s problem related to vendor lock-in. Meanwhile, container usage stands to continue skyrocketing as more and more vendors contribute to their ease of deployment, management and migration and collectively create a rich and venerable ecosystem for container use and portability.