Category Archives: Hilton Romansky

Cisco, IBM spend big in OpenStack-focused land grab

Cisco and IBM have both acquired OpenStack vendors this week

Cisco and IBM have both acquired OpenStack vendors this week

Cisco and IBM have both signed deals to acquire OpenStack vendors this week, with Cisco acquiring Piston Cloud Computing, a firm specialising in OpenStack-based private cloud software and IBM buying up managed private cloud provider Blue Box.

Piston offers what it calls Piston CloudOS, a supped up version of OpenStack for private clouds alongside custom cluster management and monitoring software and APIs. Underneath that sits a custom Linux micro-OS that contains all of the necessary code to run CloudOS; the company said it can be characterized as a “bare-metal operating system that is tailor-made for pools of hyper-converged, commodity resources.”

Cisco said Piston will help it deliver on its Intercloud vision, which sees a Cisco-based set of cloud services that can federate with one another; OpenStack seems increasingly to be at the heart of that effort.

“Paired with our recent acquisition of Metacloud, Piston’s distributed systems engineering and OpenStack talent will further enhance our capabilities around cloud automation, availability, and scale. The acquisition of Piston will complement our Intercloud strategy by bringing additional operational experience on the underlying infrastructure that powers Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud,” said Hilton Romanski, corporate development lead at Cisco.

“Additionally, Piston’s deep knowledge of distributed systems and automated deployment will help further enhance our delivery capabilities for customers and partners,” he added.

The move will also give Cisco some strong in-house OpenStack expertise. One of Piston’s co-founders, Chris MacGown, was among the originating members of OpenStack’s Nova-core (compute) development team.

This is the second big OpenStack-focused acquisition Cisco has made in recent months. In September last year Cisco acquired Metacloud, a provider of commercially supported OpenStack. Metacloud also had IP in the networking technology it has integrated into its OpenStack distribution, which gave Cisco’s OpenStack play an SDN boost.

IBM, meanwhile has acquired managed private cloud provider Blue Box, which the company said would help bolster its hybrid cloud and OpenStack strategy.

The company said the move would enable it to provide a public cloud-like experience within its customers’ datacentres by allowing it to offer a remotely managed OpenStack offering, which it hadn’t previously.

“IBM is dedicated to helping our clients migrate to the cloud in an open, secure, data rich environment that meet their current and future business needs,” said IBM general manager of cloud services Jim Comfort. “The acquisition of Blue Box accelerates IBM’s open cloud strategy making it easier for our clients to move to data and applications across clouds and adopt hybrid cloud environments.”

IBM said it will continue to support Blue Box customers and use the company as a channel to sell its own cloud services.

Both acquisitions are a sign the old-hat vendors are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to OpenStack – particularly when some of them, like HP and Red Hat, are digging their heels in and aggressively pushing their OpenStack wares.