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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Piston Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has fundamentally altered the IT landscape: dramatically boosting IT agility, while lowering costs. To realize the business advantages of cloud, organizations are shifting to a hybrid IT model—blending private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise applications.

To help customers maintain control and compliance in this hyper-connected, hyper-distributed IT environment, Cisco and its partners are building the Intercloud—a globally connected network of clouds. Today, Cisco is taking another important step towards realizing our ambitious Intercloud vision. We are pleased to announce our intent to acquire Piston Cloud Computing, which will help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities of Cisco Intercloud Services.

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

To bring the world of standalone clouds together, Cisco and our partners are building the Intercloud. The Intercloud is designed to deliver secure cloud services everywhere in the world. Our enterprise-class portfolio of technology and cloud services gives customers the choice to build their own private clouds or consume cloud services from a trusted Intercloud Provider. The Intercloud provides choice of services, all with compliance and control. In a nutshell: we’re delivering cloud the way our customers need it.

Piston will join our Cloud Services team under the leadership of Faiyaz Shahpurwala, senior vice president, Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services Organization.

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What’s the 411 on OpenStack based Summit Collaboration in Vancouver?

Last week, I was prepping for the 11th OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, when I suddenly had a question pop up. How on earth would I, much less over a hundred of us, from Cisco communicate at an international destination in an easy and organized way?

Some group ideas were:

  • Temporary international data plans for $30
  • For the thrifty, call forwarding via Wi-Fi to messaging clients such as Cisco Jabber
  • Email

Maybe.

Even just organizing using one of these methods would be fragmented and painful. Ironically, an OpenStack based solution called Cisco Spark  comes into play here much more nicely. It allows to more easily organize and communicate with each other at events like the OpenStack Summit.

Cisco Spark: Built and Hosted on OpenStack

Did you know that WebEx is the 3rd largest cloud SaaS solution in the world? Or that it has been operating on OpenStack for over three years? Additionally, the new Cisco Spark solution for team collaboration was developed on and is hosted on an OpenStack cloud to our customers.  As someone who hates the inefficiency of email bombardment, this sleek new collaboration solution is ideal for teams to organize around projects.

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OSPod #31: Anne Gentle

I know I often say nice things about the guests on this podcast–because they routinely blow me away with their technical acumen and genuine enthusiasm–but really, there aren’t enough nice words in the dictionary to adequately express my fondness for Anne Gentle. She’s been an exceptional contributor to OpenStack as the project team lead for documentation, plus she serves as the OpenStack Documentation Technical Lead at Rackspace. And she’s a mom. And she spends her spare moments helping both women and school-age children find a passion for technology and a pathway to a career in the industry.

Bam.

Can you see why I like her?

In last week’s podcast we talked to Anne about a wide variety of OpenStack- and open source-related subjects, including:

  • How quilting got her into technology
  • How she gets elementary school kids (and their teachers) excited about network topology design
  • Why she loves doing OpenStack documentation
  • How a “book sprint” works
  • Which audiences she’d like the foundation to write guides for next
  • Why her team is transitioning from Docbooks to RST
  • What the Night Scout Foundation is doing to help kids manage diabetes

You can follow Anne on Twitter at @annegentle and find her OpenStack sessions here.

Jeff and I are headed to Vancouver! Check out Jeff’s sessionsmy sessions, and follow @openstackpod to catch the Summit Minicasts of OSPod.

See past episodes, subscribe, or view the upcoming schedule on the OSPod website.

For a full transcript of this podcast, click “Read more,” below

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OpenStack and Containers

Containers just might be the hottest technology in the business and quickly becoming a focal point within the OpenStack community and several members of the OpenStack team here at Cisco have been very involved. Daneyon Hansen and Steven Dake have helped me give a quick look at how Containers and OpenStack are coming together.

Two container-focused OpenStack projects, Magnum and Kolla, have evolved significantly through the Kilo development cycle. Kolla formed shortly before the Kilo Design Summit, while Magnum was created shortly afterward. Both projects use Docker for containers, but leverage the technology for different purposes. Magnum is a Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) system, allowing users to build and run container-based applications in OpenStack clouds, while Kolla’s mission is to simplify the OpenStack operational experience.

Kolla improves OpenStack operations by containerizing OpenStack into micro services and providing additional tooling to simplify management. Containerizing OpenStack services improves operations such as providing deployment consistency, simplified upgrades, portability, scaling, etc.. These capabilities are achieved by encompassing the entire application runtime for each OpenStack service into a lightweight, portable unit. Each micro service becomes an atomic unit of management such as deployment, upgrading, scaling, etc. Kolla was developed as an integration project, allowing other tools such as TripleO, Heat, Ansible, etc.. to manage OpenStack at scale using Docker containers.

Magnum is an API service developed for OpenStack to make container management tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, etc. available as first class resources in OpenStack. Magnum uses Heat to orchestrate an operating system image that includes the container management tools and runs the image in a Nova instance cluster. Magnum is meant to launch a minimalistic host operating system such as Fedora Atomic, CoreOS, or Ubuntu Snappy. The operating system includes enough tools to launch Docker, Kubernetes, etc.. Once the operating system is launched, Magnum configures the  clusters to run a Container Orchestration Environment for multi-tenancy.

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OSPod #30: Edgar Magana of Workday

If there was an award for “The Nicest Guy in OpenStack” my vote would be coin toss between Edgar Magana from Workday and Tim Bell of CERN. Actually, Sean Lynch, Metacloud Co-founder is right up there, too, but since he’s technically my boss’s boss, he’s inelgible for my vote. But I digress….

Edgar’s story begins with his “low income” upbringing in Mexico, to an interest in computers, a PhD in Computer Science in Barcelona, and a great career as an authority on OpenStack at Workday. The most difficult part of Edgar’s journey? Learning English!

This episode was certainly one of the most pragmatic shows we’ve done. I expected to hear a bunch of enthusiam about OpenStack Neutron, but that wasn’t compeletely the case. Edgar, formerly of Cisco, shared his opinion on the readiness of Neutron for large-scale production workloads and where OpenvSwitch falls short (40-50 nodes, in case you’re wondering.) Edgar believes that from the operator perspective, Neutron still has shortcomings and more must be done to simplify networking for developers and operators.

Edgar was also kind enough to share information about how he and others have transformed the team at Workday to take advantage of the agility that cloud provides. Through training, labs, and bringing departments together, Edgar is biulding a private cloud suitable for scaling and deplying Workday’s data-sensistive applications. We closed out with Edgar’s willingness to build diverse teams—something Edgar is passionate about since he has one daughter and another on the way. (Congrats!)

If you follow Neutron, SDN, or networking in general, don’t pass this podcast up!

You can follow Edgar on Twitter at @emaganap and find his OpenStack sessions (including a use case session) here.

Jeff and I are headed to Vancouver! Check out Jeff’s sessions, my sessions, and follow @openstackpod to catch the Summit Minicasts of OSPod.

See past episodes, subscribe, or view the upcoming schedule on the OSPod website.

For a full transcript of this podcast, click “Read more,” below

Read More »

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