IBM and Cisco Make Big OpenStack Purchases as Consolidation Continues

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 04, 2015

Back in April, when Nebula, a startup company that sold data center hardware tools for deploying OpenStack clouds, announced that it was shutting down, I took it as a sign that the OpenStack scene was starting a consolidation trend. If you want to see some further signs of that trend, news is breaking that IBM is acquiring OpenStack-focused service provider Blue Box while Cisco is snapping up PistonCloud.

If you factor in HP buying Eucalyptus and EMC buying Cloudscaling, it's clear that we're no longer going to see a market littered with separate OpenStack-centric players. And, the bigger companies are going to swing bigger sticks.

As Network World notes, Piston Cloud was founded by Josh McKenty, the lead architect of NASA's cloud platform, and then it spun off into the open source OpenStack cloud operating system. Piston Cloudhas its own OpenStack private cloud distribution and works well with public clouds that are built on OpenStack.

Cisco didn't disclose financials on the PistonCloud deal, but the company continues to build out its Intercloud initiative, especially by maiking acquisitions. In September 2014, it bought Metacloud, which focuses on private clouds based on OpenStack.

We've covered BlueBox here on OStatic before.  Blue Box offers private cloud as a service functionality based on RackSpace OpenStack, and has some large customers. The company's business model is the opposite of the ones followed by public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. BlueBox's customers want completely private cloud services.

According to ZDNet:

"The privately held Blue Box, which is based in Seattle, gives IBM another piece in its OpenStack arsenal. IBM has bet big on the hybrid cloud and sees OpenStack as the connective tissue for on-premise infrastructure, its public SoftLayer cloud and private clouds."

I've written before about expected consolidation and attrition on the OpenStack scene. While it's a hot tech category, there are enough players that we're going to see some of them fold.

In the end, this will cause support to be the big differentiator, and the big companies that are strengthening their OpenStack arsenals through acquisitions should definitely focus on top-notch support. Expect more big OpenStack purchases as 2015 continues.