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Piston Cloud Raises $12.5 Million for OpenStack Cloud Tech

The market for OpenStack solutions is a large one and growing.

This week, OpenStack startup Piston Computing announced it has raised $8 million in a Series B financing round. Piston had previously raised $4.5 million during its A round in July of 2011.

Piston Computing was founded by Joshua McKenty, who helped to start the OpenStack effort while working for NASA. NASA joined with Rackspace to kick off OpenStack as an open source effort in July of 2010. OpenStack has since grown to embrace the biggest names in IT, including IBM, HP, Dell, Intel and Cisco among others.

The new money is all about giving Piston Cloud the ability to grow and capitalize on the opportunity and interest in OpenStack.

"We wanted to give ourselves the operating runway that provides us the ability to really focus on customers and take care of them," Jim Morrisroe, CEO of Piston Cloud, told ServerWatch.

Morrisroe joined Piston in December to become CEO after previously working for VMware. OpenStack - Rounded Morrisroe note that the appetite for investing in Piston Cloud was high and the company was able to get more money than it had initially expected.

Morrisroe added that Piston Cloud will also continue to invest in the OpenStack platform. He stressed that Piston wins when OpenStack wins. Going beyond that, Piston will also continue to also developer-differentiated intellectual property that builds on top of what the open source OpenStack platform can provide.

"We need to stay ahead of the distribution soup," Morrisroe said.

Piston Cloud's funding is the second major announcement of OpenStack-related funding in the last two months. In January, OpenStack integrator Mirantis announced that it had raised $10 million in funding from Dell Ventures and Intel Capital. With the Mirantis deal, Dell is also becoming a strategic partner.

Piston Cloud is additionally getting funding from a major IT vendor. Cisco is participating in the new Series B round, although it's not necessarily an indication of a deeper partnership. Cisco is an active member of the OpenStack Foundation and has its own OpenStack distribution as well.

"Cisco is very networking centric, and as a strategy they want to make sure that the broader ecosystem of OpenStack continues to thrive and that companies that do things that are complementary to their efforts continue to flourish," Morrisroe said.

Piston Cloud already has an existing partnership in the networking industry with Brocade. Morrisroe noted that Piston will continue to enhance its partnership with Brocade and others in the networking industry.

"On the networking side, we want to make sure that everyone is a first-class partner of ours," Morrisroe said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on February 5, 2013
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