Piston CloudOS™ Technology

Piston CloudOS is a new type of operating system that manages clusters of commodity servers in your datacenter as a single pool of highly-available resources. These resources may be shared by any service or framework, including OpenStack®, Hadoop®, Spark™, Docker Swarm®, and Mesos™ for better resource efficiency, and streamlined operations.

Perfected through years of OpenStack deployments at hundreds of companies, Piston CloudOS makes bare metal orchestration and cluster management an afterthought, empowering IT to deploy new services in minutes, reduce operational and management costs by 85%, and gain visibility into critical resources.

Piston CloudOS enables push-button deployment of Big Data services such as Hadoop, Yarn, and Spark, container orchestration solutions including Kubernetes, Mesos, and Docker Swarm, as well as private cloud platforms such as OpenStack. You can seamlessly re-allocate resources to multiple frameworks and services across the data center, on the fly, and ensure optimization of your infrastructure. Piston CloudOS gives you the power to monitor, adjust, scale, and optimize your cluster, giving unprecedented visibility into your datacenter resources.


Piston CloudOS Datasheet

Get the full technical specifications, features, and capabilities of Piston CloudOS.


CloudOS Compendium

Learn more about the technical features and capabilities of Piston CloudO, including our multiple layers of fault-tolerance and highly secure micro OS.

Piston CloudOS

Multiple Frameworks

CloudOS puts you in control, and makes deploying new services on bare metal as easy as downloading an app to your smartphone. Learn more about our supported frameworks.

Distributed Cloud Services

Most infrastructure services can run on every server, but some components need to run a single instance at a guaranteed location. Typical configuration management addresses this by using a single “master” server configuration profile.

Piston CloudOS uses a master election approach to ensure high availability. Any one of the nodes in your cluster can be elected to operate services. If the process, the network connection, or the hardware in that node fails, the service is seamlessly re-elected to run on another node.

Distributed Cloud Manager

With Piston’s API and UI, operators manage and monitor the cloud as one entity, not as individual machines. Among other things, Piston’s advanced cluster management software enables a fully automated rolling upgrade without any service disruption.

For advanced troubleshooting, Piston allows for an encrypted phone-home service, so there’s no wait time for support or endless hours of hold music. Piston’s zero-downtime update service supports both online and near-line upgrades. When an upgrade is available with the latest patches, you can rest assured that it will be successfully delivered to your Piston CloudOS environment with zero downtime.

Piston’s advanced cluster management software enables all nodes in your cluster to be updated in a fully-automated rollover process without causing any service disruption. Your connection to the Piston update service is encrypted with your unique license entitlement key. Options for updates to air-gapped installations are also available.

Cloud Fabric

Piston CloudOS includes Software Defined Storage (SDS), Software Defined Networking (SDN), and a KVM compute fabric. This provides a default and robust fabric for your cloud infrastructure. With the ability to use optional storage back-ends, network plugins, virtual machines, and containers, Piston CloudOS allows you to add to the default configuration. This layer abstracts the underlying commodity distributed hardware servers including its storage and networking components into a converged software defined datacenter.

Iocane Linux

Iocane Linux™ Micro-OS is a hardened Linux operating system. It’s minimal (just a few hundred packages), which reduces the security footprint of your entire system. It includes only what's required to run Piston CloudOS, eliminating many of the installation and version management headaches present in traditional individual-server focused operating systems. It can be characterized as a bare-metal operating system that is tailor-made for pools of hyper-converged, commodity resources. Shell prompt access to the physical servers is never required for cluster administration.

Easy to use dashboards are the command prompt of your CloudOS environment. It’s also transient because it boots off of the network into a RAM disk, it’s never installed to disk. So a CloudOS upgrade is always a rolling upgrade, never a patch. When implemented properly, a micro-OS can provide many of the same security benefits as a hardware appliance, but without the additional lock-in.

The current version of Iocane Linux is built on the 3.18.9 Linux kernel. It provides containers, network namespaces, resource limiting and network traffic shaping throughout Piston CloudOS. And because it can guarantee that there are no processes running in the OS that aren’t managed by Piston, we can orchestrate otherwise destructive system functions (such as formatting and partitioning drives or powering off physical equipment) without risk.


CloudBoot is Piston’s hardware provisioning and orchestration framework. CloudBoot takes hyper-converged servers from bare metal to a highly-available cloud infrastructure in roughly 10 minutes. Using a single configuration policy, CloudBoot enables auto-discovery and configuration of the servers, profiling of the hardware, and booting of Iocane Linux. When the need arises to add more capacity to the cloud, scaling out is simple: attach servers to the network, and CloudBoot automatically adds them to the cloud with zero downtime or impact to running services or workloads.

Commodity Hardware

CloudOS relies on commodity x86 machines that you can buy from any hardware vendor. This model is extremely cost effective, and frees you from having to buy hardware from a particular vendor.

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