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NASA cloud architect forms company for private cloud

Nancy Gohring | Sept. 27, 2011
The lead architect of NASA's cloud platform, which spun off into the open-source OpenStack cloud operating system, is launching a new company and product aimed at helping enterprises more easily build private clouds.

Once an administrator sets the configurations, the USB stick can be plugged into the server rack. PentOS detects the hardware and installs and configures the operating system.

The setup process can eliminate one important vulnerability: the insider attack. Because all the hardware is configured from the USB stick, an enterprise can give only the most trusted administrator the password. Additional administrators don't need logins to any of the hardware because the setup happens automatically, he said.

PentOS also allows enterprises to add as few as five servers at a time.

Enterprises can buy additional PentOS modules that ensure compliance with certain regulations, like HIPAA for health-care organizations and FISMA for government agencies.

Piston plans to make a limited offering of a preview version of PentOS Monday, followed by general availability Nov. 29.

McKenty claims that PentOS is the first enterprise implementation of CloudAudit, a set of common interfaces for automating cloud functions like audit and assurance. That means enterprise users can decide to work with a public cloud provider that also complies with CloudAudit and be assured that all of their cloud operations meet necessary requirements like HIPAA.

McKenty isn't the only former developer of the NASA cloud to try to build tools to help enterprises build private clouds. Chris Kemp, the former CTO of NASA who also helped build its cloud, started a company called Nebula that is developing an appliance aimed at making it easier for enterprises to build private clouds.


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