To say the gloves are off in the ever-expanding OpenStack cloud market may be putting it mildly. Today, Piston Cloud Computing released the 3.0 version of its OpenStack distribution, calling it "the last OpenStack product you'll ever try."

It's easy to think of open source project members all playing nicely and getting along, but Joshua McKenty, co-founder and CTO of Piston, indicated to Talkin' Cloud that things have changed. And the gloves are definitely off.

Apparently Red Hat (RHT) is taking that to heart, as well. Shortly after Talkin' Cloud spoke with McKenty about the latest Piston OpenStack release, the company he co-founded suddenly got uninvited to the upcoming Red Hat Summit. Rumors indicate Red Hat took offense to losing a major contract to Piston. Red Hat reversed its decision when the battle started playing out on Twitter and in the media.

Piston's aggressive go-to-market messaging for its new OpenStack distribution likely won't win it many friends in the OpenStack Foundation, either.

"We're being public about the fact that Piston OpenStack is the last OpenStack you'll ever try," McKenty said.

Piston currently boasts customers in production with its OpenStack distro in seven countries, and according to McKenty, one of the things customers love about Piston is the ease in which versions can be upgraded—without the need to rebuild clusters.

McKenty wasn't done asserting his company's spot in the OpenStack space.

"Piston OpenStack is really the only way to get up and running in a single day," he said.

For those building clouds for their customers, there are several options to choose from when it comes to OpenStack distros, including versions from Red Hat, Mirantis and, of course, Piston. In what is arguably the fastest-growing open source project to date, OpenStack is getting a lot of attention from partners and customers, but cutting through the hype and marketing to get to the real benefits and drawbacks of each is anything but easy.