2020 Open Cloud Workshop Follow-Up: Opportunities to Get Involved

Despite the period of uncertainty since the workshop, we have continued planning and building on the momentum from the two days we got to spend with many of you in early March and we look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months on the initiatives discussed in the workshop. This email provides updates and information on how to get involved.

Six years after the MOC’s 2014 launch, the work done by the MOC team, its partners, and numerous collaborators has led to a much larger constellation of deeply connected initiatives in 2020 – driving the broader and deeper discussion at this year’s Open Cloud Workshop. For a quick reminder, please see the video and slide-deck that provide an overview of the MOC, NERC, OCT, Operate First and OILabs initiatives.  We are excited to be in a place where there is more opportunity than ever before to get involved.  We have launched a new website that tries to capture the broader scope of the connected initiatives (please note that site is currently in soft launch, so we appreciate any and all feedback) and you can find slides and videos of the workshop here: 2020 OC Workshop event page.  

To illustrate how the initiatives are deeply interconnected, the work being done to enable Operate First is occurring in the OILabs git repository.   This work will form the basis of the next release of the MOC and the future New England Research Cloud (NERC).   The Elastic Secure Infrastructure (ESI) project, that started as a research project in the MOC to enable sharing of hardware, will similarly become a component of OILabs.  Once it is productized, it will be integrated into the MOC, NERC, and Open Cloud Testbed (OCT), enabling hardware to be easily shifted between those services based on demand. 

As discussed below, the best way for individuals to get involved is through OILabs, Operate First, and the OCT.  Please forward this information to people in your community that might want to participate.  If you are interested in getting involved as a corporate sponsor of OILabs or the MOC, please contact Jennifer Stacy.

OpenInfra Labs (OILabs): OpenInfra Labs (OILabs) is a new effort, established in partnership with the OpenStack Foundation, to simplify, standardize, and evolve how different institutions deploy and operate open source cloud infrastructure and cloud native software. One key priority of the initial OILabs effort is to address the needs of the MOC and NERC. Meanwhile, we welcome new grassroots open-source projects from the community at large that are aligned with the mission of the OILabs and that will be jointly developed by individual contributors. The overall goal of the OILabs is to see more organizations globally (especially in the academic and research space) stand up consistent and more consumable fullstack clouds that can enable hybrid and federated use cases.  If you are building or operating open source based clouds and would like to help improve and standardize the process for creating and using them, we invite you to get involved in OpenInfra Labs today!  For more information, visit the website, and join the conversation:

Mailing list – http://lists.opendev.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openinfralabs
IRC – Freenode IRC: #openinfralabs

Also, please take this short  five-question survey to help OILabs understand the open source infrastructure usage across more environments:  https://tinyurl.com/ybcbshls

Operate First: The Operate First initiative is an effort to open source cloud operations at scale. As the code and automation around operating software become as valuable as the source code of the software itself, open source communities will need to operate the software they work on themselves before it can be productized and operated by others. With the Operate First Initiative we hope to provide a space where communities can operate services, collect operational data, use that data to create automated ops tools (anomaly checking, rules, etc.), and incorporate those tools and rules into the software and the software configuration. This will give open source software communities a much more even playing field to compete with the proprietary cloud providers who have the advantage of operating everything themselves.

All the work being done to enable Operate First is occurring in the Open Infrastructure Labs git repository: https://gitlab.com/open-infrastructure-labs. Please have a look and consider joining the community.

Open Cloud TestBed: The NSF Open Cloud Testbed (OCT) initiative will build and support a testbed for research and experimentation into new cloud technologies.  The OCT combines proven software technologies from both CloudLab and Mass Open Cloud.  It also makes FPGAs widely available to systems researchers, building on Intel’s generous donation of FPGA boards to the MOC.  The OCT will be the first national cloud computing testbed connected to a functioning cloud, enabling access to cloud data sets and meta-data, providing a path for researchers to expose their innovation to end users, and enabling infrastructure to be shifted between the cloud and testbed based on demand. 

The OCT is achieving a much larger scale than anticipated in the NSF proposal because of a large donation of computers from Two Sigma to the OCT and MOC.  Over this past winter, Two Sigma provided 200 servers with 30 TB of memory.  Since this additional infrastructure is not NSF funded, this provides us with the opportunity to support not only academic researchers, but also the open source community and industry.  We are working hard to make this infrastructure fully available, and expect to have over 130 servers exposed through the testbed by early summer.  If you are a member of the NSF CISE community, please apply for an account here.  If you are from industry or an open source developer and would like to use the platform, or want to work with the OCT to expose interesting hardware capabilities to testbed users, please contact Mike Zink to get involved.  To get involved in ESI development you can find the information here.  To get involved in Cloud Lab development please go here

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.  We look forward to working with you on these efforts.