2024 MOC Alliance Workshop

Thank you all for attending and contributing to the success of the 2024 MOC Alliance Workshop!

Thank you all for attending the 2024 MOC Alliance Workshop! Recordings of the talks are available on the MOC Alliance YouTube Channel.

The slides from each talk are also available here: 2024 MOC Alliance Workshop Slides.

The MOC Alliance provides a structure for a set of interrelated projects that have grown up around the Mass Open Cloud (MOC) and Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).  These projects include production cloud services (NERC, NESE, OSN) for domain researchers that are operated and facilitated by university research IT, a national testbed for cloud research (OCT), projects to enable scientific and medical researchers (Biogrids, ChRiS), projects to engage the open source (OI labs) and system research (Red Hat Collaboratory, i-Scale) communities.

The workshop will bring together our unique community of Research IT, researchers, users, and industry to celebrate what has been accomplished and help define the MOC Alliance strategy moving forward. In addition, it will showcase how the Alliance is so much more than the sum of its parts. Sessions will cover research that was motivated by experience with a real cloud, the impact research has already had on upstream open source projects, and how some of these projects are starting to impact services that are part of the Alliance.  

Travel details can be found below. This page will be updated with new details as we get closer to the event, so make sure to check back for exciting announcements!

Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdg0hobyRkmSK6LxfIDNtOSm2j-aEqWLMGOeINwAKJzpL1mIQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

The 2024 MOC Alliance Workshop will be live streamed from the MOC Alliance YouTube Channel.

Livestream Links:

Day 1: https://youtube.com/live/OZnJsUh9Bp8?feature=share

Day 2: https://youtube.com/live/8lxqrEglCFs?feature=share

Wednesday, February 28

Morning (9 am-12:30 pm) —Session 1: AI and the AI Alliance

AI is expected to be one of the most demanding uses of the MOC in the near term, with the emergence of the AI Alliance, the huge demand from existing users, and NAIRR on the horizon.  This session is intended to kick off the discussion on AI and help identify the role that the MOC Alliance can play in supporting AI users and the AI Alliance, but all four sessions will also touch on how the MOC Alliance will focus on AI in the next year. 

9-9:20 am: Gloria Waters and Orran Krieger – Event Kickoff 

9:25-10:10 am: Jeremy Eder – The AI Alliance and an Opportunity for the MOC

10:15-10:40 am: Sanjay Arora, Senior Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat Research – Learned Software Systems

10:45-11 am: Break and Networking Time

11-11:25 am: Eshed Ohn-Bar, Assistant Professor, Boston University – Scaling Systems with Everyone, Everywhere, All the Time: The Co-Ops Project 

11:25- 11:50 am: Ellen Grant, Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Rudolph Pienaar, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School – AI for Medicine and Radiology on NERC 

11:50 am-12:25 pm: Dave Palaitis, Managing Director, Head of Investment Platform Engineering, Two Sigma Investments – Fourth Generation Compute @ Two Sigma

12:30 – 2 pm: Lunch Break

Afternoon (2 pm-5 pm) —Session 2: Marriage of Data and Compute

There is an enormous opportunity for a cloud that is focused on research and education to take advantage of the interaction between data/storage and compute in a way that is different from today’s public clouds.  This session will review our status on NESE, Dataverse and related capabilities, and discuss how we can do better on taking advantage of the relationship between data and compute to aid scientists using the cloud and improve the utilization of the cloud infrastructure.  While an important theme here is AI, this more generally applies to all research domains.

2-2:25 pm: Larry Rudolph, Distinguished Fellow, MOC Alliance, Research Scientist, Two Sigma – The Benefits of Sharing and Collaboration in the MOC 

2:25-2:45 pm: Wayne Gilmore, Director, Research Computing Services, Boston University, and Emre Keskin, University Research Data Officer, Harvard University – The Building Blocks of Cloud—Research Enablement

2:45-3:10 pm: Stefano Iacus, Senior Research Scientist, Director of Data Science and Product Research, IQSS – Harvard – Bringing the data close to the compute at Harvard Dataverse

3:10-3:40 pm: Break and Networking Time

3:40-4 pm: Rory Macneil, CEO, Research Space – The Norwegian Research Commons: A model for NERC?

4-4:25 pm: Mark Roth, Managing Director of Metadata at Two Sigma Investments, LP – Memento: Why Good Artifact Naming Matters 

4:25-4:45 pm: Matt Benjamin, Engineering Manager, IBM, and Amin Mosayyebzadeh, PhD Candidate, Boston University – D4N: A Community Cache for an Open Cloud 

4:45-5: Closing Remarks

6:30 – 9 pm: Reception – Center for Computing & Data Sciences, Room CDS 1750 (17th Floor)

Thursday, February 29

Morning (9 am-12:30 pm) —Session 3: Open Cloud

The MOC Alliance has been developing a new vision for an open cloud to enable different groups to stand up cloud services in a level playing field, services can grow or shrink based on demand, system researchers and developers can discover the issues and develop new services, and multiple data centers can participate in the cloud.   These capabilities are increasingly important as we look forward to expanding the MOC to address the needs of AI Alliance and NAIRR.  This session will discuss the status of what we have, the challenges we need to address, and help focus our community on these issues.

9-9:35 am: Jon Stumpf, Strategic Coordinator, MOC Alliance – A Vision for an Open Cloud 

9:35-10:05 am: Kristi Nikolla, Senior Software Engineer, MOC Alliance – Building the Services Powering the Open Cloud

10:05-10:30 am: Naved Ansari, Senior Software Engineer, MOC Alliance, Tzu-Mainn Chen, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat, and Hakan Saplakoglu, Software Engineer, MOC Alliance –  ESI: Details, Status, and Switch Management Tool 

10:30-10:45 am: Adam Belay, Associate Professor, MIT CSAIL – Transforming Production Cloud Workloads into Realistic System Benchmarks

10:45-11 am: Break and Networking Time

11 am-11:35 pm: Emmanuel Cecchet, Senior Research Fellow, UMass Amherst – CloudLab on ESI 

11:35- 12:10: Peter Desnoyers, Associate Professor, and Isaac Khor, PhD Candidate, Northeastern University – Gateway LSVD: Disaggregated Storage for an Open Cloud

12:10-12:30 pm: Christopher Simmons, Deputy Executive Director, MGPHCC – Getting Started with the Open Storage Network

12:30-2 pm: Lunch Break

Afternoon—Session 4: Operations and Discussions

The MOC Alliance has many non-technical components that are also essential to our vision of an open cloud. The topic of operations includes education, support for systems research, user outreach and facilitation, and governance and partnerships. This session will include discussion led by some of our presenters including the operations topics as well as our other major topics of AI, Marriage of Data and Compute, and Open Cloud to allow our community to connect and provide feedback in real time.

2-2:10 pm: Jon Stumpf, Strategic Coordinator, MOC Alliance and John Goodhue, Executive Director, MGHPCC – Governance and Partnerships 

2:10-2:20 pm: Christopher Simmons, Deputy Executive Director, MGHPCC and Milson Munakami, Lead Cloud Engineer, Harvard University – Fostering Cloud Adoption Using a Community-Driven Approach

2:20-2:30 pm: Michael Zink, Professor, UMass Amherst and Heidi Dempsey, Research Director, US, Red Hat Research – Back to the Future Systems Research

2:30-2:40 pm: Danni Shi, Senior Software Engineer, Red Hat Research, Jonathan Appavoo, Associate Professor, Boston University – OPE and Education on NERC

2:40-3:30 pm: Discussion Group Time (Questions from each of the three main areas,
plus the four from this section)

3:30-3:45 pm: Break and Networking Time 

3:45-4:45 pm: Report Out (5 minutes per conversation and Q&A)

4:45-5 pm: Closing Remarks  


Boston University George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

Accessible by the MBTA Green Line – “B” Line to Boston College, get off at Boston University Central.

Parking available at Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave. Parking is extremely limited, so we recommend taking public transit or getting dropped off if at all possible.

Recommended Hotels:

Hotel Commonwealth (0.5 miles from Boston University)
500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

Residence Inn Boston Back Bay/Fenway (0.4 miles from Boston University)
125 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215

The Verb Hotel (0.6 miles from Boston University)
1271 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

The Eliot Hotel (0.8 miles from Boston University)
370 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

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Participant acknowledges and agrees that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19, an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death, exists in any place where people gather. Participant is required to abide by and observe Boston University’s rules, requirements and procedures with respect COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, including but not limited to requirements for all visitors on campus to wear face coverings at all times except when actively eating and drinking. Boston University does not assume any liability for the contraction or spread of COVID-19, and by attending an event on campus, Participant expressly agrees to assume all risks related to COVID-19 incurred before, during, and after the event.

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