MOC Vision Statement

To create a self-sustaining at-scale public cloud based on the Open Cloud eXchange model. It will serve as a marketplace for industry partners as well as a place for researchers and industry to innovate and expose innovation to real users.

MOC Project Overview and Goals

The Mass Open Cloud (MOC) is a new production public cloud being developed based on the model of an Open Cloud Exchange (OCX), a model where many stakeholders, rather than just a single provider, participate in implementing and operating the cloud.  Hosted at Boston University and housed at the Hariri Institute for Computing, the project is a unique collaborative effort between higher education, government, non-profit entities and industry.

The primary goals of the project are:

  1. To create an inexpensive and efficient at-scale production cloud utility suitable for sharing and analyzing massive data sets and supporting a broad set of applications.
  2. To create and deploy the OCX model, enabling a healthy marketplace for industry to participate at all levels in the cloud and profit from doing so.
  3. To create a testbed for research in and prototyping of cloud technology, empowering a broad community of researchers, open source developers and companies to develop new cloud computing technologies.

These goals are not independent, but rely on each other.  Only a production cloud with a customer base and a revenue stream that covers its costs can grow to sufficient size to enable the issues of scale that will drive research, new technologies and enable full exploration of the OCX model.  New innovation in cloud depends on having real users, with real workloads and data sets.  The OCX model empowers a broad community of companies and researchers to participate to expose their innovation and profit from use of their technology.

While these goals are aggressive, a number of factors make them practical in this environment, including: 1) the OCX model can be implemented with enhancements, rather than wholesale changes, to the existing Open Stack cloud software, and we are working with the community on these enhancements, 2) we can start building a production environment and a community of users with Open Stack as it exists today, and 3) we have a huge captive community of users and access to a 10MW data center through the five participating academic institutions and the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).

Driving Innovation through a Unique Partnership Model

At the foundation of the MOC’s open model is its unique partnership structure.  Currently, the project’s core partners include 1) academic – Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts; 2) government – the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the United States Air Force; 3) non-profit – the MGHPCC and 4) industry – core industry partners are Cisco, Intel, NetApp, Red Hat and Two Sigma (for a full list of industry partners see below). Each of these partners provide unique expertise and value in support of the project’s primary goals.  Given the scope of this undertaking, the participation of these partners is integral to the success of the MOC.

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