Colloquium: Pause for democracy: Leaving open source storage to help Americans vote in 2020

Sage Weil

Ceph Project Lead; Sr Distinguished Engineer, Red Hat

Thursday April 29, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00 PM

Meeting ID: 924 4393 8387
Passcode: 770902



In 2020 I took a leave of absence to work on democracy and voting related efforts with VoteAmerica, a national get-out-the-vote organization with a focus on voter registration, voter turnout, and voter protection.  This was a huge departure from my usual role at Red Hat leading Ceph, an open source distributed storage project, both in terms of the technical work and the underlying motivation and purpose.    This talk will cover a mix of both what I did and why, as well as how the journey has changed the way I view my work and career goals going forward.  I will talk about what drove me to take what seemed at the time like a drastic move, how I (eventually) found a place where I felt I could be effective, who I worked with and what we accomplished, and how that has changed my perspective now that I have returned to my “real” job.

About the Speaker
Sage Weil is the lead architect and co-creator of the Ceph open source distributed storage system.  Sage helped design Ceph as part of his PhD research at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since finishing in 2007, he has continued to refine Ceph with the goal of providing a stable next generation distributed storage system for Linux.  Sage co-founded Inktank in 2012 to bring enterprise-quality open source storage to the enterprise.  After Red Hat acquired Inktank in 2014, Sage has worked in Red Hat’s Office of  the CTO to improve Ceph and help shape Red Hat’s overall storage strategy.

About the Collaboratory
A partnership between Red Hat and Boston University, the Red Hat Collaboratory connects BU faculty and students with industry practitioners working in open-source software communities. The Collaboratory aims to advance research focused on emerging technologies in a number of areas including operating systems, cloud computing services, machine learning and automation, and big data platforms.

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