Gloria Waters Remarks

Good morning, and welcome to the Sixth Massachusetts Open Cloud Workshop. We are thrilled to be back live after a COVID hiatus and look forward to returning this to an annual event!

The idea of an Open Cloud was originally compelling nine years ago, and the project has exceeded our expectations.  We now have production cloud services operated by University Research IT groups supporting domain researchers from multiple universities and a robust systems research community studying the behavior of the cloud. 

As the Vice President of Research at Boston University, I appreciate how the Alliance is presenting opportunities to enable computer system researchers to engage with industry and the open source community to work on important problems, while providing a unique cost effective resource that will enhance the wide range of computational driven domain research across our universities. The cloud is truly becoming the new library where data is discovered, and the new laboratory where science is done. It’s exciting to see the MOC-A helping define the future of something that is impacting so many areas of academic research. 

Watching the Alliance’s work — whether researching improvements to cloud computing, transitioning research ideas into Open Source Software, or working with Research Computing groups and the MGHPCC to pilot new funding models, is never dull.

We are looking forward to seeing the proposed i-Scale NSF center expanding this successful model of industry/research collaboration and I would like to welcome all the companies that are attending this workshop. It’s exciting to see the incredible diversity of companies represented here today from cloud providers to major banks, to software developers, to computer chip manufacturers.

None of this would be possible without the collaboration of the region’s Research Institutions, our industry partners, the MGHPCC, and the support, at critical junctures, of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. 

The support from an Institutional level and involvement of the Research IT departments across the partner Universities has enabled researchers to flourish. At BU, Wayne Gilmore and Tracy Schroeder and at Harvard, Scott Yockel and Klara Jelinkova are playing a key role not only in driving production cloud services, but also in engaging Research IT from all the other institutions in this important effort.  

One particularly innovative research partnership I would like to highlight is the Red Hat Collaboratory.  A key aspect of the Collaboratory is the involvement of Red Hat Engineers with faculty and student researchers. In the past two years, 35 projects have been funded in areas including machine learning and automation, operating systems, big data platforms and Artificial Intelligence.   

The benefits of the Alliance continue to extend well beyond technology. The MOC has provided the participating institutions with a unique opportunity to explore a different, and so far, incredibly successful approach to engage with industry in mutually beneficial ways. It has provided our academic departments with an opportunity to develop courses that engage students in collaborations with industrial partners. It has provided the IT departments with an opportunity to experiment with new models for supporting research computing and with new approaches to connect their respective infrastructures. It has allowed us, to develop a model for future public-private partnerships pursued in a university setting. And last but not least, it has validated our vision of the MGHPCC as a shared infrastructure, where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Thank you to our academic partners: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.

Thank you to our Core Partners, who continue to commit invaluable resources and technical and business expertise: Red Hat and Two Sigma.

Thank you to our Contributing Partners, who have either donated hardware or software, or who work with the MOC on exciting projects and bring critical technical expertise to the table, helping the MOC navigate new opportunities: Wayfair, Cisco, Intel, NetApp, and AMD.

And thank you to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, in particular, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, for helping to drive this vision into reality by providing the critical seed funding and continuous guidance.    

And special thank you to all of you, the wider MOC Community, which includes contributors from industry, students, researchers and many others who are do their part to further the MOC Alliance. You are the backbone of this effort.

A complex collaboration of this scale needs a great deal of coordination, organization, legal support, and more – skills that no one project can build up internally.  Boston University is thrilled to continue to host this multi-institutional project and will continue to provide this support needed to host the project.  The university is very pleased with the success of this collaborative effort.

I would also like to thank the Hariri Institute for Computing, which has incubated the MOC from its start.  Boston University established Hariri to take bleeding-edge, high-risk ideas and projects, incubate them, and navigate the legal and administrative hurdles within the realm of rapidly evolving technology in analytics and computing. Thanks to its Director Yannis Paschalidis and its Director of Finance and Administration, Stephen Brown, who have been incredibly supportive in our efforts.

Overall, watching the development of the Mass Open Cloud has been an inspiring and enlightening experience. It is clear that this organization is making significant contributions to the world of cloud computing, and its efforts are likely to have a lasting impact for years to come. Thank you all.

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