Massachusetts Open Cloud Gets $3M in Funding

The Massachusetts Open Cloud project recently received the official endorsement of Governor Duval Patrick. The Massachusetts state government awarded $3M to Boston University so that the storied academic institution could begin working on the project. You’re probably wondering, what is the MOC?

In an interview with the Daily Free Press, Professor and Founding Director Azer Bestavros is quoted as saying, “The MOC is conceived as a marketplace where different parties can contribute different assets that can be combined in creative and innovative ways to offer solutions or services that are hard, and often impossible, to develop in a closed cloud.”
The Massachusetts state government believes that the MOC will become an economic engine that drives more technology based businesses into the state. Students and faculty from Boston University’s Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering will take the lead on this project but they will also collaborate with technology companies and other academic institutions such as Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
To help those betting understand the MOC, Bestavros mentions that organizations “Can choose, compare and switch between multiple offerings. The MOC as an open cloud stands in sharp contrast to the monopoly of closed clouds, where choices are very limited and competition is almost non-existent.”
When asked about the practical uses of the MOC, Bestavros added, “Most of our customers will be those using the cloud for research purposes, as opposed to commercial applications.” In relation to the future of the MOC, he says, “Our hope and plan is for the MOC to cater to any and all types of applications and uses.”
In addition to the $3M in state funding, the MOC project has received over $16M in contributions from technology vendors. Since the MOC will first focus on those using the cloud for research, universities will likely be the first to use the MOC. Bobby Abdolmohammadi, who is a CAS student, was also quoted by the Daily Free Press as saying, “I would have thought there would have been something like this already, just because it seems like it would really help. It would definitely have the potential to be beneficial to everyone, especially if universities can share their research.”