Boston University is collaborating with other area universities to extend the success of the Mass Open Cloud (massopen.cloud) in supporting critical research projects to a public cloud that will serve research needs throughout New England in the United States. The New England Research Cloud (NERC) aims to deliver production-quality cloud resources and services to its research communities throughout the region. NERC will be hosted in the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).
NERC will serve a dual purpose. First, it will host research projects requiring hyperscale computing resources. Second, it will serve as a laboratory of sorts, where every aspect of the operations of such a complex cloud can be studied and lead to further development of AIOps. As a regional center of excellence in research into clouds, NERC will provide a stable and accessible space for open source communities to develop operational knowledge around cloud infrastructure in partnership with the Operate First initiative, hosted by the Open Infrastructure Foundation.
Red Hat is donating over $500 million in software subscriptions to Boston University, which will form the foundational operating stack of the NERC infrastructure. With this contribution, Red Hat endeavors to speed breakthroughs in cloud-based technologies and related open source projects, while building critical skills needed in the next wave of IT professionals.
NERC is part of other projects grouped under the umbrella of the Open Cloud Initiative (OCI), which includes the Mass Open Cloud (MOC), Northeast Storage Exchange (NESE), Open Cloud Testbed (OCT), and Open Storage Network (OSN).
Already, these projects have had meaningful impacts, including:
- Significant contributions to open source storage, operating systems, and security projects
- The development of critical advancements such as the ChRIS Research Integration Service in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital. ChRIS is a web-based medical image platform developed using Red Hat technologies on the MOC that provides a distributed user interface that is designed to enable real-time collaboration between clinicians and radiologists around the world
- Millions of dollars in research funding, including a recent grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Computer and Network Systems to help fund the development of the OCT, a national cloud testbed for research and development of new cloud computing platforms
- Efforts to close the education skills gap so that students and graduates have the ability to work with premium, industry-standard, open source software