Clouds in the forecast: RC embarks on cloud computing project

Research Computing (RC) is excited to announce its partnership with the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC). On Friday, April 25th, Governor Deval Patrick announced the initiative as part of the Commonwealth's commitment to growing the state's big data industry. “Massachusetts is already home to several unique big data assets, including the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, and through continued investments and support for this growing industry we are positioning ourselves to take the lead on Big Data,” said Governor Patrick.

The initiative is a consortium of private and public institutions across Massachusetts dedicated to the creation of publicly available cloud computing that will drive Big Data innovation. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has provided $3M to fund the initiative, and matching funds from a mix of federal, industry and philanthropic sources are expected to exceed $16M.

Research Computing will provide operational leadership for the project and take the lead on designing and building the physical and virtual infrastructure for MOC. As a founding member of MGHPCC, Research Computing has deep knowledge and experience with building large-scale high performance computing clusters.

Software for the MOC will be designed to cross organizational boundaries, pooling the compute resources of all MOC partners. Research Computing plans on integrating its existing systems at MGHPCC with the new MOC systems. Once the MOC’s infrastructure is built, Research Computing will be able to leverage its compute with MOC resources. James Cuff, Assistant Dean for Research Computing, noted that RC will use the MOC as "one part of our strategy to provide lasting computer resources to our faculty and researchers." By creating an open system where users can login to an Research Computing portal that accesses shared compute from both the MOC and RC, users will be able to submit jobs locally and compute globally.