Over the next three years, Boston University will work on developing the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC), thanks to a pledge of $3 million in funding from Governor Deval Partrick. The MOC is a cloud program with the capacity to serve as a catalyst for economic growth and technological innovation. BU will partner with the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center to build the software needed.
The MOC would be the same as other programs because it would be open and anyone could buy space, but it will be different from other clouds, like those offered by Google and Amazon, because it would be open to all kinds of vendors. They would all have access to operational data like which programs are currently running on it and performance reports.
According to the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, “In the MOC, multiple entities engage on a level playing field to provide computing resources and services as well as to add value to offerings by other entities in support of a wide range of data-driven applications. With significant payoff to the public and private sectors, the MOC will be a catalyst for the economic development of business clusters that engage both industrial and academic institutions.”
Advanced cloud computing programs can continue to help businesses streamline operations and improve efficiency. Uploading files to secure cloud servers will allow workers to get the information they need without having to dig for files or worry about not having vital information while on the go. That could be valuable both on a day-to-day basis and for businesses that need to relocate.
Orran Krieger, director of the Cloud Computing Initiative at the Hariri Institute and research professor at the College of Arts and Sciences expressed the possibilities for the new software. “The MOC will be the first realization of this model,” he said. “If it’s successful, we expect other clouds to follow our model, fundamentally changing the nature of cloud computing.
Projects like these require funding, and, while researchers and developers have private funding, the pledge from the government should help make sure the project is completed.
“Investing in innovative sectors that are becoming a prominent part of our economy is critical to meeting the demands of the 21st century,” says Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts housing and economic development secretary.
Whether or not the MOC will revolutionize how cloud computing is used and become an important part in an ever-evolving economy remains to be seen.