Open Source Solutions Touted at MIT as Key to the Future of Cloud Computing

Researchers Meet at IAP Workshop to Address the Technology Needs of the Data Center and Cloud

Los Gatos, California – October 8, 2014
The Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP) conducted a Cloud Workshop at MIT on September 26. Speakers from industry and academia described their R&D efforts to meet the future needs of cloud computing, spanning the full scope of hardware (servers, storage and networking) and software solutions (operating systems, virtualization, cloud orchestration software, and big data analytics).

Many Open Source initiatives and solutions were represented including Apache Spark, Massachusetts Open Cloud, OPEN COMPUTE PROJECT, OpenPOWER, OpenStack, PURPLE FOUNDATION, and Ubuntu.


Professor Daniel Sanchez is an IAP board advisor and was the campus host and Workshop co-organizer with Dr. Jim Ballingall, IAP executive director.

Cavium, Cisco, Facebook and SanDisk were Platinum Sponsors of the Workshop.

The student poster session included presentations on cloud-related research from MIT, Harvard, and BU. The Best Poster Award went to Po-An Tsai of MIT for his work on novel on-chip caching algorithms to improve CPU performance and power efficiency. The award was presented by Robert Broberg (Cisco), Dr. John Busch (SanDisk), and Prof. Sanchez.

Arvind is the Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT. He commented  “It was a very enjoyable and productive workshop. Interactions between industry and academia like these are critical to the university experience for our students, as well as informing future research directions.”

Dr. John Busch, Vice President and SanDisk Fellow, stated, “The interactions with students and professors were extremely informative, and the caliber of the attendees and speakers at this IAP Workshop was equally impressive. The student poster session was another highlight for me.”

Charlie Manese, Solutions Engineer at Facebook, commented, “The Open Compute Project was founded in 2011 to enable a faster pace of innovation and a stronger focus on efficiency and sustainability in the development of data center technologies.  We appreciated the opportunity to update attendees from industry and academia about OCP’s recent progress.”

Dr. Brad McCredie, Vice President and IBM Fellow, and President OpenPOWER Initiative, “It was a great workshop and all of us at IBM came away with a stronger sense of the industry forces at work and the approaches we could consider together with the academic community. I'm glad we're part of the conversation and looking forward to future IAP Workshops.”

Dr. Shubu Mukherjee, Distinguished Engineer at Cavium, stated, “These IAP Workshops are a great venue to reconnect with both industry and academic colleagues, get updates on the latest developments, and to get to know and spend time with many talented students.”

Prof. Daniel Sanchez is a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  He commented, "This was our first IAP Cloud Workshop at MIT, so it was great to see the strong turnout by industry, the MIT staff and students in CSAIL and EECS, as well as from our collaborators at Boston University and Harvard.”

Lew Tucker, Vice President and CTO, Cloud Computing at Cisco, and Vice Chairman OpenStack Foundation, commented, “I come to these gatherings with a strong open source perspective, so I was delighted to see the broad participation by OpenStack proponents from both industry and academia like Mass Open Cloud, as well as other open source solutions like Apache Spark that often stand on an OpenStack deployment.”

Prof. Matei Zaharia joined MIT in 2014 and is also the CTO of Databricks. He stated, “I was excited by the attendee turnout and by the breadth of both academic and industry speakers at the workshop."

Dr. Ballingall, Executive Director of the IAP summed up, “According to university program rankings such as U.S. News and World Report, MIT is tied for the ranking of the number one computer science program in the world. So, we were thrilled with the high turnout by the staff and students, as well as the level of industry participation.”

IAP membership and attendance at IAP Workshops is free for university professors, staff and students.  Industry attendees must be IAP members or invited by the IAP.
Video transcripts and slides of the presentations will be made available to IAP members. For further information, please see

About the Industry-Academia Partnership: The IAP is an association of university professors, students and industry with the goal being to catalyze new product innovations by bringing together industry and university partners in pursuit of some common data center goals in education, research and product development. The IAP Board of Advisors includes Professor Krste Asanović of UC Berkeley, Professor David Brooks of Harvard University, Professor Christos Kozyrakis of Stanford University, Professor José Martínez of Cornell University, Professor Onur Mutlu of Carnegie Mellon University, and Professor Daniel Sanchez of MIT. Dr. Jim Ballingall of Ballingall Consulting is the Executive Director. The IAP conducts workshops and training sessions on university campuses.  For further information, visit the IAP website at and contact the IAP at