Colloquium: Open Cloud Testbed: Developing a Testbed for the Research Community Exploring Next-Generation Cloud Platforms

Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University Colloquium


Mike Zink
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department,
University of Massachusetts

Open Cloud Testbed: Developing a Testbed for the Research Community Exploring Next-Generation Cloud Platforms


Cloud testbeds are critical for enabling research into new cloud technologies – research that requires experiments that potentially change the operation of the cloud itself. Several such testbeds have been created in the recent past (e.g., Chameleon, CloudLab, etc.) with the goal to support the CISE systems research community. It has been shown that these testbeds are very popular and heavily used by the research community. Testbed utilization often reaches 100%, especially ahead of deadlines for major systems conferences, while there are also periods of modest (<40%) testbed usage.

During this talk, I will present our NSF “Open Cloud Testbed” (OCT) project, which has the goal to enable elastic cloud testbeds for systems research. Eventually, OCT will allow cloud testbeds to grow and shrink by allocating and deallocating additional resources from compute facilities like production clouds and HPC clusters. Within the OCT project, we will create a prototype elastic cloud testbed, which will combine proven software technologies from both the CloudLab and the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC) projects. It will also combine a research cloud testbed (CloudLab) with a production cloud (MOC) through OCT’s tight integration with the latter and federation with CloudLab. In addition, OCT will provide programmable hardware (FPGAs) as Bump-in-the-Wire (BITW) capabilities not present in other facilities available to researchers today. The combination of a testbed and production cloud allows a) larger scale compared to isolated testbeds, b) reproducible experimentation based on realistic user behavior and applications, as well as c) a model for transitioning successful research results to practice.

OCT offers a unique sustainability model, by allowing additional compute resources to be dynamically moved from institutional uses into the testbed and back again, providing a path to growth beyond the initial testbed.


Michael Zink is an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Darmstadt University of Technology in 1997 and 2003, respectively. His research interests are in cyberphysical systems, cloud computing, and Future Internet Architecture. He has been involved in the creation of research infrastructure through his involvement in the NSF GENI and NSF Cloud initiatives. In the latter case, he serves as a Co-PI on the CloudLab project. He is also PI for Open Cloud Testbed, a new NSF project, that has the goal to support the research activity of the systems community in the area of cloud computing. LinkedIn:


  • 11:30 AM: Refreshments & Networking
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM: Talk and Discussion

Recording of Event

A recording of the talk will be available here following the event.

Dates & Times

Monday February 3, 2020
11:30-12:00 PM – Refreshments and Pizza
12:00 – 1:00 PM Talk and Discussion


Hariri Institute for Computing
111 Cummington Mall, Room 157



Contact the Collaboratory with any questions you may have about this event.