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Monday Oct. 12, 2020, 5:30 p.m.–Oct. 12, 2020, 6 p.m. in Jupyter Community: Practices

2i2c: sustaining open source through hosted Jupyter infrastructure for research and education

Yuvi Panda, Cathryn Carson, Chris Holdgraf, Fernando Pérez, James Colliander, Lindsey Heagy, Ryan Abernathey

Audience level:

Brief Summary

The International Interactive Computing Collaboration (2i2c) is a new non-profit with a dual mission to (a) host interactive computing infrastructure for research and education (b) support the open source projects it relies on. We will describe our technical and community vision for this organization, that we hope will seed a network of partnerships that strengthen the Jupyter ecosystem.


In the past several years, JupyterHub has been adopted in both large institutions and small teams, and has shown the value of centralized interactive computing environments running on shared infrastructure. While JupyterHub and the stack it powers is 100% open-source, it still takes expertise and time to run this infrastructure, which is a barrier to many institutions adopting the technology. Many institutions simply want hosted infrastructure without the responsibilities of running it themselves. Moreover, the open source projects underlying this infrastructure are often under-supported in development and maintenance. This talk will describe an attempt at improving both of these issues through a newly-formed non-profit.

The International Interactive Computing Collaboration (2i2c.org) is a new non-profit that aims to meet this demand while also providing core support and resources for the open source community. It is an experiment in providing access to interactive computing environments that run entirely on open source infrastructure, in a manner that is vendor agnostic and tailored for research and education. It is also an experiment in using this model to sustainably support the open communities that underlie this technology.

In this talk, we will describe several case-studies from our experience running Jupyter infrastructure for research and education (the Berkeley Data Science Education DataHubs, Pangeo, and Syzygy.ca). We will discuss why each has been successful, where this success has brought challenges in sustainability, and the challenges for replicating these models in other organizations. In particular, while open source is accessible in many ways, there are other ways in which it is not (e.g., managed cloud deployments).

For many organizations, this is enough of a barrier that they must turn to other, often less-open options. There are a variety of options for hosted interactive computing/Jupyter services out there, but few-to-none that offer 100% open source software running in a vendor-agnostic manner. We’ll discuss why we believe it’s important for organizations--particularly those in research and education--to have options for this kind of hosted infrastructure.

Finally, we’ll discuss how building sustainable businesses with the right guard-rails can also provide major support for the open source ecosystem. 2i2c was founded with an explicit mandate that it contribute back resources directly to the projects and communities it critically relies on (Jupyter and beyond).

We hope this combination of a revenue model with services for which we know there is a concrete demand, matched with a mission statement of proactive contribution to the sustainability of its underlying ecosystem, will help bridge some of the gaps we have experienced over the past decades with either volunteer-only efforts or funding secured through traditional scientific research agencies.

We will describe how 2i2c takes a “Customize, Collaborate, Contribute” development and deployment model that we hope other organizations will emulate in order to support the ecosystem.

We hope 2i2c will grow as a network of partners with similar goals, each meeting the needs of their stakeholders and their geographic, cultural, regulatory, and other constraints, while embracing a vision of supporting open science and education as a common good that crosses boundaries. This talk will be an invitation to all who may want to join us in this effort.