Episode 39

How $2 Million Dollars Helped Build CROSS with Dr. Carlos Maltzahn


June 5th, 2020

35 mins 35 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sponsored By:


Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer


Dr. Carlos Maltzahn

Show Notes

💬 Discuss this episode

Hello and welcome to Sustain! In this episode, we have a really interesting guest, Dr. Carlos Maltzahn, who’s a Professor at University of California at Santa Cruz. He teaches Computer Science and Engineering and specializes in storage systems. Carlos is going to teach us all about his project CROSS (Center for Research in Open Source Software). He will tell us how they get projects, how they get funded for projects, and he will explain the Ceph storage system to us as well as SkyhookDM. Interested in finding out how to enroll in CROSS? Go ahead and download this episode to find out!

[00:01:45] Carlos explains a project that is dear to his heart and he’s been directing for a while. called CROSS. He also walks us through how to get involved and what’s the life cycle look like for people.

[00:04:21] Carlos explains funding Open Source Autonomous Vehicles. He tells us how they get the projects and how they get the projects funded.

[00:09:25] Carlos explains about the funding part. He talks about “Ceph Storage System” that Sage Weil created as part of his PhD project. Great story here!

[00:19:33] Find out here the key advice CROSS got from Sage Weil about OpenStack.

[00:23:53] Richard asks Carlos since he’s so many successes thus far, have there been any other success stories he’s had? He shares some good news here.

[00:26:25] Carlos tells us about SkyhookDM, a programmable storage for databases.

[00:30:07] Richard mentions a great book he’s been reading that he highly suggests reading called, “Designing Data- Intensive Applications,” by Martin Kleppmann.

[00:30:33] If someone wants to enroll in CROSS, Carlos tells us four possibilities how to do this.


  • [00:32:52] Richard spotlight is ROpenSci, an awesome project to help people get into the sciences and keep it open source and collaborate.
  • [00:33:27] Justin’s spotlight is an article on ZDNet, “Mozilla starts funding open source coronavirus tech projects.” It’s a good read! ☺
  • [00:34:06] Carlos’s spotlight is an incubator project at CROSS called “Popper,” by Ivo Jimenez.


[00:04:56] “It turns out there’s a lot of interesting things going on in the university and the faculty are kind of discovering the usefulness of open-source software in their research.”

[00:06:22] “That is only possible with this open source concept, where you basically make it available, and that’s good for reproducibility of the science, but it’s also good too for learning, for bringing in the classroom all these things.”

[00:11:03] “We asked Sage whether it would be nice to give back a little bit to the university. And so, he gave me 2 million dollars to essentially build CROSS. It was the second largest gift ever given to the School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz and it was a big deal.”

[00:19:42] “One of the key factors that made Ceph successful was that it fit into the ecosystem of OpenStack.”


Dr. Carlos Maltzahn

CROSS at UC Santa Cruz



“Designing Data-Intensive Applications” Martin Kleppmann


“Mozilla starts funding open source coronavirus tech projects,” ZDNet

Falsifiable-Popper Project


  • Produced by Justin Dorfman at CodeFund
  • Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
  • Show notes by DeAnn Bahr at Peachtree Sound
  • Ad Sales by Eric Berry at CodeFund
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