Our partnership with Project Jupyter: the value of an open-source data science community

Our partnership with Project Jupyter

Between two major online events, JupyterCon and PyData – both sponsored by OVHcloud – I wanted to share my team’s feedback on our collaboration with Project Jupyter. The partnership, which begun a few years back, is still growing and we are continuing to learn a lot in relation to the open-source experience. 

I’d like to introduce Maël Le Gal, one of our Data & AI DevOps for almost three years. In 2019, Maël was heavily invested in making OVHcloud one of the hosters of Binder Hubs.  

“Joining the multi-cloud Binder Federation and becoming an infrastructure provider of MyBinder.org was a thrilling project! I experienced open collaboration on a new scale. Typically, all the discussions regarding architecture evolution are held publicly within the Binder community on GitHub and additional day-to-day communications – such as operational tasks – are held collectively on Gitter. It’s a very different approach to building a trusting relationships than what we are accustomed to in the IT industry, and I really appreciate it!” , explained Maël.


In hindsight, it was a unique, co-innovation opportunity for OVHcloud to become the first partner of the Binder Federation, and it became even more interesting when the two other partners – Gesis and Turing – joined as well. Thanks to our collaborative methods, we can easily and collectively submit a new feature; once most of the community agrees on the feature, we deploy it on each of the three clouds. 

Maël Le Gal, Data & AI DeVops with OVHcloud, explains the daily collaboration of the Binder Federation.

This is what I wrote about my experience with MyBinder last year: “Working with open source requires a very human-centric mindset to build consensus and deliver progress when everyone has different objectives, priorities, timelines and points of view.” 

Binder Federation
Here is the Binder Federation as of beginning of November 2020.

2020: scaling projects and accelerating 

Building on this experience, Maël contributed to another hosting initiative for Project Jupyter earlier this year that quickly scaled: NBViewer – the web application behind The Jupyter Notebook Viewer, hosted by OVHcloud.  

Jupyter Nbviewer

“Jupyter was quite happy about our first collaboration and, in March, asked us to replace a previous hosting provider that had disengaged from the open-source community. Because we already had the deployment experience, and methods from Binder, it was a very smooth deployment. We were happy to see that the traffic running on the OVHcloud infrastructure grew from 25% to 100%”, explained Maël. 

Now I’d like to introduce another member of my team: Guillaume Salou, our AI Technical Lead, who’s been working closely with Project Jupyter from the beginning and driving the OVHcloud sponsorhip of the JupyterCon 2020 digital event as an infrastructure donor.  

Sponsorship of the JupyterCon 2020: sharing values and supporting with infrastructure

“We kicked off this project in June with Project Jupyter and NumFOCUS Foundation as well as IBL Education, responsible for the Open EDX deployment at the conference. OVHcloud has offered the underlying infrastructure to host the global event (for the first time fully online) and its educational platform and now we had to deploy it!

The type of infrastructure we’re talking about is, of course, GPUs, coupled with Kubernetes to support all the talks, demos and online experiments that were planned.  

I want to highlight three aspects of this infrastructure that meet Project Jupyter’s requirements: 

  • Ability to scale up and down as necessary; 
  • Ability to load balance on other cloud providers and the reversibility of our services; 
  • Simplified rights management and user account creation based on Openstack.

This collaboration has steered our efforts towards simplifying features and providing ready-to-use services for the event’s organizers and users; it’s a new milestone in OVHcloud’s AI approach to eliminate all infrastructure set-up and management complexity to facilitate and spread usages.

Guillaume Salou, AI Technical Lead with OVHcloud explains how the collaboration on JupyterCon 2020 has supported internal efforts to simplify the user experience.

To conclude: this partnership with Project Jupyter is here to stay. Thanks a lot to our partner as well as internal teams for making this open and fruitful collaboration a reality!

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