ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer

The ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer (OSSC) has shown its massive potential in large-scale analysis and processing of sensitive data on high-performance computing (HPC) facilities. The OSSC been also used as a Trusted Third Party (TTP) platform for secure and trusted linking of research data with the Statistics Netherlands data. Currently, the user identification and access to the OSSC platform is through the Remote Access environment of the Statistics Netherlands. To support other data providers besides Statistics Netherlands, it is imperative that ODISSEI builds on the success of it by extending OSSC towards a scalable and generic secure high-performance computing platform for processing and analyzing sensitive data for research purposes.

As part of ODISSEI, SURF will create a scalable secure data transfer environment to transfer privacy sensitive and large data to a supercomputer storage cluster. The connection will enable the analysis of data held by ODISSEI member organisations and other data sources, whilst enabling the data controllers at these organisations to remain in full control of the data throughout. Transferring data to the cluster will be supported by DANS through the ODISSEI Data Node. SURF will act as a Trusted Third Party by combining multiple sensitive datasets in a secure manner (see pilot project 2). The researcher can then perform the analysis on the ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer. This environment will also easily scale to multiple use cases and will be able to handle the transfer of large amounts of data in a timely manner. After any necessary disclosure check by the data controller, the output data are released to the researcher.

OSSC Architecture
Architecture of the ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer that has been improved for generic use

In the pilot phase, the emphasis was on providing typical high-performance workloads. Nevertheless, users tend to have more diverse needs. Some require a ‘classic’ supercomputer cluster for batch-like workloads, while others simply require a ‘bigger’ workstation for interactive work. SURF will undertake consultations within the ODISSEI community and diversify and increase the accessibility of the compute facilities available via the ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer in an iterative fashion through a gradually expanding set of open calls for new and increasingly diverse projects. SURF will offer access to different infrastructures, more cloud-based data-analytics tools such as RStudio and Jupyter Notebooks, and an intuitive interface to Python, R, and STATA for accessing and processing data. SURF will also ensure the further integration of storage systems, so that the storage on the supercomputer cluster and HPC Cloud VMs at SURF are unified from the user perspective.

Status: The ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer is opened-up to the ODISSEI community on 1 October 2020. Improvements will be delivered on a continuous basis.

Project team ODISSEI Supercomputer: Narges Zarrabi (SURF – Task Leader), Annette Langedijk (SURF), Maxime Mogé (SURF), Michel Scheerman (SURF), John Kartopawiro (CBS), Ruurd Schoonhoven (CBS).

Questions regarding the ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer? Contact Lucas van der Meer (ODISSEI Coordination Team).