Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre Incubator

Unlocking the power of Australia’s Tier 1 supercomputer

Through a national framework for trusted identity, accessing one of Australia’s Tier 1 supercomputers will become easier.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre is one of two Tier-1 high-performance computing facilities in Australia. Its primary function is to accelerate scientific research for the benefit of the nation. Pawsey’s service and expertise in supercomputing, data, cloud services and visualisation, enables research across a variety of fields including astronomy, life sciences, medicine, energy, resources and artificial intelligence.

The AAF is collaborating with Pawsey, exploring options to provide seamless access to their services. Being a pivotal national research infrastructure, Pawsey is integral to the workflows of many Australian researchers. We are developing a solution, that will provide a single user account across their ecosystem. This will enhance their security access through a single authenticated digital identity.

Sarah Nisbet, AAF’s Head of eResearch says “The work we are doing with Pawsey is a foundational building block in the management of trusted identity access for all national research infrastructure, and will play a critical role in the implementation of trust and identity across the sector. With them we are building a national Trust and Identity Framework.

“It will enable Pawsey users situated within Australian universities, to access services – easily and securely – via their university credentials.

“Furthermore, this incubator will enable Pawsey to use this Trust and Identity Framework, to underpin trusted access to the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). The SKAO is a next-generation radio- astronomy facility that will revolutionise the understanding of the universe. It is an international collaboration, with telescopes located in Australia and South Africa, with global headquarters in the United Kingdom. It requires many users, from a variety of locations to securely access the data it generates.”

A national framework for trusted identity

The Australian Access Federation (AAF) is the national capability in Trust and Identity for research and higher education, and we are developing a system-wide Trust and Identity Framework for Australia’s national research infrastructure.

Through this initiative we are supporting the development of a connected research ecosystem for researchers, industry, government, and the community. By implementing federated access, we are paving the way for innovation, collaboration, and commercialisation. Users will be able to log in once, have their identity confirmed, and effortlessly access resources for collaboration.

The AAF manage the Australian Federation and are one of more than 80 federations across the globe. We enable access to more than 800 services nationally and internationally, including CERN, CSIRO and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a part of the Trust and Identity Pathfinder for national research infrastructures, we are adapting a globally recognised framework to facilitate best practice trust and identity, for seamless access to the entire national research infrastructure ecosystem.

Incubator shows the benefits of improved access through federated identity

In partnership with Pawsey, we are exploring the application of trust and identity for national research infrastructure, through a combination of technology and policy. This incubator allows us to test how researchers and other users connect to a supercomputing service. For instance, we are exploring command line access (SSH) via a federated login and a proxy for a shared understanding of user identity across multiple services.

Sarah Nisbet further says “Within this incubator, we are exploring how we can utilise AAF credentials across Pawsey’s systems such as service allocation, application systems, command line access to HPC, storage and web services.

“We are also looking at external integrations with platforms such as Globus for data movement, and Nextflow Tower for computation job submission and management. Currently we are working towards a demonstration of a distributed sharing model that Pawsey can showcase to its collaborators.

“This incubator will improve access for users by integrating federated identity across Pawsey’s infrastructure. And improve automation, aid in the adoption of new tools to support users, improve oversight and strengthen identity management at Pawsey.”

Find out more

  • Watch Mark Gray, Head of Strategic Partnerships from the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre, present at AAF’s public webinar ‘Trust and Identity Information Session 2023’. >> Watch the recording
  • An update of the incubator was presented at eResearch Australasia Conference 2023 in ‘A blueprint for a system-wide approach to Trust and Identity’. >> View the slides here

Meet our other incubators

National Imaging Facility

AAF has partnered with the National Imaging Facility (NIF) exploring improved access and collaboration for complex multi-site human imaging projects and medical trials using sensitive data.

NIF is Australia’s advanced imaging network, and provides open access to flagship imaging equipment, tools, data and analysis. NIF aims to maintain Australia’s world leading role in advanced imaging technology and make its capabilities accessible to all Australian medical researchers to solve challenges across research and industry. They enable research in areas such as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), epilepsy and melanoma. NIF are critical to research translation, clinical trials and the commercialisation of medical products.

As one of AAF’s Trust and Identity Pathfinder Incubators, we have been working with NIF on enhancing their access — providing NIF partners, institutional researchers and external users with the opportunity for improved access and collaboration when undertaking complex, multi-site human imaging projects such as national clinical trials that use sensitive data.

Microscopy Australia

AAF has partnered with Microscopy Australia exploring impact tracking through persistent identifiers (PIDs).

Microscopy Australia are a consortium of university-based microscopy facilities that more than 3,500 researchers across Australia use each year. They aim to empower Australian science and innovation by making advanced microscopes accessible to all researchers.

One of the greatest challenges in research is to connect and report on distributed services and this incubator explores how richer reporting, impact tracking and usage data can be provided through ORCID iDs and PIDs across national research infrastructure.

Contact the AAF

If you would like to discuss trust and identity for your organisation, please contact us and one of our project managers will be in contact.

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