In today’s data-centric world, high-performance computing (HPC) is playing an increasingly crucial role beyond its historical research and scientific settings. Commonly utilised by researchers who require the data-crunching ability of supercomputers, HPC is now rapidly gaining traction among enterprises spanning an array of industries from artificial intelligence and financial risk modelling to defence and space. “All areas of contemporary research require access to advanced computing capabilities such as big data, data science and HPC,” said Professor Andrew Rohl, Head of the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Curtin University.
The capability of HPC systems to perform compute- and data-intensive tasks enables enterprises to gain deeper insights and solve emerging business problems more quickly and cost-efficiently. With the need for more processing capability, the evolution of HPC is being driven at an unprecedented pace. But at the same time, given the explosive growth of data volume, the sheer amount of information stored and processed in HPC systems is becoming an obvious target for malicious attacks.
HPC is rapidly evolving, and so is security.
Traditional HPC environments are isolated from the internet and therefore alleviates the majority of security concerns for users. Such computing environments have also long been used in academic research, which tend to be open and collaborative. As long as the infrastructure is segregated from the local area network and not connected to the internet, the associated HPC workloads were deemed secure.
However, due to the rapid transition to remote work spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has been catalysed at record speeds, shifting many organisations and their entire HPC workloads to the cloud. Witnessing the benefits that cloud-based HPC can bring—improved agility, accelerated testing and optimised business value—many organisations have made this move permanent rather than temporary, with the aim to bring solutions to market at an expedited pace, cost-effectively.
While large public and private cloud providers claim to offer comprehensive services, they often only supply the infrastructure. This leaves users to equip themselves with their own software and an extensive skill set in code onboarding and optimisation, job queueing and file sharing in order to effectively leverage the HPC system. Cloud-based HPC also entails new and different security issues that demand cautious and expert handling, as the entire computing infrastructure is exposed to the internet. In a survey report on security practices in HPC cloud, 67% of respondents are “very concerned” that their HPC infrastructure and workloads are at risk to the rapidly evolving cyber-threat landscape. Moreover, the increasingly stringent security requirements of the government and many industries fuel the hesitancy of organisations to adopt cloud-based HPC solutions, in which only few providers have earned security certifications, leaving users to implement security measures themselves.
Experienced Australian provider offers green, reliable, secure cloud-based HPC.
With over 18 years of international experience, Perth-headquartered DUG Technology (DUG) is proud to design, own and operate a network of some of the greenest supercomputing installations on Earth. DUG offers private, cloud-based HPC as a service (HPCaaS)—pure performance in a secure, fully-provisioned and fully-supported environment.
In DUG’s cloud-based HPCaaS offering, the whole service is provided, secured and maintained. DUG’s differentiated capability in HPCaaS offers users a complete stack, which includes trimmings typically unavailable in public or private clouds—high-speed networks with low latency, innovative solid-state-drive-based storage systems and professional services such as code optimisation, algorithm development and on-demand software support—all configured to the users’ specific computing requirements. DUG’s innovative dielectric-fluid immersion-cooling technology for hardware, DUG Cool, uses 85% less synthetic refrigerants and slashes power consumption by up to 51%—at the end of the day, the greenest energy is the energy you don’t use!
Fundamentally a technology company in the business of big-data solutions, DUG has always maintained industry best practices concerning information security. Nevertheless, DUG appreciates that such practices are constantly evolving and that agile capabilities must be continuously developed and maintained. By taking the initiative to mature its information security principles, DUG will ensure the management and protection of information and related systems remain current, guaranteeing the sustained operation of the company and safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of entrusted information.
DUG’s Chief Security Officer is driving the improvement of the company’s security and management systems, with ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications now in close reach. These certifications will validate and allow DUG’s effective quality management system to meet customer and regulatory requirements consistently, as well as manage information security risks in line with its business objectives and international best practices. With these certifications, DUG will have one of very few HPC facilities in the world that have been formally certified as meeting international security standards, deepening its commitment to uphold global security standards and providing HPC solutions that are not only reliable but also client-focussed.
Data sovereignty a priority.
Data sovereignty is also one of DUG’s top priorities—all data is stored in secured data-centres, with the network architecture designed to meet the requirements of risk-sensitive organisations. Several tools and services are offered and maintained by DUG to ensure encryption, manage access and secure regulated workloads. For instance, cyber-security measures such as two-factor authentication, data encryption-at-rest and various encrypted network communications are implemented, to name but a few. In addition, DUG’s servers are bare metal, where a physical server is dedicated to a single client and optimised for specific performance, security and reliability requirements, guaranteeing that no resources and data are shared among clients.
You may choose to work independently or collaborate with DUG’s team of world-class research scientists, mathematicians and software engineers who are available to help get your project up and running quickly and cost-efficiently, without any compromise in data security. With complete confidence that your intellectual property is safe and secure, DUG enables you to configure sensitive workloads that meet your compliance and sovereignty requirements, while simultaneously turbocharging your research and business goals through its reliable and green HPCaaS offerings.