UCT CS Research Document Archive

A security architecture for high performance computing facilities

McMahon, Peter and Andrew Hutchison (2006) A security architecture for high performance computing facilities. In Proceedings Information Security South Africa, Balalaika Hotel, Sandton, South Africa.

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High Performance Computing facilities that use cluster computing to provide computational services to scientists and engineers have become widespread, with such facilities available at most major research universities worldwide, as well as in government and industrial research settings. Until recently HPC facilities have largely neglected security, or at the very least treated security as an afterthought in a world where performance is the number one priority.

In this paper we present a security architecture, and associated security best practices, for high performance computing facilities. Our architecture aims to address concerns about HPC security raised in the literature [1-4], and specifically to mitigate the risks identified in the leading threat model for cluster computing [5], developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Our architecture and best practices attempt to provide the best tradeoff between adequate security measures and high performance. We also consider privacy and intellectual property issues, and how shared HPC facilities may put measures in place to convince their users that their data is protected from both external threats and internal, authorized cluster users not affiliated with their projects.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:High Performance Computing, Cluster Computing, Network Architecture, Intellectual Property, Access Control
ID Code:312
Deposited By:Arnab, A
Deposited On:12 July 2006