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SDSC’s Sherlock Division Debuts Innovation Accelerator Platforms

Data Platforms Available Via Sherlock Cloud and Vyloc Cloud

Published July 1, 2019

[Enlarge]  Image credit: SDSC Sherlock Division

The Sherlock Division at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego has announced the launch of Innovation Accelerator Platforms within its Sherlock Cloud infrastructure and its newest offering, Vyloc Cloud. These turn-key solutions provide quick access to on-demand, elastic, fit-for-use data platforms for secure processing, visualization, and storage of a wide range of data.

The SDSC group, formerly known as the Health CI Division, recently unveiled Vyloc Cloud, a managed Cloud capability for open (non-protected) data. Utilizing its public Cloud platforms expertise, the Sherlock Division has built Vyloc Cloud on top of these platforms (e.g., AWS and Azure) to facilitate needed micro-services and applications that provide an infrastructure to support big data, analytics, and data science use cases. The addition of Vyloc Cloud to its service portfolio enables Sherlock to offer these platforms to customers that conduct research with both protected data and open data.

SDSC’s Sherlock Division has been building, deploying, and managing data platforms for nearly a decade that range from a traditional data warehouse model to more recent big data platforms leveraging Hadoop. The Division’s newest capability, Innovation Accelerator Platforms, leverages this experience to offer cutting-edge capability that spans the entire data pipeline, including data ingestion and integration, storage, compute, and end-user tools. The Sherlock Division plans to release the Innovation Accelerator Platforms in phases in an effort to continuously align and cater to the evolving needs of the research community.

“The advent of the Innovation Accelerator Platforms stems from the Sherlock Division’s firm belief that we must remain both agile and visionary to evolve with the ever-changing technological and customer requirements while ensuring the needed levels of compliance for secure data,” said Sandeep Chandra, executive director of the Sherlock Division. “Not only are these platforms highly secure and innovative – they also provide value-added capability that caters to the still-emerging areas of research and development such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.”

Key benefits of the Innovation Accelerator Platforms include:

  • A turn-key, customizable, data services pipeline
  • Reduced time to deployment
  • Leveraging Cloud compute capability to scale up and down, as needed
  • Flexibility to spin up compute for specific use cases (e.g., transient vs. persistent)
  • Extensive open-source and Cloud marketplace of user applications and libraries
  • Standard templates already configured and ready for deployment
  • Automation to enable infrastructure provisioning, segmentation, encryption, and data pipeline setup and tuning

The initial set of turn-key data platforms already released include the Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) platform configured with Apache Spark, Jupyter Notebooks configured with IPython or StarCluster compute and Amazon S3 storage, and machine learning tools configured with high-end GPU compute nodes.

“Traditionally, Sherlock has focused on compliance and security of our customers’ data,” said Chandra. “While this will always be at the forefront of Sherlock’s initiatives, we recognize that there are additional challenges our customers face with respect to the adoption of Cloud platforms such as the learning curve, orchestrating the vast number of related resources and tools, and meeting cost parameters.  “Sherlock minimizes these challenges by providing capabilities that automate the deployment, integration, and operation of complex applications while simultaneously optimizing the cost of Cloud resources consumed. Further, we are excited to be able to offer these platforms to our customers working with open data through our new managed cloud platform, Vyloc Cloud.”

About SDSC’s Sherlock Division

SDSC’s Sherlock Division focuses on providing innovative, secure information technology and data services for a wide range of initiatives for the UC system, academia, and state and federal government agencies. It is an SDSC Center of Excellence for secure HIPAA- and FISMA-compliant managed cloud hosting, and has recently added NIST CUI and CSF compliant managed cloud hosting to its repertoire. Launched under the brand Sherlock, its major services – Cloud, Compliance, Cybersecurity, and Data Lab – provide a secure foundation for a wide range of research and data collection initiatives. The Sherlock Division supports a variety of entities including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and University of California Systems. For more information, please visit the Sherlock website.

About SDSC

As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is considered a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, including industry and academia. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible, integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from earth sciences and biology to astrophysics, bioinformatics, and health IT. SDSC’s petascale Comet supercomputer continues to be a key resource within the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program.