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2020 Blog, Blog, Feature Blog, Featured

Relevance Lab in partnership with AWS has launched a new solution to help self-service collaboration for Scientific Computing using AWS Cloud resources. Scientific Research is enabling new innovations and discoveries in multiple fields to make human life better. There are the large and complex programs funded by governments, public sector and private organizations. Every higher education institution and universities globally have specialized focus on Research Programs.

Some research institutions already use an existing ITSM Portal for self-service and our previous blog explains the solution integrated with such popular ITSM tools like ServiceNow – AWS Research Workbench. In this blog we cover the common scenario of research institutions for an open source based custom self-service platform that is needed to integrate a community within the institution and also with outside organizations in a federated manner.

Why do we need an RLCatalyst Research Gateway cloud solution?
Research is a specialized field with the community focussing on using “Science” to find common solutions to human problems in areas of Health and Medicine, Space, Earth etc. The need to drive frictionless research across geographies requires ability to focus on “Science” while addressing the specific needs of People-Programs-Resources interactions. The “RLCatalyst Research Gateway” acts as a bridge provisioning seamless and secure interactions, access to programs and budgets with ability to consume and manage lifecycle of research related computational and data resources.


PEOPLE Specialized group of Researchers collaborating across organizations, disciplines and countries with open collaboration needs.
PROGRAMS Specialized research programs, funding, grants, governance, reporting, publishing outcomes etc.
RESOURCES High Performance Computing resources, large data for studies, analytics models, data security and privacy considerations, sharing and collaboration, Common Federated Identity and Access Management etc.

The key requirements for Cloud based RLCatalyst Research Gateway are following.

  • Standard Research Needs
    • Roles, Workflows, Research Tools, Governance, Access and Security, Integration.
    • People-Programs-Resources Interactions.
    • Intramural and Extramural Research.
    • Infrastructure, Applications, Data, and Analytics.
  • Built on Cloud
    • Easy to deploy, consume, manage and extend – should align with existing infrastructure, applications, and cloud governance.
    • Leverage AWS Research products.
  • Leverage Open-Source with an enterprise support model
    • Supports both Self-hosting and Managed Hosting options.
    • Cost effective – pre-built IP and packaged service offerings.

The diagram below explains the RLCatalyst Research Gateway cloud solution. The solution provides researchers with one-click access to collaborative computing environments operating across teams, research institutions, and datasets while enabling internal IT stakeholders to provide standard computing resources based on a Service Catalog, manage, monitor, and control spending, apply security best practices, and comply with corporate governance.

Using the RLCatalyst Research Gateway cloud solution
The basic setup models a research institution or university with need to have support for different research departments, principal investigators, researchers, project catalogs and budgets. The diagram below explains a typical setup of the key stakeholders and different entities inside the RLCatalyst Research Gateway.

  • Research Organization/Institution.
  • Research Departments.
  • Principal Investigators.
  • Researchers.
  • Site Administrator.
  • Project Catalog of Cloud Products.
  • Budget for Project and Researcher.

RLCatalyst Research Gateway solution map
There are three key role based functionality built into the RLCatalyst Research Gateway solution related to following.

  • Researcher Workflows.
  • Principal Investigator Workflows.
  • Site Administrator Workflows.

The RLCatalyst Research Gateway solution components
A number of AWS components have been used to build the RLCatalyst Research Gateway solution to make it easier for the research community to focus on science and not the headaches of managing cloud infrastructure. At the same time existing investments of Research Institutions on AWS are leveraged and best practices integrated without need for custom or proprietary solutions. Following is a sample list of AWS products used in RLCatalyst Research Gateway and more products can be easily integrated.

  • AWS Service Catalog – Core products available for Research Consumption.
    • AWS SageMaker Notebook.
    • AWS EC2 Instances.
    • AWS S3 Buckets.
    • AWS Workspaces.
    • AWS RDS Data Store.
    • AWS HPC high performance computing.
    • AWS EMR.
  • AWS Cognito for Access and Control.
  • AWS Control Tower for Account management and governance.
  • AWS Cost Explorer and Billing for Project and Researcher budget tracking.
  • AWS SNS and AWS Eventbridge for Notification Services.
  • AWS Cloudformation for template designs.
  • AWS Lambda for Serverless computing.

The RLCatalyst Research Gateway solution created in partnership with AWS is available in an Open source model with Enterprise Support options. The solution can be deployed in Self-hosted Cloud or used in a Managed Hosting model with customizations options available as needed.

For a demo video please click here

For more details, please feel free to reach out to marketing@relevancelab.com



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