Work and compute environments

Different requirements can be placed on working and computing environments depending on the nature of a study or specialism. Some of these requirements relate to privacy, while others can relate to the need for a specific operating system or software, large amounts of memory, processing power or GPUs or the desire to collaborate with third parties. To help meet these requirements, researchers have various computer platforms at their disposal.

In addition to CDW/View/OneView and researchers’ own workstations, Amsterdam UMC offers myDRE, a computing cluster at VUmc (highly confidential data), a computing cluster at AMC (medium confidential data), the Research Zone and the SURF environments Snellius and Spider.

myDRE is a virtual working environment on the Microsoft Azure platform that is suitable for processing highly confidential data. It is offered by the anDREa consortium, consisting of UMC Utrecht, ErasmusMC and Radboudumc. Because the myDRE platform has limited access to the Internet, it is suitable for processing highly confidential data. You can create both Linux and Windows machines in myDRE. Because it is built on the Azure platform, data storage, memory and processing power can be scaled up to any size. A fair use policy applies to myDRE, allowing certain (centrally funded) configurations to be purchased free of charge. Third-party accounts can be created on the myDRE platform, making it possible to use myDRE as a platform for collaboration with parties outside Amsterdam UMC, including those based abroad.

Amsterdam UMC has two local computing clusters for researchers. The first computing cluster (LUNA, in the Research Zone) is used mainly for image processing and is equipped with a large number of GPUs for AI research. This cluster is only suitable for medium confidential data. The second cluster is managed by the Department of Human Genetics. This cluster contains a lot of memory and a large number of CPUs and some GPUs, is suitable for highly confidential data and mainly works on genome data. Both clusters are less suitable for third-party collaboration.

Research Zone is a network zone within Amsterdam UMC that has been specially configured for research. Researchers can place machines in this zone and purchase data storage if certain conditions are met. The Research Zone is suitable for medium confidential data and is not suitable for collaboration with parties outside Amsterdam UMC.

Snellius and Spider are two of SURF's HPC platforms, both of which can be used by requesting or purchasing computing power from NWO. They are ideally suited for highly computationally intensive and memory-intensive tasks, respectively. The platforms are suitable for medium confidential data and, under certain conditions, for highly confidential data. SURF provides support for these computing platforms (High-performance data processing | The platforms are based on Linux. These environments cannot be described in detail here. For advice on choosing the appropriate environment, contact the RDM Helpdesk.