Supercomputing, Cloud and Edge Security Models Convergence using Infrastructure-as-Code, APIs, and Container Technologies

Decanato - Facoltà di scienze informatiche

Data: 17 Maggio 2022 / 13:00 - 14:00

USI Lugano Campus EST, room D1.14, Sector D // Online on MS Teams

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Speaker: Sadaf R. Alam, Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), Lugano

Abstract: Scientific applications and workflows today are exploiting a range of distributed resources including supercomputing, cloud, and edge technologies. Access control and security models across these domains vary considerably resulting in overheads for the development of scientific applications and workflow engines. Recently, adoption of zero trust security models have been accelerated due to prevalent usage of off-premises, cloud, and edge technologies. In this talk, I introduce zero trust security concepts from the perspectives of developers and resource providers. I will then present ongoing developments at CSCS for use cases characterized as extreme data-driven workflows. Alps, the next generation supercomputing ecosystem at CSCS, has been codesigned for workflows ensuring close-to-metal HPC performance and scalability using infrastructure-as-code (IaC) techniques. FirecREST is a gateway and interface for accessing HPC resources via cloud-native, RESTful services (  Sarus is a container engine for HPC systems that has been implemented leveraging the Open Containers Initiative (OCI) standards compliant technologies (

Biography: Sadaf R. Alam is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland. Dr. Alam studied computer science at the University of Edinburgh, UK, where she received her Ph.D. in 2004. Until March 2009, she was a computer scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. In her role as the CTO, she ensures end-to-end integrity of HPC systems and storage solutions and leads strategic projects at the centre. She has held different roles at CSCS including group lead of future systems, chief architect, and head of operations. She is a member of ACM, ACM-W, SIGHPC and Women in HPC.

Host: Olaf Schenk