Speed, quality, and efficiency. Those are the hallmarks of great R&D teams.
As organizations build up their computational pipelines and better integrate their supply chains, seamless and secure collaboration is an essential element to support best-in-class R&D.
But managing access and policies for sharing high performance computing (HPC) resources (hardware and software) and simulations can be massively complex while also opening up your organization to data exposure and other risks to intellectual property.
Large, global corporations typically have multi-layered organizational structures as well as partner ecosystems that often require tight integration. Electric vehicles, for example, require extensive digital testing that manufacturers must orchestrate across their parts suppliers. Other companies need to partition projects in order to safely collaborate with university researchers to develop new technologies.
In many cases, organizations must maintain regional boundaries, particularly due to local compliance laws. Often, collaboration happens only under certain circumstances by project. Other times, teams from different supply chain partners need to work together continuously but should only have access to certain resources and data.
Security, global availability, and ongoing management are critical issues in supporting seamless and safe simulation collaboration. And controlling collaboration through manual processes or a collection of unconnected tools is both highly inefficient and full of risk. The problem is in managing so many different levels of access to so many entities and resources while ensuring security and efficient workflows.
To address this, we have built the Rescale platform with a collaboration-first mindset to automate how engineers and scientists can access HPC resources and share simulation data easily and securely within an organization and across partner ecosystems.
We have designed the Rescale platform so you can maintain absolute control of your data and protect your intellectual property while still allowing any level of collaboration that fits your organizational needs.
Here are three case studies of how leading global organizations are using the Rescale platform to implement the collaboration they need to accelerate their innovation efforts.
Tightly Coupled Collaboration
Rescale provides a centralized environment for any collection of users that need to collaborate closely and share the same HPC resources, regardless if they are in the same organization or collaborating from another organization (partner in the supply chain).
In these scenarios, the trust level would need to be high, as well as the requirement to share HPC resources. We refer to this as “tightly coupled” collaboration.
This is the case for one of Rescale’s multinational industrial manufacturers. Despite teams working in various regions, the global manufacturer has been able to use Rescale’s Workspace capabilities to create a single, central environment where anyone with approved access can collaborate.
Importantly, administrators at the company are able to set the security policies, control software and hardware access, and manage budgets within the Workspace.
Because the level of trust among all the groups in the organization is high, the single Workspace provides a simple structure for bringing the digital engineering teams together.
While the Workspace provides the central environment for all engineers to access the same HPC resources, the organization is using Rescale to also manage work at the project level, which allows engineering teams to share jobs, budgets, data, and simulations with just the people assigned to those projects within the Workspace.
Project access is controlled through Rescale Groups (project members and their roles). Groups are assigned their own usage restrictions, such as what kind of hardware and software members can access. Managers can also monitor and control budgets at the project level.
Collaborators in this organization can also share workstations so each team member doesn’t have to separately upload terabytes of pre- and post-processing data. Team members are able to look at the same simulation and make changes together.
Critically, this is preventing the manual cycle of copying and pasting files from local drives to share. The more teams carry out these types of unmanaged tasks, the more risk of data leakage develops.
But with Rescale, all the jobs and their data are centralized and tracked with version control on Rescale’s cloud-based management platform. This ensures everyone collaborating is looking at the same source of truth.
And once the project is completed, revoking access and archiving data is easy with Rescale. This ensures both short-term and long-term project resources are secured properly.
For supply chain management, this single workspace approach can be excellent for product development teams from other organizations that are highly trusted and need very close and active collaboration on simulation jobs.
Loosely Coupled Collaboration
On the opposite end of the collaboration spectrum is shared usage of resources on the Rescale platform with full security: complete isolation of each user and no visibility into the platform for any user. We consider this “loosely coupled” collaboration, which is really about ensuring highly restricted access to HPC resources on Rescale.
This is the need for one of Rescale’s manufacturing customers in the consumer electronics industry. In this case, the company shares specialized simulations of its products for its customers to use with their own data.
The company created a web-based simulation interface as a front-end portal into Rescale, which it is using as the backend to power the simulation jobs. Access to Rescale functionality is provided by the Rescale API.
Customers upload their data via the web interface, submit simulation jobs to run on cloud services via Rescale, and get the results back via the web interface.
Critically, the consumer electronics manufacturer doesn’t want its users to have any visibility or access to other users and their data, just like on a typical public cloud service or SaaS platform.
Behind the scenes, each user’s access is tied to a unique API token only known to the manufacturer (not even Rescale or the end user). This ensures that every transaction is cryptographically sealed to keep each user isolated with access only to specific Rescale resources.
The users don’t even know Rescale is working in the background or that it hosts the simulation. Rescale policies easily maintain absolute security segmentation among all the customers that log in to the platform to access and run simulations. Data that is unique to each user is in no way accessible by another user.
In many circumstances, collaboration requirements are not an all or nothing situation for access to data and simulation jobs. Rescale finds that many of our customers need to apply a mix of collaboration approaches on the Rescale platform to control sharing and permissions, depending on various relationships between groups.
That is the case for one of Rescale’s global oil and gas industry customers. This organization has dozens of subsidiaries around the world, so it set up Rescale as an enterprise-level IT service. All users enter the Rescale environment with a single sign-on process, and their credentials limit them to the Workspaces they are assigned, while organization-level controls dictate how Workspaces can interact.
Within the Rescale-powered HPC service, the customer divides its use of the Rescale platform into several regions using Workspaces. Each region contains one to three Workspaces that are dedicated to that region.
A key purpose of this is to ensure that groups within certain regions only access the cloud services within their region, keeping HPC operations globally localized for efficiencies and cost tracking.
Within each regional Workspace, the administrator of the Workspace can allow teams to share Projects (simulation jobs) with members in the same Workspace. Further division is possible through Groups and Projects permissions. If necessary, teams can also share Projects to Workspaces outside a region via approval of an organization-level administrator.
This blended approach can be ideal for close collaboration between supply chain partners. There is a certain degree of trust, but also a degree of caution and control to keep various entities separate while also enforcing the proper administrative demarcation, such as with the use of regional cloud services.
Importantly, this global organization relies on the clear administrative hierarchy it set up within Rescale to ensure the right oversight, controls, and reporting structure across its complex network of regions, teams, projects, and users.
Whether an organization is looking for tightly coupled team collaboration within a business group or highly secure sharing of specific simulation jobs, Rescale can support any collaboration scenario for digital engineering teams.
Rescale removes the complexity, automates management, and ensures the security and compliance of any simulation collaboration within an organization or across a supply chain ecosystem of partners.