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Relevance Lab Open-Source Collaboration with

Service Workbench on AWS 

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2023 Blog

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Relevance Lab has partnered with Service Workbench on AWS (SWB) teams to promote open source solutions fordriving Scientific Research in the cloud. The solutions are primarily enabling the needs of Public Sector Healthcare Institutions and Academic Medical Centres. The common objective is to enhance the experience of researchers with access to specialized computing environments, software tools, research data sets, and workflow engines. It improves the existing AWS solution for self-service Cloud Portal with advanced functionality and researcher tools aimed at providing automation, governance, and improving productivity. The joint efforts are planning to cover the full lifecycle of development, custom implementations, and ongoing support for large enterprises. As part of the initial focus, Relevance Lab will be providing the following specialized templates for researchers to benefit from frictionless scientific research on AWS Cloud:
  • Secure and Scalable RStudio on AWS
    • A popular researcher software commonly used but requiring a complex setup for secure access
  • Nextflow Genomic Pipeline Software
    • Most popular Genomics Orchestration tool for healthcare researchers
  • AWS HPC solutions with Parallel Cluster
    • Simplify the process of using complex HPC clusters for day to day research in a cost-effective manner
  • Secure Research Workspaces access with Amazon AppStream 2.0
    • Use the cloud to simplify the access to advanced researcher tools but with full security and compliances as per HIPAA etc. standards
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Latest Updates and upcoming releases
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Relevance Lab and Service Workbench on AWS Collaboration
To focus on driving frictionless scientific research, Relevance Lab collaborates with Service Workbench on AWS for open-source contributions across product co-development, professional services, and ongoing managed support to provide customers not just the benefit of open-source software but also the ability to customize and have lifecycle support & upgrades.
Business and Collaboration Goals:
  • Provide a better end-customer experience on researcher tools usage

  • Solution should be scalable for large enterprises, secure, and cost-effective with smart usage of resources only when consumed

  • Enhance features and functionality of SWB with these new templates and features

  • Deliver the new Researcher Templates (like RStudio, Nextflow, etc.) and host on a separate partner-hosted Repo (RL) different from base SWB platform Repo from AWS. Partner collaboration will be used to provide end-customers a complete solution with ongoing support, updates, and enhancements

  • Speed up the pace of innovation and better customer engagement with proactive involvement

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Secure and Scalable RStudio on AWS
RStudio is a popular software used by the Scientific Research Community and supported by Service Workbench. Researchers commonly use RStudio  in their day-to-day efforts. While RStudio is a popular product, the process of installing RStudio securely on AWS Cloud and using it in a cost-effective manner is a non-trivial task, especially for researchers. With SWB, the goal is to make this process very simple, secure, and cost-effective for researchers so that they can focus on “Science” and not “Servers” thereby increasing their productivity.
Smart Architecture for RStudio in Service Workbench
A secure and scalable architecture is implemented that solves the problem of shared groups using products like RStudio requiring secure HTTPS access without the overheads of individual certificate management. The architecture also enables sharing the same concept for all future researcher products with similar needs without any additional implementation overheads resulting in increased productivity and lower costs.
  • Supports up to 100 RStudio Instances on a single shared Application Load Balancer (ALB)

  • Costs about $30-50, providing a simple and cost-effective solution

  • 1-Click model to provision and connect securely using AWS Certificate Manager (ACM)

  • End-to-end security for researchers with unique connection links

  • Smart architecture to optimize costs with creation and deletion of ALB linked to active usage only

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Quickstart for using RStudio with Service Workbench
Steps Activities Links
Step-1 Install the SWB Enterprise instance with Custom Domain.
It is very important that the SWB instance is deployed with a custom domain option. This allows you to request an Amazon-issued certificate using ACM for your domain, and this certificate can then be used to provide secure access to your SWB instance and the resources provisioned using SWB.
Deployment guide
Step-2 Add ACM certificate to the hosting account
It is best to set up your SWB domain (e.g. as its own hosted zone. See "Set up routing for your sub-domain". Then request a new SSL certificate in AWS ACM.
Set up routing for your sub-domain
Request a new SSL certificate in AWS Certificate Manager
Step-3 Install new EC2-Rstudio-Server Templates
Clone the repo from Relevance Lab and run the script to create the AMI in your AWS account and the Service Catalog product in your SWB portfolio.
EC2-Rstudio-Server Templates
Hosted by Relevance Lab
Step-4 Log into SWB as Admin and detect the newly uploaded template (EC2-Rstudio-Server) and import as Workspace Type. Post-launch tasks
Step-5 Configure and ready for researchers to use a brand new upgraded RStudio with secure ALB architecture. SWB configuration
Sign Up for On-going Support and New Product Updates
As part of an ongoing collaboration with SWB teams using an open-source model, we expect customers to need help with implementation, support, and ongoing enhancements of the above solutions. New customers can sign up with Relevance Lab to start getting benefits.