‘Vanilla’ cloud environments were typically not made to handle harsh environments like that of High Performance Computing (HPC) Cloud Security. With the current trend of HPC workloads and infrastructure increasingly becoming cloud-like (eg. resource pooling, rapid elasticity, on-demand self-service), or interacting with the cloud (e.g. bursting), security will become a great concern at an accelerating rate.
Technical concerns for HPC are further complicated by the complex and ever-evolving threat landscape. As we increasingly see cases of pure HPC bare metal infrastructure interacting with the cloud such as I/O interfaces and processes, it brings along more ‘opportunities’ for malicious attacks. While this should be considered and integrated into security policies and guidelines, performance faces the perils of being compromised as precious resources are carved out for security protocols and processes.
A key challenge is implementing security in a HPC cloud environment without compromising performance.
The secure interchange of data between traditional HPC and HPC Cloud, and the portability of a user’s HPC workflow and tools are critical elements of HPC Cloud use. Where a traditional HPC environment has a dedicated team of administrators, a HPC Cloud environment may rely on the use of community-supported, generically preconfigured tools from sources like OpenHPC (http://www.openhpc.community/
How do we start addressing these challenges?
To start addressing these security challenges CSA conducted a survey on security in HPC. This survey report
provides insight to the level and type of cyber and cloud security adopted by HPC / HPC Cloud infrastructure to protect their infrastructure and workloads, and shines a light on common challenges faced in the industry, together with the real world security processes put in place to tackle such hindrances.