Build Your Own Supercomputers in AWS Cloud with Ease – Research Gateway Allows Cost, Governance and Self-service with HPC and Quantum Computing

June 20, 2022


While there are a lot of talks about Digital Innovation leveraging the cloud, another key disruption in the industry is Applied Science Innovation, led by Scientists and Engineers targeting a broad range of disciplines in Engineering and Medicine. Relevance Lab is proud to now ease the leverage of power tools like High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Quantum Computing on AWS Cloud for such pursuits with our Research Gateway product.

What is Applied Science?

Applied Science uses existing scientific knowledge to solve day-to-day problems in areas like Health Care, Space, Environment, Transportation, etc. It leverages the power of new technologies such as Big Compute and Cloud to drive faster scientific research. Innovation in Applied Science has some unique differences compared to Digital Innovation:

  • Users of Applied Science are researchers, scientists, and engineers
  • Workloads for Applied Science are driven by more specialized systems and domain-specific algorithms & orchestration needs
  • Very large domain-specific data sets and collaboration with a large ecosystem of global communities is a key enabler with a focus on open-source and knowledge sharing
  • Use of specialized hardware and software is also a  key enabler

The term Big Compute is used to describe large-scale workloads that require multiple cores (with specialized CPU and GPU types) working with very high-speed network and storage architectures. Such Big Compute architectures solve the problems in image processing, fluid dynamics, financial risk modeling, oil exploration, drug design, etc.

Relevance Lab is working closely with AWS in pursuing specialized use cases for Applied Science and Scientific Research using Cloud. A number of government, public and private sector organizations are focussing large amounts of investment and scientific knowledge on driving innovation in these areas. A few specialized ones with well-known programs are listed below.

What is High Performance Computing?

Supercomputers of the past were very specialized and high-cost systems that could only be built and afforded by large and well-funded institutions. Cloud computing is driving the democratization of supercomputers by providing High Performance Computing (HPC) systems that have specialized architectures. It combines the power of on-demand computing with large & specialized CPU/GPU types, high-speed networking, fast access storage, and associated tools & utilities for workload orchestration and management. The figure below shows the key building blocks of HPC components of AWS Cloud.

What is Quantum Computing?

Quantum computing relies upon quantum theory, which deals with physical phenomena at the nano-scale. One of the most important aspects of quantum computing is the quantum bit (Qubit), a unit of quantum information that exists in two states (horizontal and vertical polarization) at the same time, thanks to the superposition principle of quantum physics.

The Amazon Braket quantum computing service helps researchers and developers use quantum computers and simulators to build quantum algorithms on AWS.

Key Use Cases

  • Research quantum computing algorithms
  • Test different quantum hardware
  • Build quantum software faster
  • Explore industry applications

What Do Customers Want?

The availability of specialized services like HPC and Quantum Computing has made it extremely simple for customers to be able to consume these advanced technologies and build their own supercomputers. However, when it comes to the adoption cycle, customers are hesitant to adopt the same due to key concerns and asks, as summarized below:

Operational Asks

  • The top challenge and fear on the cloud is the variable cost model, which can throw a big surprise, and customers want strong Cost Management & Tracking with auto-limits control
  • Security and data governance are also key priorities
  • Data transfer and management are the other key needs

Functional Asks

  • Faster and easier design, provisioning, and development cycles
  • Integrated and automated tools for deployment and monitoring
  • Easy access to data and the ability to do self-service
  • Derive increased business value from Data Analytics and Machine Learning

How Does Research Gateway Solve Customer Needs?

AWS cloud offerings provide a strong platform for HPC and quantum computing requirements. However, enabling Scientific Research and Training of Researchers requires an ability to offer these with a Self-Service Portal that encapsulates the underlying complexity. On top of proper cost tracking and controlling, security, data management, and an integrated workbench are needed for a collaborative research environment.

To address the above needs, Relevance Lab has developed Research Gateway. It helps scientists accelerate their research on the AWS cloud with access to research tools, data sets, processing pipelines, and analytics workbenches in a frictionless manner. The solution also addresses the need for tight control on a budget, data security, privacy, and regulatory compliances, which it meets while significantly simplifying the process of running complex scientific research workloads.

Key dimensions of collaborative and secure scientific research

  • Cost and Budget Governance: The solution offers easy control over Cost Tracking of Research Cloud resources to track, analyze, control, and optimize budget spending. Principal Investigators can also pause or stop the budget if it exceeds the set threshold.
  • Research Data & Tools for Easy Collaboration: Research Gateway provides the team of researchers real-time view of research-specific product catalog, cost, and governance, reducing the complexities of running scientific research on the cloud.
  • Security and Compliance: Principal investigators have a unified view and control over security and compliance, covering Identity management, data privacy, audit trails, encryption, and access management.

Principal investigators leading the research get a quick insight into the total budget, consumed budget, and available budget, along with the available research-specific products, as shown in the image below.

With Research Gateway, researchers can provision available research-specific products for their high-performance and quantum computing needs in just 1-click, launching scientific research as quickly as 30 minutes or less.


High Performance Computing and Quantum computing are essential to the advancement of science and engineering now more than ever. Research Gateway provides fundamental building blocks for Applied Science and Scientific Research in the AWS cloud by simplifying the availability of HPC and Quantum computing for customers. The solution helps create democratized supercomputers on-demand while eliminating the pain of managing infrastructure, data, security, and costs, enabling researchers to focus on science.

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