Why ACCORD: Today's scientific enterprise is collecting, using, and sharing increasingly diverse data types from different sources. And most research data today needs to be protected in order to comply with applicable laws and contract agreements (or simply to ensure data integrity for research reproducibility). Protecting sensitive data has become a burden for researchers and institutions. Specialized cyberinfrastructure, such as a HIPAA-compliant system, are expensive to build and maintain. And research data may be subjected to other protection requirements besides HIPAA (e.g., FISMA-CUI). The lack of access to high-performance and compliant cyberinfrastructure can severely limit or even prevent researchers from undertaking high-impact projects. This challenge is exacerbated at smaller, minority-serving, or teaching-oriented institutions, excluding them from many major research opportunities.
To address these challenges, the University of Virginia at Wise, a non-PhD granting institution, is leading a consortium of eleven public universities in Virginia to build the ACCORD community cyberinfrastructure. ACCORD is a shared high-performance, compliant-capable computing system supporting researchers at public universities across the Commonwealth. ACCORD leverages the latest CI tools such as containers, InCommon/CoManage, and Globus to provide flexible and accessible secured HPC resources to users. Individual partner universities can audit and integrate ACCORD into their institutional compliance plan.
ACCORD grew out of our collective desire to collaborate with one another across the State of Virginia. Acknowledging that most of our research institutions lack the capacity to host sensitive data, we formed a consortium to build and share resources to enable state-wide research participation.
Regardless of whether you are a researcher at an R1, a teaching-oriented, or a minority-serving institution, our goal is to provide useful and accessible resources for your research, education, and training needs. Ultimately, our goal is to introduce and support Virginia researchers to join and make the most of the data revolution.
ACCORD is built as a seamless software-hardware system stack. Our goal is to provision flexible resources while assuring security and optimal performance. ACCORD is built on OpenStack with industry's latest tools and architecture designs supporting a state-wide community of researchers.