Trusted Data Management for Grid-Based Medical Applications

Trusted Data Management for Grid-Based Medical Applications

Guido J. van ’t Noordende (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Silvia D. Olabarriaga (Academic Medical Center - Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Matthijs R. Koot (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Cees Th. A.M. de Laat (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-603-9.ch013
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Existing Grid technology has been foremost designed with performance and scalability in mind. When using Grid infrastructure for medical applications, privacy and security considerations become paramount. Privacy aspects require a re-thinking of the design and implementation of common Grid middleware components. This chapter describes a novel security framework for handling privacy sensitive information on the Grid, and describes the privacy and security considerations which impacted its design.
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Usage Scenario

Figure 1 shows a typical Grid infrastructure deployment for medical research. A Grid storage system in one trusted administrative domain is used for storing medical research data. Although data is often replicated across different domains to enhance availability and reliability, we assume here that all storage facilities reside in only one administrative domain trusted by the data owner. Different incarnations of storage infrastructure exist, e.g., SDSC SRB and dCache (dCache, n.d.). In this paper, we refer to the storage infrastructure as a Storage Resource Broker (SRB) in a general way, without referring to a particular implementation.

Figure 1.

A use-case for medical imaging research showing grid resources in different administrative domains, with an emphasis on data and job flow


First, Researcher A (data owner) uploads the data to an SRB he or she trusts, e.g., using gridFTP. Researcher B can now submit a job on the Grid through a Compute Resource Broker (CRB) which can reside in any administrative domain. The CRB transparently selects a cluster, typically based on load, where the job is scheduled for execution. The user controls job submission via some job description, e.g., using a Job Submission Description Language (JSDL), which describes the binary to execute on the compute element and input files. In addition, the job description can specify a specific cluster, or resource requirements, to be matched with available Grid resources prior to scheduling. Running jobs can access files that the job's owner is authorized to access. In some cases, the Grid middleware pre-fetches required input files using the job's credentials prior to job execution.

Figure 1 also shows a File Catalog that provides a mapping between Grid 'logical file names' and the underlying physical files, which may be replicated on different storage systems on the Grid. Additionally, an SRB may also maintain a metadata service (not shown). Since metadata and file names may contain privacy sensitive information, both services should be managed by a trusted domain.

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