UITS Research Technologies systems and services for researchers working with data containing HIPAA-regulated PHI

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established rules protecting the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule set national standards requiring organizations and individuals to implement certain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI).

The Research Technologies division of UITS provides several systems and services that meet certain requirements established in the HIPAA Security Rule thereby enabling their use for research involving data that contain protected health information (PHI). However, using a UITS Research Technologies resource does not fulfill your legal responsibilities for protecting the privacy and security of data that contain PHI. You may use these resources for research involving data that contain PHI only if you institute additional administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that complement those UITS already has in place. For more, see Your legal responsibilities for protecting data containing protected health information (PHI) when using UITS Research Technologies systems and services.

Service category System name Description
Archival storage Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) The SDA tape library provides extensive capacity (79 PB) for storing and accessing research data. The SDA is a distributed storage service co-located at IU data centers in Bloomington and Indianapolis. The SDA provides IU researchers with large-scale archival or near-line data storage, arranged in large files, with automatic off-site copies of data for disaster recovery.
Data management IU REDCap IU's implementation of REDCap provides secure, web-based database management tools for capturing, using, and sharing research data. IU REDCap was designed for investigators who collect and share data (including PHI) for clinical research.
Data visualization About the UITS Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) facilities and systems at IUB and IUPUI are designed to help researchers effectively use advanced visualization technologies. A variety of AVL technologies are available for routine use, testing, and demonstration.
High-performance scratch and project space for research computing applications Data Capacitor II, Slate, Slate-Project

The High Performance File Systems (HPFS) unit of Research Technologies operates Lustre-based parallel file systems that provide high-speed read-write data access for applications running on IU's research supercomputers. These file systems are ideal for storing application data that are being processed and analyzed on IU's research supercomputers; they are not intended for permanent data storage (data are not backed up).

DC2 scratch directories are created automatically for all users with accounts on IU's research supercomputers. Project directories on the DC2 file system are reserved for research projects with atypical requirements that cannot be met by other systems.

Space on Slate is available to all IU research supercomputer users.

Space on Slate-Project is available by request to IU researchers who need shared/project space or an allocation larger than those available on Slate.

Research databases Research Database Complex (RDC) The RDC supports research-related MySQL databases.
Supercomputers Big Red II

IU's main high-performance parallel computing system, Big Red II, has a theoretical peak performance (Rpeak) of one thousand trillion floating-point operations per second (1 petaFLOPS), making it one of the world's fastest research supercomputers. Owned and operated solely by IU, Big Red II is designed to accelerate discovery in a wide variety of fields.


Big Red II will be retired from service on December 15, 2019. After that date, you will no longer be able to log into Big Red II; however, the data in your Big Red II home directory will remain accessible from your home directory on any of the other IU research supercomputers. New software requests for Big Red II will no longer be accepted after the October 13, 2019, maintenance window.

Following a hardware upgrade and expansion, Big Red II+ will be renamed Big Red III; IU graduate students, faculty, and staff will be able to create Big Red III accounts beginning October 14, 2019. Big Red 200 will be available for use by IU graduate students, faculty, and staff in January of 2020. Undergraduate students and affiliates will be able to get Big Red III and Big Red 200 accounts if they are sponsored by full-time IU faculty or staff members. For more, see Upcoming changes to research supercomputers at IU.

Big Red II+

Big Red II+ is a Cray XC30 supercomputer with a theoretical peak performance (Rpeak) of 286 trillion floating-point operations per second (286 teraFLOPS) dedicated to supporting researchers, scholars, and artists with large-scale, compute-intensive workflows.


As of September 16, 2019, Big Red II+ is offline and unavailable while UITS Research Technologies expands and upgrades the system to a five-cabinet Cray XC40 system. The new system (Big Red III) will provide approximately three times more compute capacity than Big Red II+, with an expected peak performance of approximately 934 teraFLOPS.

Beginning October 14, 2019, IU graduate students, faculty, and staff will be able to create Big Red III accounts. Undergraduate students and affiliates will be able to get accounts if they are sponsored by full-time IU faculty or staff members. In addition to being able to create Big Red III accounts on October 14, Grand Challenge users will be able to submit a form to request exclusive access to a portion of Big Red III for running jobs.

Current Big Red II+ account owners who create Big Red III accounts will be responsible for migrating their home directory files from Big Red II+ (/N/u/username/BR2Plus) to Big Red III (/N/u/username/BigRed3). UITS will archive the BR2Plus home directory on October 11, 2020, during the regularly scheduled monthly maintenance window.

Karst Karst is a high-throughput computing cluster designed to deliver large amounts of processing capacity over long periods of time. Karst's system architecture provides advanced performance to accommodate high-end, data-intensive applications critical to scientific discovery and innovation.
Carbonate Designed to support high-performance, data-intensive computing, Carbonate is particularly well suited for use by researchers using genome assembly software, large-scale phylogenetic software, and other genome analysis applications that require large amounts of computer memory. Carbonate also serves as a "condominium cluster" environment for IU researchers, research labs, departments, and schools.

Failure to comply with HIPAA requirements can result in civil and criminal penalties, as well as progressive disciplinary actions through Indiana University, up to and including termination.

Although PHI is one type of Critical data, other types of institutional data classified as Critical are not permitted on Research Technologies systems. For help determining which institutional data elements classified as Critical are considered PHI, see About protected health information (PHI) data elements in the classifications of institutional data.

UITS provides consulting and online help for Indiana University researchers, faculty, and staff who need help securely processing, storing, and sharing data containing protected health information (PHI). If you have questions about managing HIPAA-regulated data at IU, contact UITS HIPAA Consulting. To learn more about properly ensuring the safe handling of PHI on UITS systems, see the UITS IT Training video Securing HIPAA Workflows on UITS Systems. For additional details about HIPAA compliance at IU, see HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance

This is document bdqg in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-09-10 15:26:12.

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