AWS Public Sector Blog

Announcing Service Workbench on AWS: A fast and simple solution to create a collaborative research environment

Service Workbench on AWSToday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Service Workbench on AWS, a web portal for researchers to deploy domain-specific data and tools on secure IT environments in minutes not months. Customers can accelerate research while promoting repeatability, multi-site collaboration, and cost transparency in the research process. Tailored for researchers, Service Workbench helps quickly and securely stand up research environments for their work, allowing them to focus on the research not the technology.

Service Workbench on AWS is a software solution provided as an open source framework and maintained by AWS. It also supports all AWS HIPAA-eligible services. The push-button provisioning of environments for research projects or classroom experiments in the cloud via Service Workbench minimizes wait time for researchers eager to get started on collaborating with other research institutions. This also helps researchers easily access tools including machine learning (ML) and medical imaging and set up environments—skipping over the repetitive IT procurement process.

“I needed a platform to democratize access to public cloud computing for research and teaching with full billing control and very high level of cybersecurity,” said professor Paul Avillach, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Department of Biomedical Informatics, of Service Workbench on AWS.

By automating the steps to provision the technology that researchers need to run analytics and computations, simplifying controlled data access, and providing cost transparency, Service Workbench allows researchers and IT to focus on their actual work and avoid time consuming and costly repetitive effort. Service Workbench can be used by anyone who needs a self-serve collaborative environment to launch repeatable compute and tooling upon federated data.

“At AWS, we listen to feedback from our customers to work backwards. Service Workbench on AWS was created in response to a customer need. It is already being piloted by researchers for research workloads across clinical, genomics, and pathology. The open source framework enables global collaboration, faster time-to-science, and an accelerated pace of innovation,” Max Peterson, vice president international sales, public sector, AWS.

How to get started with Service Workbench

Service Workbench provides templates for commonly used research environments such as Amazon SageMaker, RStudio, Hail on Amazon EMR, and virtual machines (VMs) for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Linux and Windows. Service Workbench uses AWS Service Catalog to add additional research environments or to build and deploy custom environments through AWS CloudFormation. Administrators can also assign AWS accounts, establish cost centers to track IT spend, create team roles for access control, and allow external researchers to link their own AWS account to isolate spend.

Learn more about Service Workbench on AWS and cloud computing for research.