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Flexible and Secure Access to Computing Clusters

Author(s): Jan Meizner | Maciej Malawski | Marian Bubak

Journal: Computer Science
ISSN 1508-2806

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Distributed and grid systems

The investigation presented in this paper was prompted by the need to provide a manageable solution for secure access to computing clusters with a federated authentication framework. This requirement is especially important for scientists who need direct access to computing nodes in order to run their applications (e.g. chemical or medical simulations) with proprietary, open-source or custom-developed software packages. Our existing software, which enables non-Web clients to use Shibboleth-secured services, has been extended to provide direct SSH access to cluster nodes using the Linux Pluggable Authentication Modules mechanism. This allows Shibboleth users to run the required software on clusters. Validation and performance comparison with existing SSH authentication mechanisms confirm that the presented tools satisfy the stated requirements.
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