Health Services Research Data Center (HSRDC)
The CERC and related projects utilize the HSRDC, which is a University-wide resource to facilitate research using large public health datasets containing protected health information. The HSRDC provides secure data storage, high-throughput computing and access to multiple state and federal databases. Datasets managed by the HSRDC include Medicare and Medicaid data files, among others. These data are unique in that they necessitate a high level of security as well as a powerful computing infrastructure, all of which are provided by the HSRDC.
Examples of services include:
HSRDC uses Dell PowerEdge multi-processor blade servers currently configured with 76 cores, 608 GB of memory and approximately 11 TB of storage which are securely maintained at the University of Pittsburgh’s Network Operations Center. The user interface utilizes VMware-based “virtual desktops” running Windows 7, which allows users to work directly on the secure server while still providing for a familiar computing experience. Users access their virtual desktops by way of a two-factor authentication process (passwords and RSA tokens) via a secure socket layer (SSL) 128 bit VPN connection around an encrypted virtual desktop connection.