In this article, we collect Frequently Asked Questions. Please create a ticket on this website or mail us at support@mydre.zohodesk.eu in case your question is not in this list, and you think it should be.

The myDRE platform and anDREa

What is anDREa?

In 2016, Radboudumc started developing a platform which would be the very beginning of the platform we know today. To make it more scalable for other organizations to join, a consortium was founded together with Utrecht UMC and Erasmus MC in 2019. This is the anDREa consortium which stands for accessible network Digital Research Environment alliance. In 2021, anDREa will become its own entity (Ltd. or BV in Dutch) but it is still owned by the three founding fathers. The services of anDREa are delivered to organizations and users through the myDRE platform.

From where do I have access to the myDRE platform? 

The myDRE portal is accessible from anywhere, provided you have internet access. Simply navigate to https://mydre.org/ and log in with your mydre account. If you experience problems with accessing the workspace, please contact your Core Support Team (CST) member via a ticket or look at this help article: I cannot see my workspaces.

Where is the myDRE platform hosted? 

The myDRE platform is built on Microsoft Azure. For now, the platform just uses a single cloud provider and is hosted on Europe West Azure datacenters in the Netherlands. Read more about the locations of Azure datacenters.

Who is the owner of the data? And do I upload the data to anDREa?

When an organization joins anDREa, the organization is supported and guided by anDREa in the creation of their own organizational Microsoft Azure subscription. The data will not leave the subscription and will always be in your possession. Moreover, by creating an organizational subscription it will adhere to your country's data privacy regulations. Read more articles about this topic in the anDREa - Organization section.

How lasting and durable is the myDRE platform? 

The anDREa consortium has been set up to ensure further development of myDRE, so that it is a sustainable solution for researchers. In 2021, valorisation will take place and anDREa will become its own entity but still owned by the three largest University Medical Centers (UMCs; Radboudumc, Utrecht UMC and Erasmus MC). This will also ensure that even if anDREa as a company falls, the platform will still continue to provide its services.

Is there a commercial goal for the myDRE platform? 

No, the goal is to upscale collaboration in research and to lower the development and running costs for participants. However, commercial companies will still be able to use the platform.

What is the pricing model of the myDRE platform? 

The pricing model for myDRE platform can be viewed from two different perspectives: organizational level and user level.

For organizations that are interested in joining anDREa, there is a tiered licensing model available. To learn more about pricing and how to join anDREa, please contact us.

For individual users, the pricing is based on the consumption of Microsoft services. This means that users only pay for the amount of time they use their virtual machines, storage, and other Azure resources. To estimate the costs of a myDRE workspace, users can utilize the estimator tool provided. The pricing for myDRE follows the standard Azure pricing model, and it's important to note that the prices do not include VAT or any additional discounts that users or organisations may have on their Azure billing account. If you need more information about pricing or any other related issues, please contact your local support team member.

Legal services are not part of the platform itself. Please contact your local research support. 

How does the myDRE platform comply to the GDPR? 

Multiple articles have been dedicated to compliance. Please visit our Compliance section and click on GDPR to read everything in full detail.

Can the myDRE platform be used outside the EU? 

In short, yes. We have dedicated a full article about the possibilities. Read all the details in Can MyDRE be used outside the EU?

How can I get support and how does it work? 

Organizations that are associated with anDREa provide at least one support member. The support members of Radboudumc, Utrecht UMC, Erasmus MC and Amsterdam UMC form a combined support team, which we call the Core Support Team (CST). CST members share the same support permissions and can take over each others tasks as backup. Next to CST, some organizations might opt for a Support Team (ST) that just supports their own organization. Both CST and ST are able to create new workspaces. When submitting a support ticket, choose your organization and your ticket will be automatically assigned to a CST or ST member of the same organization.

Data in DRE workspaces

How can I access my data in the DRE platform? 

Data that is uploaded via the DRE portal is stored on the workspace fileshare, also known as the data drive. From within the virtual machine you will have access to this fileshare by going to the Windows Explorer and finding the data drive on the left hand side.

Do I have internet access inside the DRE workspace? 

To maintain a high security level there is no standard internet access. Internet access is available on request, but the workspace would no longer be regarded as being at a high level of confidentiality. 

Can I share my data with other DRE workspaces? 

Unfortunately this is not possible yet. As a temporary solution, data can be copied to another workspace via the approval flow. Alternatively, if two or more workspaces work on overlapping data but do not want to give access to the other data in the respective workspaces, a common file share drive can be requested. 

Can I integrate electronic medical records? 

This is usually not possible, unless there are specific integration tools available. For example, Radboud UMC developed and manages a tool that makes it possible to integrate directly with EPIC. 

Is it possible to archive my data in the DRE? 

At the current moment, archiving means that the workspace will be labeled as 'archived' and users will not have access anymore. The costs of the workspace will remain the same, but this will be changed in the future. 

How big is the storage size in a DRE workspace? 

The storage size of the data drive expands when the need for storage increases. Keep in mind that the fileshare storage is different from the C: drive on the virtual machine. The latter is limited in size and is not backed up, and should therefore not be used for data storage. 

What are the writing and reading speeds of the DRE storage? 

The fileshare in the workspace is a standard Azure fileshare. According to Azure, 'they provide reliable performance for IO workloads that are less sensitive to performance variability'. Keep in mind that displaying the data in real time depends on several factors, such as the internet connection bandwith, latency and the number of active users. 

Software in DRE workspaces

Can I install software myself in the DRE? 

Owners in the workspaces can install applications. Regular members cannot.  If you have installation packages, you can also install them yourself by uploading the appropriate installation file to the fileshare. Since you will have no internet acces from within the workspace, downloading software will not be possible. 

How can I get software packages into the DRE (e.g. for R or Python)? 

There are local repositories for R (CRAN and Bioconductor), which need to be setup after you have installed R on your virtual machine. For users working with Python the PIP repo is available. Both are available by accessing Internet Explorer and clicking the appropriate links. It is also possible to download GitHub packages to your local machine, upload them to the fileshare and install them on the virtual machine. 

Can I run software in the DRE, for which a specific license is needed? 

Applications that need no license authorization and no internet connection can be installed after uploading the installation packages to the fileshare. When a license key is needed, you can contact us so we can install the application for you. 

Do I need to pay for software licenses? 

As long as the software is available on the standard image or can be installed via the DRE installation tool, the license can be used for free. License costs for other software that will be installed has to be paid for by the workspace user/owner. 

Can I run Castor in the DRE? 

Yes, click for instructions

Users in myDRE workspaces

What is an accountable and how do I determine who that is?

You might have noticed that when you submit certain tickets that you need approval of an accountable. The accountable is someone who is mandated by your organization to make decisions for instance about costs. Therefore, the accountable is usually a department head or Principal Investigator (PI). 

Can there be more than one user entitled as Owner of a myDRE workspace? 

Yes, it is possible to assign multiple users as owner of a workspace. 

Can users have restricted access to specific virtual machines on myDRE? 

Not at the current moment, but a solution to this may be implemented in the future. We can however deny access to all Virtual Machines in a workspace. The user will then only be able to upload data and download data with the right permissions. If this is something you want, please request this in a ticket.

Can users have restricted access to specific folders/files on myDRE?

Similar to the question above, this is not possible currently. A solution might be implemented in the future. Take into consideration the following: if users are not allowed to see certain data, are they then allowed in your workspace? If you really need to restrict access to certain files or folders, you might want to either consider requesting a new workspace and add the appropriate users or look into software tools that can restrict access such as Bitlocker or VeraCrypt.

How can I invite users to my workspace?

First of all, a user will need to have an @mydre.org account to be able to log in to the myDRE portal. Anyone could request an account by creating a ticket. However, only the users in the role Owner can add/invite users to their workspace. It is the responsibility of the Accountable and Owner(s) who is invited to their workspace. After an account is created, it has to be activated (see Activating your account). Owners of workspaces will then be able to add the provided username to their workspace in the desired role (see Self-service adding users, removing users and changing roles).

Virtual Machines in myDRE workspaces

Which Operating Systems and Virtual Machine sizes are offered? 

At the moment, the myDRE platform offers Virtual Machines with Windows Server 2019 and Linux CentOS 7.5. The sizes that are available are the same as what Microsoft Azure offers in the region West Europe. For a list of sizes, visit Virtual Machine series. Can't select the size you want but it should be available according to the list? Please request it via a ticket.

How many users can use a virtual machine simultaneously in myDRE? 

Because of standard Windows limitations this is a maximum of two users. Depending on the software being used, data files may be locked if they are already in use. 

How many virtual machines can I add to my myDRE workspace? 

A maximum of 11 virtual machines can be added to a workspace. This means that 22 users could work at the same files at the same time as all the virtual machines in a single workspace fileshare. Learn here how to self-service create Virtual Machines: Adding VMs.

Can I switch off a virtual machine when it is not used? 

Yes, you can. Moreover, all virtual machines will be shut down at19:00 (UTC+1, Amsterdam time zone) by default. If this is unwanted, you can find here how to customize the autoshutdown setting to your own preference: Adjusting the autoshutdown

    • Related Articles

    • Castor

      Setting up for Direct Access Castor is a cloud-based clinical data platform, enabling researchers to easily capture and integrate data from clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and EHR systems. The Castor data capture system is available through ...
    • Castor R-Package

      Prerequisites DRE: Owner access to workspace, to install R / RStudio / Rtools in a virtual machine External access to CRAN in the workspace where you want to export the data to (open up port rule) External access to Castor in the workspace where you ...
    • Using Castor in Python

      Introduction anDREa would like to thank Reinier van Linschoten for bringing this package and description to our attention. This is a Python package for interacting with the API of Castor Electronic Data Capture (EDC). The package contains functions ...
    • Using the Azure Portal

      DRE is suitable for any type of user. However, perhaps you already have lots of IT experience and you know your way around Azure. That's when it might be interesting to know that you can also access your workspace resources through the Azure Portal. ...
    • [Resolved] Microsoft Azure issues

      At this moment Microsoft Azure is experiencing issues which might impact several services, including starting, stopping and creation of Virtual Machines (VMs) and anything storage-related such as reaching the Z-drive. As myDRE is dependent on ...