What is a workspace?

What is a workspace?

A DRE workspace is a self-contained island where you can work and collaborate on your own data. Workspaces are especially suited for  the analytical phase of your research; when you already have your data, and you need to prepare, combine and/or analyze them. By assigning the correct role to invited workspace members, you make sure everyone has the access that they need. Below, we discuss the basics of a DRE workspace, and we link to other Knowledge Base articles and sections with more in-depth info. 

Interested in working in a workspace yourself? Read more about requesting one

What's in a workspace?

A workspace offers  both storage and compute to work on your research data.

Storage: Fileshare

Each workspace has a Fileshare for storage. This fileshare contains the files that invited members upload to the workspace. In almost any project, the first step is to upload your data to this share. Afterwards, you can run a Virtual Machine to work on the uploaded files.   

Compute: Virtual Machine(s)

There is at least one, but possibly up to 11, Virtual Machines (VMs) present within the workspace.  These VMs work just like regular computers, only then they are 'virtualized' within the cloud. The VMs automatically have access to the workspace Fileshare, so when you log in on them, you can directly start working on your data. 
The VMs in DRE have many advantages, such as:
  1. Support for both Windows and Linux CentOS and Ubuntu;
  2. Default apps and possibility to bring your own apps;
  3. Self-service deployment and deletion;
  4. Self-service resizing in terms of CPU/GPU cores and RAM;
Our Virtual Machine(s) section of the Knowledge Base covers a lot more information.

Non-standard features

For most users, the default DRE workspace with fileshare and VM(s) is sufficient. However, sometimes DRE workspaces are adapted to specific wishes and needs from research projects. In that case, workspaces may have some additional resources included. Such non-standard features are set up on request per workspace, and do not come with any service-level agreements.

Where are the resource located?

All resources, including the Fileshare and VMs, are located within Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform. Each workspace corresponds to a so-called Azure 'resource group'.  Each participating institution in DRE has their own Azure subscription in which the resource groups of their workspaces are located. This means that, even though DRE runs on the cloud, the resources are still property of the workspace's institution. 

Costs of a workspace

A workspace incurs costs. How much depends on your usage. The more files you store, and the more compute you use, the higher the eventual bill will be. In our article on Workspace costs, you can find a detailed overview of the different cost components. You will also find a cost estimator for DRE that you can use to a-priori estimate your eventual costs. 

Whom can access a workspace?

Workspaces are only accessible to those whom have been invited. Each workspace starts out with a workspace Accountable and eventually  one Privileged member. In turn, they can then add new members, for which they must also assign a role. Learn more about the available roles in DRE workspaces here.
Roles are assigned to a person per workspace. So if you're an Accountable in one workspace, you may still be just a regular Standard Member in another workspace. 

Please note that Accountable and Privileged members can only add existing DRE users to their workspace.
Does someone not yet have a DRE account? You must first request one for them.

Built-in compliance

myDRE workspaces are by default set up to be compliant with rules and regulations for research data. Only authorized people can access and work with the data. Of course, it remains important to actively monitor whom is in your workspace, and remove those who no longer need access. 
You can read more about DRE's compliance in another part of our Knowledge Base. 

Non-standard features within your workspace may impact the security and privacy of your resources.  

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