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FASSE Cluster – FAS Secure Environment


The FAS Secure Environment (FASSE) is a secure multi-tenant cluster environment to provide Harvard researchers access to a secure enclave for analysis of sensitive datasets with DUA’s and IRB’s classified as Level 3. All servers in the FASSE environment are physically located inside an access-controlled data center. We have implemented security controls and access control lists to restrict access. Access to the cluster is restricted via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and only authorized users/groups will be added to the FASSE VPN realm. We provide different storage tiers based on project needs. Please review storage options. 

Note: As this is a secure environment, your home folders on FASSE is separate from any home folder you might have on the FASRC (Cannon) cluster. Data from the secure level 3 (FASSE) environment should not be transferred into level 2 space (Cannon).


PI/Project Owner

To get access to FASSE for your project/group, you will need to first review the Harvard Research Data Security Policy and HRDSP Application documentation to submit DAT/DUA/IRBs documents. If you already have DAT/DUA/IRBs, you can reach out to us at with your project details so we can get started to set up space for your project and add appropriate users. 


Before you can access the FASSE cluster you need to request a Research Computing account, selecting your PI as your sponsor. See How Do I Get a Research Computing Account for instructions if you do not yet have an account. If your PI does not exist, please direct them to this page and the directions in the previous paragraph.



Once you have your FASRC account, you will receive an email with the same information as below, but step one is to set your password. This will be done using your email address and our password reset system.

See our Password Reset documentation for instructions.



To access FASSE and most FASRC services, including the FASRC VPN, you will need your personal FASRC OpenAuth two-factor (2FA) token. This can be set up on your smartphone using an app or downloaded as a Java applet to run on your desktop/laptop.

See our OpenAuth documentation for setup instructions.



In order to access any secure system or environment in FASRC, you will need to connect to the FASRC VPN. The FASRC VPN is separate from other Harvard VPNs you may already be using.  To connect to a FASSE environment, you will connect to the FASRC VPN ( using the @fasse realm (ex. – jharvard@fasse), your FASRC password, and your OpenAuth 2FA code.

See our VPN documentation for setup instructions.



VDI, aka OpenOnDemand or OoD, is a virtual GUI interface that provides everything from pre-built apps to interactive command line access within a familiar desktop-like environment. The FASSE VDI is available when connected to our @fasse VPN realm, through your web browser.  Please visit to access the service:

See our FASSE VDI documentation for further information. [Link Pending]


Command-line access is also available for those who need/want to run jobs using a CLI. Login nodes for FASSE can be accessed by SSH at

See our FASSE CLI documentation for further information. [Link Pending]


To manage the workload on the cluster we use SLURMFollowing are the partitions available on the FASSE cluster.

To use slurm on the cluster, please check here

PartitionNumber of NodesCores per NodeCPU Core TypesMem per Node (GB)Time LimitMax JobsMax CoresMPI Suitable?GPU Capable?
fasse2448Intel "Cascade Lake"1847 daysnonenoneyesNo
fasse_gpu432Intel1247 daysnonenoneyesYes (4 K80/node)
test448Intel "Cascade Lake"1848 hoursnonenoneyesNo



Level 3 and other sensitive files and data stored within the secure environment should never be transferred to storage on the FASRC main cluster or to outside storage which is not designed and approved to house secure data.
Each user has a home directory that is accessible only when logged into the secure FASSE environment. This home directory cannot be accessed on the main cluster. While you can also log into the main FASRC cluster, your FASSE home directory and project storage will not be accessible there as the main cluster is only rated for level 2 or lower data.
Users of the FASSE secure cluster can also log into the main FASRC cluster. This may be necessary for some users who also work with level 2 jobs or data with their lab on the main cluster. But bear in mind that these are two separate environments and data from FASSE cannot be transferred onto the level 2 FASRC Cannon cluster.

When logging into FASSE you will have a home directory that resides only on FASSE. When logging into the main cluster, you will find a different home directory. So bear this in mind if you do switch between the two.
Your lab directory on FASSE is accessible only when logged into the secure FASSE environment. Your lab directory cannot be accessed on the main cluster. While you can also log into the main FASRC cluster, your FASSE lab directory/project storage will not be accessible there as the main cluster is only rated for level 2 or lower data.
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