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This page is about SURF Research Access Management (SRAM), a service to manage access to research resources, intended for Dutch led research collaborations. It takes away the hassle to create and manage user accounts in services. On the left side of this page, you can find an index of the contents of this wiki.

SRAM in 2 minutes

This animation explains the basic concept of SRAM:

So we make creating and managing accounts in services researchers want to use, a lot easier, faster and more secure.

Advantages of using SRAM

  • Researchers:
    • have access to services sooner, so they don't waste time getting access and can start their research sooner
    • can use their institutional account, so less (local) accounts to manage, less password hassle etc
    • read more about SRAM for Researchers
  • Research collaborations:
    • spend less time and resources on infrastructure- and access management
    • get more assurance about identities and whether they are (still) working for the institution
    • secure access management 
    • help comply to the GDPR through access logging, strong authentication etc
    • read more about SRAM for Research collaborations
  • Research resources/services (either offered by institutions or more generic services like the national supercomputer, commercial cloud offerings etc):
    • save time and resources setting up and managing access and on support calls (password resets etc)
    • have more assurance about the identity of collaborating researchers accessing the service
    • have better information on when access should be revoked (and thereby comply better with the GDPR)
    • use open standards to interface with SRAM, which also align with standards used in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
    • institutions offering services: stop having to create zero hour contracts (nuluren contracten), often saving thereby saving money on licenses connected to those zero hour contracts
    • read more about SRAM for Research resources/services
  • Institutions
    • delegate access management for researchers and research services, for instance to Research Support employees etc
    • have a better view of which researchers are involved in what research collaborations
    • improve compliance with the GDPR since researchers don't have an excuse to use local or social accounts 'to do their work' and access is revoked as soon as the researcher leaves your institution
    • read more about SRAM for Institutions
  • Research financing bodies:
    • consider mentioning SRAM in your grants/policy, since research collaborations using SRAM to manage access can spend more time and resources on actual research.

Conceptual overview of SRAM

SRAM is building upon lots of well established and proven building blocks for identity management and research, is using international (open) standards where possible (like the ones from AARC), and consists of SURF-developed parts as well as a flavor of GEANT eduTEAMS, in the following way:


Keep informed about developments

You can subscribe to our https://list.surfnet.nl/mailman/listinfo/sram-announce to keep informed about important updates about service development and availability.

Support/contact us

Can't find what you're looking for? Have questions? Send us an email at sram-support@surf.nl . We offer a mailinglist we currently use for major announcements: you can subscribe at https://list.surfnet.nl/mailman/listinfo/sram-announce .

SRAM background

Research facilities, research collaborations and researchers have voiced challenges managing easy and secure access for researcher collaborations to research services for many years. Basically: creating and managing accounts and enabling researchers to login to services takes way to much time and effort. The FIM4R-initiative, Federated Identity Management for Research, has published reports about it. Many well intended solutions have been proposed over many years, but for many reasons, all efforts did no solve the problems.

Around 2018, a new effort was launched with the EU AARC-project: Authentication and Authorisation for Research Collaborations. The AARC project came up with many results, one of them being a blueprint architecture for a solution to easy secure access for research collaboration. The blueprint was meant to make it so that solutions would stand a change of being interoperable.

SRAM is based on international insight in how to solve access problems research collaborations face:

  • it is based on the above mentioned AARC-blueprint architecture
  • SURF collaborates in and with GÉANT. GÉANT has launched the eduTEAMS service, which shares parts of the software stack with what SURF needs to deliver SRAM. SURF has contracted GÉANT as sub contractor, where GÉANT operates part of the software needed for the SRAM service
  • GÉANT takes care of ongoing efforts to advance the AARC results, and is involved in the EOSC project
  • the collaboration of SURF with GÉANT means Dutch institutions using SRAM use a state of the art access management system which is poised to become the international standard solution and is positioned well for the EOSC cloud


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