Getting Started with Philter on Google Cloud Platform

We are exited to offer Philter to users of the Google Cloud Platform! This page is a guide for how to get started with Philter on the Google Cloud Platform and it describes how to launch Philter, access it, and how to use Philter’s core feature of removing PII and PHI from text.

If you have any questions as you go through this guide please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Launching Philter via the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace

Go to the Philter listing on the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace.

Virtual Machine Recommendations

The general purpose machine type is n2-standard-2 and this machine type should be adequate for most use-cases. We recommend 8 vCPUs and 8-16 GB of RAM for a production deployment. Philter is stateless and can be set to scale horizontally behind a load balancer to meet cases of higher demand.

Required Ports

Philter requires ports 8080 and 22 to be opened. These ports will be opened by default during the provisioning. Port 8080 is for Philter’s API. This endpoint is an HTTPS endpoint secured by a self-signed certificate. Port 22 is for SSH access into the VM instance to configure and manage Philter.

Connecting to Philter

The Philter virtual machine can be accessed via SSH. Once logged in, Philter is installed into /opt/philter. Under the /opt/philter/bin directory are convenience scripts. Of particular note is the script that queries Philter’s status API endpoint to retrieve the status of Philter. Please allow up to two minutes for Philter to initialize and the script return “Healthy.”

Third-party licenses and third-party source code used by Philter is located under /opt/philter/third-party-notices and /opt/philter/third-party-source, respectively.

Using Philter to Filter Text

With Philter now running in your cloud we can take it for a spin. We will send it some text to filter and look at the response we get back. The Philter virtual machine running in your cloud account should have a public IP address (unless you customized the deployment). We will use that public IP address to interact with Philter.

In the command below, replace <PUBLIC_IP> with the virtual machine’s public IP address.

curl -k -X POST https://<PUBLIC_IP>:8080/api/filter --data "George Washington was a patient and his SSN is 123-45-6789." -H "Content-type: plain/text"

Now press enter to send the command. We are sending the text in the command to Philter for filtering. Philter will identify the patient (George Washington) and the SSN (123-45-6789) and redact those values in the response. You can always use curl to send text to Philter but there are also SDKs you can use, too.

Documentation and Assistance

The Philter User’s Guide is available to provide additional reference and we are available to assist. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you find Philter to be an integral part of your PII/PHI processing pipelines.