Final Funding Announced for Nectar Research Cloud Refresh

The ARDC has announced a final round of funding for Nectar Research Cloud, with QCIF and Intersect.

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is pleased to announce that the final stage of funding for a project to help refresh the ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud has been approved.

Intersect, a not-for-profit that provides research services, will be partnering with another eResearch service organisation, QCIF (the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation), to provide the new infrastructure.

The ARDC’s investment of $1 million will be matched by $1.8 million of operational co-investment from Intersect and QCIF. The new infrastructure is expected to support approximately 10,000 virtual CPUs for the research cloud, along with increased volume and object storage. The upgrades are being undertaken to ensure the Research Cloud continues to meet demands for cloud resources.

The Nectar Research Cloud provides computing infrastructure and supporting core services to more than 17,900 researchers, enabling Australia’s research community to store, access, and analyse data remotely, rapidly and autonomously.

The new equipment will be deployed with QCIF’s existing Nectar Research Cloud infrastructure and operated collaboratively by Intersect and QCIF staff. It will be visible in the research cloud federation as separate Intersect and QCIF availability zones. The new infrastructure is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2020.

The new agreement follows an earlier round of approvals for the capital refresh of Nectar Research Cloud in late 2019. The total investment is $4.1 million, with matching co-investment from partner organisations the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC).