We’re celebrating 10 years of the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud, the world’s first national federated cloud dedicated to research.
The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud provides thousands of Australian researchers each year with fast, self-service access to large-scale computing infrastructure, software and data. Nectar has defined and established research computing standards that enable collaboration on a national and international scale.
Here are 10 important milestones in the history of the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud.
2009 - The National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) project is established through the Australian Government's Super Science initiative, financed by the Education Investment Fund. One of its goals is to accelerate research and enable easier cross-institutional collaboration by providing access to national cloud computing resources at scale at no cost to researchers.
2011 - Open source OpenStack software is chosen to run the Nectar Research Cloud. Nectar is an early adopter of OpenStack, less than a year after its first release. Using open source technology allows Nectar to be customised to the needs of the Australian research community.
2012 - The Nectar Research Cloud is officially launched with a single Node at the University of Melbourne. It provides on-demand self-service access to computational resources for researchers and research support staff. Seven additional Nodes are selected to form the world’s first federated national research cloud.
2013 - Funding starts from National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), to support the operation and improvement of the Nectar Research Cloud.
2014 - All 8 Nectar Research Cloud nodes are live and this marks the first time OpenStack has been scaled in this way. The Nodes are: University of Melbourne, Monash University, Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF), eResearch South Australia, Tasmanian Partnership for Advance Computing (TPAC), National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), Intersect and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. Nectar Research Cloud now provides 30,000 processor cores and more than 2 petabytes of cloud storage.
2012-14 - Nectar Research Cloud is used to develop and host several pioneering virtual laboratories (now called research platforms) across many research fields, including biodiversity and climate change, characterisation, genomics, geophysics, and marine science. Most of these research platforms are still hosted on Nectar.
2018 - ANDS, Nectar & RDS join forces to become the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC).
2019/2020 - The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud invests in leading-edge infrastructure including GPUs to support 17 ARDC Platforms and to create new national services.
2021 - The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud doubles its national capacity to support Australian researchers thanks to an $8 million upgrade. The Nectar Platform expands its innovation to explore new technologies such as DPUs for micro-segmentation in cyber security.
2022 - The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud creates new services to enhance national research, such as a national cloud GPU service, JupyterHub, Virtual Desktop Interface and to enable usage-based allocation to allow elastic compute (bursts).
The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud has enabled over 20,000+ researchers to work on 4,600+ ground breaking national research projects since 2012.
The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud is now hosted at 7 nodes: The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC), Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF), Intersect, Swinburne University and the University of Auckland.
Start your Nectar Free Trial today.
The ARDC is funded through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to support national digital research infrastructure for Australian researchers.
Written by Dr Paul Coddington, Carmel Walsh, Jo Savill, ARDC.