Nectar Goes Elastic

Nectar black 3d hexagonsAustralian researchers using the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud now have more flexibility and access to new services thanks to a change in the way compute resources are allocated.

Resources on Nectar are now allocated using a quota that is based on what researchers actually use, rather than a maximum limit on what they could use. This new model is similar to how other clouds and high performance computing services allocate resources.

Under the new system, researchers requesting a new project or renewing an existing project will be allocated a usage quota of Service Units (SU).

More Flexibility, Visibility and Services for Nectar Users

The benefits of the new allocation system include:

  • Provides more generous project limits for vCPU, RAM and Instances, allowing more flexibility and supporting bursty (elastic) workloads. We provide a minimum limit of 20 VCPUs and 10 instances for all allocations.
  • Makes the Nectar “enhanced” compute and RAM flavors (c3 and r3) now available to all users. They have a higher SU cost.
  • Enables users to track, monitor and forecast their usage of compute resources on Nectar through new ‘usage’ pages on the dashboard. This encourages more efficient use of resources and improves resource availability for all. Learn how to view your Service Unit usage.
  • Provides allocation approvers and Nectar resource providers with a better estimate of demand, so we can better allocate the resources to users and match capacity with demand.

The new allocation model also enables us to launch new Nectar services, which you can expect to see in the coming months. The new services are:

  • A Reservation service for users to book a time slot to use GPU-enabled or huge memory instances
  • A Preemptible Instance service (elastic compute), which enables access to additional compute resources for a timed period at a low SU cost, allowing more efficient utilisation of spare capacity in the Nectar cloud. This will enhance the current service without having to create a separate project
  • The provision of serverless applications.

When Nectar users request a new project allocation or renew an existing project, they will be asked to estimate a Service Unit budget. The Nectar Support Centre provides information on how to estimate a Service Unit budget.

If you have any questions about the change to usage-based quota and Service Units please contact the Nectar Service Desk.

Learn more about the ARDC Nectar Research CloudNot a Nectar user yet? Take 3 steps to use Nectar.

The ARDC is funded through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to support national digital research infrastructure for Australian researchers.

Written by Jo Morris, Sonia Ramza, Dr Paul Coddington and Jo Savill.

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