Australia’s national research cloud service, the Nectar Research Cloud, which provides Australian researchers with an agile and consistent cloud computing experience, has achieved a significant milestone with the commissioning of the refreshed infrastructure at the University of Melbourne node, with 6000 virtual cores and 1.9 PB of storage for nationally significant research.
The ARDC, part of the NCRIS network of national research infrastructures, is investing more than $4.5m in 2020 to refresh the Nectar Research Cloud infrastructure and increase the national capacity by more than 40 per cent to ensure researchers have easy access to the compute resources and collaborative tools they need, using their standard university credentials.
The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC), Intersect and Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) were successful bidders in the refresh and are scheduled to be online and providing access to their new infrastructure by late 2020/early 2021.
"The University of Melbourne is excited about being a part of the refresh program and our role in supporting the Nectar Research Cloud. We expect users will notice the improvements in performance associated with the new hardware," said Dr Stephen Giugni, Director of Research Computing Services, University of Melbourne.
“COVID-19 has impacted the delivery of the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud refresh so we’re very excited to have the first tranche of capacity made available now, to provide immediate benefit to the research community. We are continuing to invest in the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud over the next 12 months to expand our services including Jupyter notebooks and a national service to support the use of containers and Kubernetes,” said Carmel Walsh, Director of eResearch Infrastructure & Services, ARDC.
The Nectar Research Cloud is based on a federation of universities and eResearch organisations and provides researchers with a consistent national standard and high quality cloud computing performance and support while enabling the hosting partners to supplement capacity to suit their local stakeholders. Its federated nature ensures providers are able to join, leave and add or reduce capacity to suit their local circumstances while still supporting a national resource.