Data analysis in today’s research world often requires enormous computing power — and sometimes this is beyond the capacity of individual research teams and organisations. The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud is an effective solution. It’s been providing flexible and scalable computing power to all Australian researchers for a decade.
However, its long-term success relies on a continual process of renewal and replacement, as hardware reaches the end of its useful life. Provision of additional capacity and investment in leading-edge infrastructure is also important to meet rising demand, particularly for intensive computing workloads for machine learning, artificial intelligence and genomic sequencing.
Investing in the Nectar Research Cloud is our commitment to ongoing improvements to ensure it maintains the capacity required to meet Australia’s research demand for cloud resources.
We’re continually monitoring the capacity of Nectar and, when needed, adding capacity or capability to the cloud’s compute and storage infrastructure.
The ARDC’s recent Nectar investments are outlined below.
Australian Government funding supported the continued delivery of compute resources to the research sector.
Organisations that had provided resources into Nectar or with significant ICT infrastructure capability submitted proposals for the supply and operation of new research cloud infrastructure. We invested $4.1 million for a refresh project across 5 Australian organisations:
- University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- The Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC)
- a joint partnership between Intersect Australia and the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF)
Additional investment was also provided to refresh the infrastructure hosting Nectar’s core services and its development and testing environment.
We invested $2 million for additional cloud capacity to support the requirements of ARDC Platforms Program projects, particularly the need for high-end GPU servers and large memory servers. This infrastructure was provisioned at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and QCIF.
- $1.25 million for a national cloud service for GPUs and very large memory virtual machines, with our partners Intersect, Monash University, QCIF, Swinburne University, and TPAC
- $500,000 for infrastructure at Monash University and QCIF to support the Secure eResearch Platform project
- $250,000 to refresh cloud infrastructure to create a national Nectar node at Swinburne University.
Explore ARDC-supported research platforms hosted on Nectar.
Nectar is a hybrid resource, partially funded by the ARDC and partially funded by institutions. Our ongoing program of investment in Nectar is conducted with the collaborative expertise and co-investment of:
- the University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- Swinburne University
- University of Auckland.
The ARDC’s investment in the Nectar Research Cloud has provided more than 90,000 virtual CPUs, 200 TBytes of memory, 150 high-end GPUs, 6 PBytes of volume storage and 1.7 PBytes of object storage for allocation to nationally prioritised projects.
Nectar delivers a national cloud resource that’s free to Australian researchers conducting nationally prioritised research,. The cloud-computing supports specialist research computing support to more than 4,500 researchers in more than 1,800 currently active projects.
Read more about the benefits of using the Nectar Research Cloud.
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