Cloud Computing for Research
Do you need more computing power for your research? Cloud computing may be what you need, and the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud is here to provide it.
Cloud computing is used by researchers from all fields of research that need to collaborate, analyse large datasets, and run software, models and workflows.
The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud (Nectar) is a national cloud service designed to be used for research, operated as a national federation by the ARDC and our partner organisations. Eligible Australian researchers can use Nectar at no cost, thanks to the support of the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and co-investment from our partners.
Nectar has been operating for more than 11 years and is used by thousands of researchers across Australia for their cloud computing needs.
Nectar is a powerful platform for collaboration that allows researchers and research support staff to access compute resources, software and data from their offices and homes and easily share them with collaborators at other institutions.
How Does Cloud Computing Support Research?
The cloud can be used for a variety of research activities, from hosting a website or running your analysis to being able to run software that needs a particular operating system, just to name a few. Real-world examples of research done on Nectar include:
Pandemic Decision Making Supported by Australia’s National Research Cloud, Nectar
Number-Crunching with Nectar – The Genomic Fight to Save the Macquarie Perch
Get Started with Cloud Computing for Research
We have developed a suite of resources for researchers to get started on Nectar:
More Cloud Computing Services
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced computational researcher, the ARDC has got you covered with a range of services operating on Nectar:
Virtual Desktop Service
Do you need a bit more computing power to free up your desktop? You may not need the full power of Nectar, but our Virtual Desktop Service could be ideal. The Virtual Desktop Service provides a familiar point-and-click interface similar to your desktop computer but operates in the cloud.
Jupyter Notebooks Service
Jupyter Notebooks are one of the most popular ways for researchers to develop, run and share software. Using Nectar, our Jupyter Notebook Service takes the hassle out of setting up and running a Jupyter Notebook.
BinderHub lets researchers create flexible and shareable code repositories. Our BinderHub service is available nationally for Australian researchers, making it easy to share pre-packaged containers of notebooks, software and data, and spin up that containerised environment.
National GPU Service
Do you run large computations, AI/ML algorithms, image processing, or need high-performance processing power? Then our National GPU Service may be ideal for your needs.
The Preemptible Instances service lets you access extra computational resources for a short period of time on demand using spare cloud capacity that would otherwise go to waste. It’s great for running automated workflows requiring a lot of compute resources for a limited time.
How Do I Access Nectar?
Australian researchers can start a 6-month trial immediately by logging in with their institutional account via the Australian Access Federation (AAF). Researchers can request a longer-term allocation of cloud resources via the Nectar dashboard, if they are eligible.
A variety of services are also available on-demand and accessible instantly with your institutional account via the AAF. These include the Jupyter Notebook Service and Virtual Desktop Service.
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