ARDC Nectar Research Cloud

Your national research cloud – start your 6-month trial today
ARDC Nectar Research Cloud

The ARDC Nectar Research Cloud (Nectar) is Australia’s national research cloud, specifically designed for research computing.

Launched in 2012, Nectar provides Australia’s research community with fast, interactive, self-service access to large-scale computing infrastructure, software and data. A powerful platform for collaboration, it 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.

Nectar is a federation that is co-designed and receives co-investment from universities across Australia. The federation enables cross-institutional research collaborations to deliver research computing services at a national scale.

Why Should Researchers Use Nectar?

Nectar gives researchers access to computing infrastructure to conduct data analysis at scale.

  • Try it out with a 6-month trial for all researchers in Australia
  • Ongoing access at no cost to eligible researchers
  • Fast, interactive, self-service model
  • Scalable support for all research needs
  • A powerful and user-friendly collaborative platform

Nectar is a national research cloud. We cater to all Field of Research codes. It’s already used by 35 Australian universities and 16 NCRIS facilities across Australia. Regardless of what institution you work at, our federated cloud’s homogenous platform provides you with a consistent look and feel.

We’ve been developing research computing for more than 10 years. We’ve simplified the process of storing, analysing and collaborating with data to provide Australian researchers with a competitive edge.

Explore 10 key milestones in 10 years for Nectar.

What Can Researchers Do With Nectar?

Nectar is a versatile cloud computing infrastructure that can be used in many different ways to support research, such as a virtual desktop for a single researcher, or as a powerful computational server that can be shared by researchers in Australia and internationally.

With Nectar, researchers can:

  • connect to a suite of advanced research computing resources directly from your desktop at home or in the office
  • access large-scale computing including large memory machines and GPUs
  • run Jupyter Notebooks or virtual desktops
  • deploy and run software, workflows or platforms using containers and container orchestration
  • use a flexible, scalable and innovative world-class service that allows you to customise your computing infrastructure to meet the requirements of your research project
  • collaborate nationally and internationally with easy shared access to compute, software and data to ensure your research meets the highest standards
  • access and rapidly deploy and share research software tools and data to easily collaborate with peers
  • benefit from centralised support and expert knowledge and continual development of a cloud designed for Australian researchers, offering the support you need to succeed in academia and beyond.

ARDC Services Powered by Nectar

The ARDC hosts important services for researchers on Nectar, which can save time, boost your productivity and give you added power to conduct ground-breaking research. Here are some ways we use Nectar’s versatile cloud infrastructure to provide services to support research:

To carry out your research, you may need extra computational capabilities. Powered by Nectar, the Virtual Desktop Service gives you an extra personal computer in the cloud. You can leave it running uninterrupted for up to 14 days and, if needed, renew it for further 14-day periods.

Learn more about our Virtual Desktop Service.

With this national service by the ARDC, it’s easier than ever to launch, develop and serve Jupyter Notebooks – a great way to develop and share code and computational output with formatted explanatory text and multimedia resources.

Learn more about our Jupyter Notebook Service.

The ARDC’s national BinderHub service lets researchers create flexible and shareable code repositories. BinderHub allows researchers to turn their code, data, and computational environments into shareable, executable, and reproducible ‘Binder’ environments.

On the ARDC BinderHub Service, researchers can run various computing environments for their research. For example, the BinderHub service can point to GitHub or pre-packaged containers of notebooks, software and data, and spin up that containerised environment. Software need not be restricted to the computing environment offered by a particular instance of JupyterHub.

Learn more about our BinderHub Service.

You can now reserve GPUs and large memory virtual machines for your research in advance via a user-friendly interface on the Nectar dashboard. This shares high-end compute resources amongst researchers, and provides quicker and more efficient reservation and access to the resources. 16 different GPU and large memory flavors are now available for researchers to reserve.

Learn more about our National GPU Service.

Our Preemptible Instances service on Nectar is an easy way for researchers to access extra computational resources for a short period of time on demand. It is ideal for running automated workflows that require a lot of compute resources for a limited time.

The Preemptible Instances service lets researchers spin up instances for a chosen preemptible flavor. These instances use spare cloud capacity that would otherwise go to waste. They can be terminated at any time if the capacity is needed, and are always terminated after 24 hours.

An example of a user of Preemptible Instances on Nectar is the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP). The team participates in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. It often requires periods of very large computation on Nectar, using automated workflows that run many compute jobs, so the Preemptible Instances service is ideal for them.

Learn more about our Preemptible Instances.

Digital Services on Nectar

Nectar can also be used to develop and host services, such as databases, data repositories, web portals and tools, and large-scale research platforms or virtual research environments.

Learn more about the digital services hosted on Nectar.

How to Access Nectar

To use Nectar, sign up for a new account with your institutional account via the Australian Access Federation (AAF) and start your 6-month trial.

Nectar offers many tutorials on how to use the platform. Its comprehensive support centre has answers to many common questions as well as detailed support articles.

Follow our step-by-step guide to access the Nectar Research Cloud.

Nectar Learning and Training Resources

Build your practical cloud skills and knowledge with our Nectar Research Cloud learning resources, which are delivered in different modes of delivery to suit every user’s needs. 

Our Nectar Partners

Nectar is a federated cloud hosted at our partner institutions:

  • University of Melbourne 
  • Monash University 
  • University of Tasmania 
  • Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation
  • Intersect 
  • Swinburne University 
  • University of Auckland.

Contact the ARDC

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Subscribe to the
ARDC Connect Newsletter

Stay up to date on digital research news, events, jobs, guides and more
Subscribe to the<br>ARDC Connect Newsletter