The South Australian NoDE of the National Research Cloud is now online

The South Australian NoDE of the National Research Cloud is now online
January 18, 2014 Fuller

For the first time, a federated Australian Research Cloud is here. Cloud computing is scalable, convenient, accessible and collaborative. The National Research Cloud removes the burden of operating your own server infrastructure and is a place where you can easily access your research applications and data online.

  • Do you need more compute power than your desktop can provide?
  • Do you have trouble providing remote access to your research data?
  • Do you use multiple applications to conduct your research?
  • Do you have trouble sharing information and collaborating with your peers?
  • Does your research group need to run web-based information systems, databases, analysis tools or other online services?

The National Research Cloud is funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia and sustained by participating universities and the State government.

Cloud resources will be accessible to researchers at a low cost or on the basis of merit.

Right now there are multiple cloud nodes up and running and available for research use, with a total of over 8000 processing cores available. More nodes will come online later this year.

The Australian Research Cloud now has over 17,000 processing cores available across five nodes, including 3,000 cores in the South Australian node which is managed by eResearch SA. By the end of 2014 the Cloud is expected to have 30,000 cores across eight nodes.

Anyone with an Australian Access Federation (AAF) account, which includes any researcher at an Australian university, can try out the cloud with a small resource allocation, and request a larger allocation. So far over 50 research groups in South Australia have been granted allocations totalling over 2000 cores.

Many researchers are using the cloud to provide computing resources for simulations and data analysis in a variety of research areas including genomics, evolutionary biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, theoretical and experimental high-energy physics, applied mathematics and medical research.

Some groups are making use of small virtual machines (VMs) with a few processing cores, others are taking advantage of the largest VM size with 16 cores and 64GB of memory, while several groups have set up a private cluster in the cloud using eRSA’s implementation of the StarCluster software on the Australian Research Cloud.

The Cloud is also being used for hosting databases and web applications. Researchers at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) are using the cloud to host a database on the immune system and research groups at SAHMRI and the Centre for Cancer Biology are using it as a platform to develop and host other bioinformatics databases and web applications. Flinders University made use of the cloud to temporarily host their web site during a major university-wide network upgrade.

To discuss how you can use the Nectar Cloud, talk to your local IT services or eResearch office, or email eRSA at cloud@ersa.edu.au.

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