Higher-level cloud services to support data analytics

Glenn Moloney1, Paul Coddington2, Andy Botting3, Siddeswara Guru4

1Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, glenn.moloney@ardc.edu.au

2Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), eResearch SA, Adelaide, Australia, paul.coddington@ardc.edu.au

3Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, andrew.botting@ardc.edu.au

4TERN, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, s.guru@uq.edu.au


The Nectar Research Cloud has been very successful in providing cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. It now supports some additional higher-level services such as database-as-a-service, big data analytics services (Hadoop, Spark, etc), and also supports some virtual laboratories and related services that are customised for the needs of particular research domains.

The Nectar Research Cloud is now part of the new Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). As part of the planning for the ARDC, there is interest in what higher-level cloud services might be provided by the ARDC, for example we see an accelerating uptake of data analytics platforms like Jupyter notebooks, R and R-Studio, and virtual desktop environments across many fields of research: including the Humanities, Geosciences, Marine Sciences, Ecosystems Sciences and Astronomy. Many of these platforms are well suited to running on the cloud. These platforms are also adopting container orchestration technologies (such as Docker and Kubernetes) to deploy these platforms across cloud and non-cloud environments.

This BoF session will have a facilitated discussion on these issues:

  • what types of higher level data analytics solutions should we be aiming to support on the research cloud?
  • what are current practices for supporting these tools on the research cloud and elsewhere?
  • how can we make them easier for researchers to use?

To start the discussion there will be some short presentations on what is currently being done to support some of these tools on the Nectar Research Cloud and other commercial and international research cloud platforms.


Glenn Moloney – Director, Research Communities, Australian Research Data Commons. Specialties: eresearch, elearning, grid computing, research collaboration, experimental particle physics, data analysis and acquisition

Dr Paul Coddington is Associate Director, Research Cloud and Storage, Australian Research Data Commons. He has over 30 years experience in eResearch including computational science, high performance and distributed computing, cloud computing, software development, and research data management.

Andy Botting – Senior Engineer at the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), Nectar Research Cloud.  I’m a cloud-native Systems Engineer with a background in Linux, HPC.  Specialities: Linux, Android, Puppet, OpenStack and AWS.

Siddeswara Guru is a program lead for the TERN data services capability. He has experience in the development of domain-specific research e-infrastructure capabilities.