New infrastructure and services for the ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud

Dr Paul Coddington1

1Australian Research Data Commons, Adelaide, Australia

The Nectar Research Cloud has been in operation for 8 years, and has supported more than 4000 projects and 18000 users, and hosts many services used by thousands more researchers. In 2018 it transitioned to being supported by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). This presentation will provide an overview of ARDC’s plans for the expansion of Nectar Research Cloud infrastructure and services in 2020/21 and beyond, in collaboration with the Research Cloud Node partners.

A major refresh of the Research Cloud infrastructure is underway that is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Additional infrastructure investment in 2021 will prioritise the requirements of the ARDC Platforms projects and the provision of high-end infrastructure such as GPUs and large memory servers. We will also be exploring the integration of additional capacity from commercial clouds.

The ARDC is leading a national collaborative effort to develop the Australian Research Container Orchestration Service (ARCOS), to provide expertise, best practices and standards for interoperable deployment of cloud applications on multiple cloud platforms through the use of containers and container orchestration using Kubernetes.

Another new service being developed is an interactive data analytics platform that will make it easier to use the Research Cloud to run standard data analytics tools such as R Studio and Jupyter notebooks, and provide a simpler virtual desktop interface. This platform will be based on the requirements and implementations of several existing Virtual Laboratories, and be designed so that it can be customised to develop similar domain-specific Platforms.


Paul Coddington is the Associate Director, Research Cloud and Storage at the Australian Research Data Commons. He has been responsible for the Nectar Research Cloud since 2017 and has 30 years of experience in the eResearch sector.

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