State of play of Cloud Resources for Researchers in Australia

Dr Carina Kemp

Over the last 10 years we have seen a rapid increase in the availability of cloud computing resources and tools available for Australian Researchers. Nectar launched in 2012 as the first Australian national research cloud designed for Australian researchers, and continues to be heavily used by scientists and researchers throughout Australia. In 2016 AWS launched its 3rd availability zone in Sydney cementing AWS cloud services in Australia. The third availability zone was a game changer enabling more AWS services to be deployed onshore in Australia. This has enabled an acceleration in AWS for research and education in the last 5 years, peaking with a recent announcement by RMIT to partner with AWS to deliver supercomputing for research in the cloud. Microsoft Azure launched in Australia in 2014 with 2 data centres and then expanded to a 3rd in 2018. Microsoft has established itself as a trusted partner with the Research and Education sector through CAUDIT’s strategic procurement programs. While the Microsoft procurement program has focused on Microsoft Software, they have accelerated their partnerships with the research community leveraging Azure in recent years. For example in 2018 Microsoft announced a significant investment in high performance computing resources to be made available to the Garvin Institute of Medical Research to turbo-charge the development of Garvan’s Genetic Index which holds the promise of great impact on clinical and research genomics worldwide.

Despite these advances in cloud computing it is still challenging for researchers to understand what is available to them and what compute types and services best suit their needs.

This presentation will give the results of an independent study of the publicly available information on what cloud resources are available to Australian Researchers. It will also include a literature review of the state of play of cloud initiatives in Australia for researchers. It will examine what the current commercial cloud offerings are for researchers and it will explore what initiatives are being conducted in other countries to accelerate research outcomes by using cloud computing.


Dr Kemp is an independent eResearch Advisor. She has worked in and around Digital Research Infrastructures for the last 10 years, most recently as the Director of eResearch at AARNet.  Prior to that Dr Kemp worked in the research and innovation of geophysical methods and data science. Dr Kemp led the development of virtual laboratories and high-performance computing tools to enable geophysical applications for pre-competitive dataset delivery. Dr Kemp’s enduring interests include Open Data, Data Science and Analytics, Machine Learning, Cloud and High Performance Computing, communication of science, improving collaboration across science and information technology disciplines, and encouraging leadership and women in science. Dr Kemp, holds a number of qualifications including a PhD from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Science (Geology and Geophysics) from the University of New South Wales. She has a technical background in geology, physics, mathematics and computer engineering.


Oct 12 2021


4:10 pm - 4:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 12 2021
  • Time: 1:10 am - 1:30 am