The Nectar Research Cloud

The Nectar Research Cloud supports thousands of virtual machines using more than 30,000 VCPUs across Australia.

This article aims to provide pointers for information on the resources that are available on the Nectar Research Cloud. If you are interested in Nectar Cloud resources and their allocation units, please login to your project trail and open the New Request form under the Nectar dashboard Allocations menu.

Allocations: Projects and Project Trials

The Nectar Cloud provides access to the cloud via projects, each with an allocation of time & capacity (virtual CPUs).

All researchers initially (and without application) get a project trial with 2 VCPUs allocated for 3 Months. This means you can run 2 Small or 1 Medium virtual machine for three months. Or 1 small VM for a total of 6 months. All project trials will expire and their quota will be reduced to zero after 6 months if the 2 VCPUs aren't consumed beforehand.

Note
Even when an instance is shutoff, Openstack still holds resources for it, and resource time is still counted towards your trial allocation. To avoid this you can create a snapshot and terminate the instance, then launch a new instance when you need it again.

 

If you need more time or computing power, or you need one of the storage or other features of the Nectar Research Cloud, you can submit an allocation request. See our article on Managing an Allocation for further detail.

You can share your Nectar Project (but not your project trial) with users you invite.

Instances available by size

The resources available to an instance are selected by different 'flavors' when launching the instance for the first time. The current flavors tabled below define the number of VCPUs, RAM and CPU performance. The root disk size for all flavors is 30GB except for tiny flavors which are typically useful for prototyping, testing or generally low performance requirements. Please note that RAM and CPU optimized flavors require approval to be accessed. Access can be requested by submitting an allocation request form from the Nectar Research Cloud dashboard. Further information about Nectar Flavors is available at https://support.ehelp.edu.au/solution/articles/6000205341-nectar-flavors 


Standard (m)

Name

VCPUs

Memory (GB)

Memory (MB)

Disk (GB)

RAM per VCPU

CPU Shares

m3.xsmall

1

2

2048

30

2

64

m3.small

2

4

4096

30

2

128

m3.medium

4

8

8192

30

2

256

m3.large

8

16

16384

30

2

512

m3.xlarge

16

32

24576

30

2

768

m3.xxlarge

32

64

32768

30

2

1024


RAM Optimised (r)

Name

VCPUs

Memory (GB)

Memory (MB)

Disk (GB)

RAM per VCPU

CPU Shares

r3.xsmall

1

4

4096

30

4

64

r3.small

2

8

8192

30

4

128

r3.medium

4

16

16384

30

4

256

r3.large

8

32

32768

30

4

512

r3.xlarge

16

64

65536

30

4

1024

r3.xxlarge

32

128

131072

30

4

2048



CPU Optimised (c)

Name

VCPUs

Memory (GB)

Memory (MB)

Disk (GB)

RAM per VCPU

CPU Shares

c3.xsmall

1

2

2048

30

2

256

c3.small

2

4

4096

30

2

512

c3.medium

4

8

8192

30

2

1024

c3.large

8

16

16384

30

2

2048

c3.xlarge

16

32

32768

30

2

4096

c3.xxlarge

32

64

65536

30

2

8192



Tiny (t)

Name

VCPUs

Memory (GB)

Memory (MB)

Disk (GB)

RAM per VCPU

CPU Shares

t3.xsmall

1

1

1024

10

1

32

t3.small

2

2

2048

10

1

64

t3.medium

4

4

4096

10

1

128



Huge RAM

Name

VCPUs

Memory (GB)

Memory (MB)

Disk (GB)

RAM p/VCPU

CPU Shares

h3.large

24

160

184320

30

7.5

6144

h3.xlarge

32

240

245760

30

7.5

8192

h3.xxlarge

48

360

368640

30

7.5

12288


Larger instances require more resources than available in the project trial; a new project with more resources can be requested via an allocation request.

Requesting an Allocation

When you make a request for an allocation, you will be asked to supply information about the research use for the project. You will also be asked to specify the resources you request with options such as:

  • Choose whether to convert your existing project trial to a project, or to start a new project from scratch.
  • Advise the project duration. The maximum is 1 year, but you will have the opportunity to extend the allocation before it ends.
  • Choose the maximium number of instances (virtual machines) that you will run simultaneously
  • Select the maximum number of cores (cpus) that you will require simultaneously, across all running instances.
  • Advise the number of core hours required (number of cores multiplied by the hours they will run). The default value is half the requested maximum cores multiplied by the estimated project duration.
  • Ephemeral storage and memory will be assigned relative to the number of cores requested. However, there are other types of storagethat can be requested in addition:
  • As well as volume and object storage, Nectar Research Cloud offers a number of supplementary resources that you may wish to use:
    • The Database Service is a Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) system that provides a simple interface for database management tasks. MySQL and PostgreSQL datastore support is currently offered (MongoDB support is planned).
    • Advanced Networking allows projects to have more advanced networking configurations for their instances. These include private networks, floating IPs, and Load Balancer-as-a-Service (LBaaS).
    • The Shared File System Service provides a simple interface for provisioning and managing shared file systems that can be mounted on multiple Virtual Machines. Access to these systems can be via NFS, CIFS (SMB) or CEPHFS, depending on the site.

Internet Traffic Quotas (downloads to your instances)