Project Trials (Automatic, no application required)

When you log into the cloud for the first time, you are automatically granted a Project Trial (PT) of two cores for three months.  This is a chance to explore the dashboard, try a small amount of resources to see if the Nectar Cloud is for you. Project Trials have names like pt-2061.

Within your project trial you can run:

  • a medium (two core) instance, or
  • two small (single core) instances.
As you get near the end of your Project Trial, submit a request for more resources.

What happens when my Project Trial finishes?

When your PT completes, you can request to convert your project trial to a new allocation, through the allocation form. If this is successful, the content of your project trial will be moved to your new project, and your project trial resources quotas will be reduced to zero.  (See also: what really happens when a PT is converted.)

If you decide the Dashboard is not for you, or you just need a standard amount of resources, our managed services are available to use (Virtual Desktop, BinderHub, JupyterHub). All you need is your University or Institutional login.

Note: Even if you do not use any resources, your project trial will expire within 6 months.

Requesting a new project 

To request access to more Nectar Cloud resources, you fill in a new request or you can amend/extend one of your existing requests. 

To make a new request, follow our tutorial on Allocation Process and Projects.

When you submit a request for a project allocation, you will become the project (or tenant) manager. You will be able to add other users to the project, amend and extend the allocation. For a tutorial about how to manage an allocation and please visit the Nectar Tutorial Website.

Allocation Request Process

The allocation request process ensures fair access to resources by ensuring the requests are of an appropriate size and provisioned based on merit, to support nationally significant research. The allocation request process is started when an eligible researcher submits a request. 

To be eligible for an allocation you need to include on the request form the details of a Nationally Competitive Research Grant or evidence of National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) or Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) support. The criteria are set out in section 7.1 of the Research Cloud National Allocation Scheme (RC-NAS) policy. If you don't have a suitable grant or support, then you may still be allocated cloud resources at the discretion of your local Nectar node (this applies to people at Universities and other organisations that have a formal arrangement with of the Nectar Nodes).

While National allocations are permitted to use resources at any of the Nectar federation nodes, local allocations can only run at the approving node.

In your request you must select one of the four Resource Bundles: Standard, Powerful, Extreme or Custom.

If you select the Custom Resource Bundle, then you need to specify the cloud resources you want to use:

  • You need to provide a Service Unit Budget to cover your compute needs for the allocation period. Please see the Service Units article for an explanation of what Service Units (SUs) are, and the different ways to come up with an SU budget estimate.
  • You will also need to specify quotas (or limits) for various other Nectar resources.
If you are not completely sure which Resource Bundle or which custom resources you need, then that is okay. You will later be able to request amendments to your project.

What happens after you submit a request

When you submit the request, you will receive a confirmation email with all your details. View or edit your request by clicking on the ‘My Requests’ tab at the dashboard.

Your request will be reviewed by your local node (if any) or the Nectar Allocation Committee. This can take up to four weeks to process.

If there are any issues with your request, we will get in touch with you. You may be asked to provide more detail about your research or to clarify your technical requirements.

What happens when my project is approved?

When an allocation is approved, it is provided automatically, and the project owner is notified. A submitted allocation request that is pending approval can be updated and re-submitted. A provisioned allocation's request can also be updated (e.g. to request more resources) and re-submitted. In this scenario the provisioned resources will remain active. 

What happens if my request is rejected?

Rejected allocation requests and expired allocation requests (prior to final deletion) can be updated and re-submitted. However, the later steps of expiry can result in some data loss that cannot be reversed, and the final deletion is irreversible. 

Caveat: Project owners and their nominees are notified by email each time their request changes status. Allocation expiry notices are also sent by email. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the emails will be delivered to you, or forwarded to your new email address if you change institutions. We rely on the email address provided by your institution via AAF when you login to the Nectar Dashboard.  If you are changing institutions, and wish to continue using your allocation, please contact Nectar Support.

Amending your current resources

To amend/extend your project, follow our tutorial on Amending and Extending an Allocation.

When completing a project amendment or extension, be sure to select the correct project in the Dashboard, otherwise you may not see the corresponding request in the "My Requests" tab. As a rule of thumb, the more resources you request, the more detail we require about your research. Requesting a few cores won’t be scrutinised as much as requesting tens or hundreds of cores.

Approved requests become "Projects"

We create a Research Cloud Project using your project name, for example ‘QCIF DNA Sequencing Project’. You will receive an email confirming everything is ready to go. As the requester, you will automatically be the project manager. You can assign another project manager by contacting the Support Desk.

As a user, you can be a member of more than one project. You select the current project to access at the dashboard using a drop down menu on the left hand side.

Managing an approved Project (Add/remove users)

Users can be members of multiple Projects sharing each Projects resources with its members. 

If you are a project manager, you can add or remove users from your allocation in the users tab on the nectar dashboard. To add a user, you only need the email address they use to access Nectar via AAF. Note that they must have previously accessed the Nectar Dashboard for this to work.

If you would like to transfer status as "project manager" to another user, request the change by launching a Support Ticket. It is helpful to do this before your account becomes deactivated if you are leaving your AAF member institution.

How do I increase my existing Projects' resources

As a project manager, you can make changes to your request at any time by clicking on ‘My Requests’ at the dashboard. This will show the requests you have made and you can update them.

If you change and resubmit the request, it will go through the review process as outlined earlier.

This can be used to change the resources allocated, or to extend an allocation prior to its expiry (see Project Allocation and Expiry).