On 31 May 2022, we are changing the way resources are allocated on the Nectar Research Cloud from a limit-based method to a new model of resource usage similar to how other clouds and HPC services operate. All new and renewed projects will be allocated a budget using a currency based on the concept of Service Units (SUs). In a nutshell, the new model will use a quota based on what you actually use rather than limiting what you could use. 

The benefits of this change include:

  • Provides more generous project limits for vCPU, RAM and Instances, allowing more flexibility and supporting bursty workloads. We provide a minimum of 20 VCPUs and 10 instances for all allocations.

  • Makes the Nectar “enhanced” compute and RAM flavors (c3 and r3) now available to all users. They have a higher SU cost.

  • Enables upcoming new Nectar services:

    • a Reservation service, which allows users to book a time slot to use GPU-enabled or huge memory instances

    • Preemptible Instance service (elastic compute), which enables access to additional compute resources for a timed period at a low SU cost. This will enhance the current service without having to create a separate project, 

    • provision of serverless applications.

  • Enables users to track and monitor and forecast their usage of compute resources on the Nectar Research Cloud, through new “usage” pages on the dashboard. This encourages more efficient usage of resources and will improve resource availability for all.

  • Provides allocation approvers and Nectar resource providers with a better estimate of demand, so we can better allocate the resources to users and match capacity with demand.

Transitioning to Service Units.

Now when you fill out the allocation request form you will need to request a Service Unit budget. How to estimate a Service Unit budget.

You’ll notice some extra panels in the dashboard so you can track your service unit usage. We started to collect this information on the 1 Jan 2022 so you’ll be able to see a history of your usage trend which will help you when requesting a Service Unit budget.

Please see the Service Units page for more information.