You might require use of large amounts of computing power to complete your research tasks. Through the Nectar Research Cloud reservation service, you can access the newly available Nectar GPU and large memory resources, based on eligibility. 

What kind of flavours/computing power will be available?

These are the flavour classes that will be available:

  1. G1 instances come with Nvidia A40 GPUs which bring state-of-the-art features for ray-traced rendering, simulation and virtual production.

  2. G2 instances come with the latest generation Nvidia A100 GPUs and provide the highest performance for machine learning training and high performance computing in the cloud.

  3. H4 instances come with ephemeral disk (a very fast local disk for temporary data storage), RAM starting from 180GB with the h4.xsmall and up to 1920GB with the h4.xxlarge.

For the exact specification of the flavour classes, check out our Nectar Cloud Flavor knowledge base article.

Am I eligible?

All projects with a national allocation status will be eligible. Further information is available in section 7.1 in the Research Cloud National Allocation Scheme policy. 

How do I access it?

First you need to request a reservation service quota, via the Allocation form. Log into the Nectar Dashboard, and go to the Allocations tab. If you are creating a new project, select “new request”. If adding this to an existing project, select “my requests” and select “amend allocation”. 

In the allocation form, under the “Cloud Resources” heading you should see an option, “Reservation Service”. Toggle this to “on”. 

Additionally, enter the amount of reservations and how many days you would like to have available for reservation (for example 10 reservation periods, with a total duration of 40 days). You can also select whether you want GPU flavours, Huge RAM flavors or both types. Once this is complete, scroll down to click the submit button, and our team will review the request.

If your request is successful, you will be able to make reservations! Do this on the Dashboard under the Compute tab, then Reservations tab. 

Here, you will see your quota includes:

  • the amount of reservations (i.e. 10 separate occasions you can reserve GPU) 

  •  available duration of use (i.e. 40 days of GPU/large memory time)

To start a reservation, click `create reservation`. 

You will now see the available flavours (rows) and dates (columns) for making reservations highlighted in green. You can also toggle between the flavour type in the list whether you would like to see just GPU or large memory flavours, as well as which availability zone they are from. 

Find your preferred start date, if there is a green bar there, this means it is available. You can click the green bar to start the reservation process. 

This will bring up a dialog box where you can confirm the exact dates on the left hand side (from start to end in DD/MM/YYYY), and the right hand side will confirm your eligibility status. This shows both progress bars for the days used so far, service units available and whether you have enough quota for this reservation

If you do, it will say eligible, and you can click reserve. 

Note: The reservations start and end times in the Dashboard are shown in UTC Time zone. 00:00 UTC is 10am Australian Eastern Standard Time, and 23:59 UTC is 9:59am Australian Eastern Standard Time. 

Now your reservation will appear on the central reservation dashboard page, in a list. 

Future reservations to come will show the `allocated` status. Reservations currently in use will show `active` and past ones will show `complete`. 

At the bottom of this page, you will also be reminded of your quota available, showing reservations used, and how many reservation days used.

You will also receive email notifications at each stage of reservation, this includes:

  • when the reservation is created

  • when the reservation starts 

  • when the reservation is nearing completion

  • when the reservation has ended


Once my reservation is active, how do I use it?

You can launch an instance as you normally would via the Nectar Dashboard. For a detailed tutorial on using the GPUs, click here.

Items to note:

  • Do not select a specific availability zone, leave this as 'Any Availability Zone', and the correct one will be selected automatically based on your reservation details.
  • On the flavours tab, you can select your reserved GPU/Large memory. It should appear in the list with the word ‘reservation’ and the flavour ID next to it. 
  • On the source tab, there should be a specific GPU image available. Search `GPU` in the search bar.

Why is there a reservation system?

A reservation system has been created to share our limited resources of high end hardware to all our users.

How long can I make a reservation for?

You will be allowed a minimum of 1 day and maximum of 2 weeks of time per booking. 

Can I start using the service the same day I make a reservation? 

If there is a reservation period that is free on the day, yes. For these reservations made and intended to be used on the same day, it will become active in a few minutes after you create the reservation. 

Can I extend my reservation?

Yes, you can extend your reservation by clicking the Extend Reservation button on the right hand side, of any active reservation. Note, that this extension takes into account your reservation quota remaining, as well as the limits of the particular flavor being used. 

Can I cancel a reservation?

Yes! In the list of reservations you have made, you can simply click Delete Reservation.

What happens when my reservation ends? 

On the end date your instance will be deleted. This includes any data on the root disk or ephemeral disk. It is recommended to boot from a volume if you require your data after your reservation has ended.

What if I finish using my reservation earlier than the current end date of the reservation? 

You can simply delete the reservation, and any unused service units will go back to your budget.