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 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and large memory resources. 

All national Nectar Cloud projects are eligible, however you may also be eligible via your local node/institution. Contact our Helpdesk for more information. 


What kind of flavors/computing power will be available?

These are the available flavor classes:

  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 flavor classes, please read our Nectar Flavors support article.

Am I eligible?

All projects with a national allocation status will be eligible. You may also be eligible via your local node/institution. Contact our Helpdesk for more information.

How long can I make a reservation for?

Most users will be allowed a minimum of one day and a maximum of four weeks of time per booking. It is also possible to extend a reservation.

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, then you can start using it that day. 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.

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" section you can select one of the pre-defined Resource Bundles. These come with a specified reservation quota, and you can view the quantity included in the Resource Bundle Table. If you select the Custom Resource Bundle, you will need to specify the quota of Reservations you are requesting.

Reservations refers to the number of reservations you can have reserved at any given time. Duration (in days) refers to the the sum of the duration of remaining active reservations from today, plus the duration of all future reservations (in days). Enter the number of reservations and the number of days you would like to have available for reservation (for example 10 reservation periods, with a total duration of 41 days). Default values are provided based on the Extreme Resource Bundle. You can also select whether you want both GPU flavors and Huge RAM flavors. Once this is complete, click the "DONE" button to close the window, complete your request submission, and our team will review your 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 number of reservations (e.g. 10 separate occasions you can reserve GPU) 
  • the total available duration of use (e.g. 41 days of GPU/large memory time)

To start a reservation, click "CREATE RESERVATION".

You will now see the available flavors (rows) and dates (columns) for making reservations highlighted in green. You can also toggle between the flavor type in the list whether you would like to see just GPU or large memory flavors, 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 10:00 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), and 23:59 UTC is 09:59 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). 

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 have been 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, read our Nectar GPU Service article. Notes:

  • 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 Flavors tab, you can select your reserved GPU/Large memory. It should appear in the list with the word "Reservation" and the flavor identification 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.

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 this extension takes into account your reservation quota remaining, as well as the limits of the particular flavor being used. 

Why can't I extend past a particular date?

Even if you have sufficient reservation quota and the reservation flavor maximum duration would not be exceeded, you may be unable to extend past a particular date due to a scheduled maintenance period. We are currently working on a fix to ensure maintenance windows are clearly visible inside the reservation system.

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?

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