NeCTAR Cloud to boost research potential

September 28, 2012

Western Australian research has received a significant boost thanks to funding for a NeCTAR Research Cloud node led by iVec@Murdoch.

Cloud computing is a service that allows users to deploy computer servers and storage on demand, without the need for purchasing and managing their own physical infrastructure.

Part of the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Project, the node represents a considerable increase in supercomputing capacity, which will allow researchers to collaborate on national and international projects like never before.

Professor Matthew Bellgard, Director of both the iVEC@Murdoch facility and the Centre for Comparative Genomics (CCG) at Murdoch University, said the funding was further proof of the high quality of research in WA.

“The new NeCTAR Research Cloud node supports the increasingly collaborative nature of Australian research and gives us an economical, convenient and incredibly secure resource for sharing knowledge in real time,” Professor Bellgard said.

“Previously we would have to invest in physical server infrastructure and associated staff to support it. Now we are able to provision virtual servers on demand.

“In terms of what this means to the general public, we’re overcoming the physical limits of countries and borders. We’ve now got the tools to bring together leading minds in research in order to speed their work on everything from cancer treatments to removing pollutants from industrial processes.”

Professor Bellgard said the iVEC@Murdoch and CCG team had already developed a solid track record in managing large software development projects and that CCG had previously begun migrating key components of its own computing infrastructure to Cloud environments.

“We recognise the substantial industry trend towards Cloud computing and its ability to enhance research outcomes. The Cloud has transformed the way the CCG conducts it core business and similarly will have a significant impact in the way eResearch is conducted across all research communities,” Professor Bellgard said.

The NeCTAR Project is funded by the Australian Government’s Super Science Initiative through the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education as a $47m national research infrastructure initiative to implement collaboration infrastructure for use by the Australian Research community.

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