LocalTime

Boosting research productivity, increasing capability and focusing investment on research by leveraging National and State research cloud infrastructure and skills.

Why LocalTime?

LocalTime offers research computing cloud management as a service uniquely combined with discretionary on-premise local hardware investment. This is ideal for organisations that prefer not to manage local cloud complexity. OwnTime is backed by the technical infrastructure and services of the Nectar Cloud, partly enabled by the Australian Government NCRIS program. This unlocks leverage of a national investment of approximately $68M made since 2013, and delivers benefits from the collective intellectual property and operational contributions of all major eResearch infrastructure providers in Australia.

Market-defining open source OpenStack technology binds all components together, offering a clear and sustainable software direction that will endure changes in underlying hardware or overlying operating systems and software. The service is experienced as self-serve computing by researchers, dematerialising all hardware and operational concerns.

The net result is a reduction in cost to operate, extremely efficient utilisation, a time to market faster than any alternative, and a level of proven technical reliability and staffing synergy beyond that of an exclusively insourced or exclusively outsourced arrangement.

Openstack-as-a-Service

On-premise hardware is physically housed in locally managed racks at a local datacentre. This is configured as a logically allocated exclusive management zone within the Intersect Cell of the Nectar Cloud, referred to as the Local Zone. Delve deeper


National Leverage

Capacity and Scale

A sudden surge in utilisation can potentially be buffered when demand exceeds Local Zone supply, allowing hardware acquisition without downtime. Currently the Nectar Research Cloud boasts 32,000 CPUs in use, with around 9000 virtual machines contained within 7000 projects. This has increased from 5000 CPUs, 2000 virtual machines and a few hundred projects in 2013..

Expanding a Local Zone by adding additional hardware is a straightforward process, and existing Intersect reporting and statistical tools make usage/utilisation tracking simple for use in ongoing capacity planning. Uniquely, LocalTime features resource consumption attribution direct to the responsible CI, allowing monitoring of research project spend.

Software Reuse

LocalTime directly leverages the national investment in the Nectar Research Cloud, Nectar Virtual Labs and Tools, existing community images and official Nectar images.

A distributed team of support staff exists at each of eight Nodes to manage and operate Nectar Cloud. At present there are 15 Nectar funded Virtual Labs, with more planned. These provide enhanced researcher efficiency with pre-configured virtual machines, supporting proven standard workflows and pipelines.

The image catalog currently comprises 18 official Nectar supported images, representing popular operating systems such as Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS and Scientific Linux. These are updated on a regular basis by the Core Services and Intersect Time teams..

There are over 500 public images created by other Nectar users. This vast community library yields a broad range of already integrated software stacks.

Read more about LocalTime in our Service Catalogue

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