Research Cloud

After rapid access to scalable computational power that can grow as your research grows? Need to share knowledge and collaborate across research infrastructure and institutions?

Instead of spending weeks of effort and loads of precious grant money buying or building computers for your needs, use The University of Melbourne Research Cloud as your as your personal virtual server and storage.

The University of Melbourne Research Cloud links you to the national research cloud (NeCTAR) which supports collaboration via its 7 nodes, including The University of Melbourne, Monash, National Computation Infrastructure (NCI), E-Research South Australia (ERSA), University of Tasmania, Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF), Intersect (NSW), and Auckland, NZ.

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Access to All Researchers and Support Staff

  • Instantly build servers as you need them (on-demand) and gain computer power without having to plan, purchase, maintain or dispose of your own hardware
  • Ideal for testing configurations without financial commitment
  • Accessible 24/7 within and outside The University of Melbourne, or anywhere in the world
  • Easy access and rapid deployment of software applications.

Dynamic and Scalable

  • Flexibility to create and manage your own dynamic and scalable environment (similar to the Amazon EC2 compute cloud and S3 storage cloud)
  • Applications and the service can scale to meet demand for suitable applications.

Share and Collaborate

  • Publish your research on the research cloud so other researchers can use your work in their research and you can grow your portfolio of work
  • Access other researchers’ work so you can save valuable time on your own work
  • Clone your computation environment for backup or sharing

Secure and control your valuable research

  • Control who and where others can collaborate, share and access data

Reduced costs and administrative burden

  • Computer power without the overheads cost and procurement of applications and infrastructure
  • Free trial available
  • New and innovative ways of working that can be tested at minimal cost.

Additional Resources

Need Help?

Self-paced training and documentation is available.

New and existing Research Cloud users can request assistance by emailing

We also offer regular on-campus training to help you get started with the Melbourne Research Cloud.

Additional Information: Service Description

Case Studies

Curious about how the research cloud can be used to support your research? Here are a few examples from our existing users at the University.

Source: Brendan Lee

Render Artwork

Brendan Lee is a Masters candidate in the Victorian College of the Arts, preparing animation works in 3D graphics package, Carrara. High resolution rendering was taking too long on his laptop computer, and so ResPlat helped Brendan move his workload to a virtual machine on the Nectar Research Cloud. This freed up his laptop for other tasks, and increased throughput without having to purchase a new computer.

Observe Social Media Censorship

William Lukamto is a PhD candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences studying censorship in social media. William deployed an application on the Nectar Research Cloud that continuously collects and stores data from the web for later analysis. Running this application in the cloud meant it was quick to deploy and could run continuously without interruption.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Melbourne Brain Centre

Analyze Brain Function

Dr. Scott Kolbe is a NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, studying brain function and structure using neuroimaging. Dr. Kolbe's group conducts much of their interactive analysis in the Nectar cloud using a customised remote desktop environment. This allows easy access to data stores, and simplifies on-boarding for new students and collaborators. ResPlat's High Performance Computing (HPC) system, Spartan, is used for batch processing of large MRI datasets that would otherwise impractical on a single computer.