For Researchers

In a research world increasingly dominated by ICT, QCIF can help you with the computational, data storage, and software needs of your project/s. We take care of the technical side of things so you can get on with making fast, stress-free discoveries.

  • If you are a researcher in need of extra computing capacity, get a free QCIF account to use our supercomputing facilities.
  • Need to communicate with colleagues in different states, or even across town? Take a look at our free video collaboration facilities
  • Got a big research project and need help with project management? Graham Chen, our eResearch expert can help: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Drowning in an ocean of data? Our QRIScloud will help you back to dry land
  • Need a partner to support your grant application? We have helped research groups with eResearch, tools & infrastructure grants. Contact Graham Chen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We have dedicated eResearch staff located at UQ, QUT, and JCU to assist researchers and projects.

We are in the unique position of being able to draw on a network of state and national collaborative resources. These allow us to provide Queensland researchers with a full suite of eResearch services.

HPC

HPC@UQ       HPC@QUT      HPC@Griffith      HPC@JCU      HPC@CQU      HPC@USQ

The term high performance computing (HPC) is a term usually associated with computing used for the purpose of scientific research. HPC uses parallel clusters of supercomputers – computers with the highest processing capacity for super fast calculation speeds.

Supercomputers are used in situations where data sets are too large to be run on common desktop PCs and software applications. The supercomputers are clustered so that two or more computers can serve a single source, thus improving performance and providing redundancy in case of system failure.

QCIF machines are available to researchers across all scientific fields and disciplines but are most commonly used in the areas of engineering, medicine, manufacturing, and resource management.

HPC and research support services are available to all staff and students and are designed to enhance research outcomes and productivity in the following areas:

  • High speed computation, including the use of high performance supercomputing systems
  • Visualisation tools that allow scientific, engineering and other data sets to be transformed into 2D/3D visual representations
  • Programming support for research applications, including code paralellisation and optimisation
  • Statistics and data modelling

Get an account on the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)

ReDBox

ReDBox (Research Data Box) helps the research community describe and share information about research data collections. ReDBox has been designed to assist universities in bringing their research metadata under management, meeting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and interfacing with Research Data Australia, the national research data discovery system.

ReDBox provides a range of features:

  • Easy to use workflow and data entry forms
  • Creation of a variety of metadata formats
  • An OAI-PMH service for feeding collection metadata to various aggregators
  • Integration with systems such as institutional repositories

The associated Mint system provides name authority and vocabulary services to ReDBox (and your other software) as well as:

  • An OAI-PMH service for feeding metadata (such as parties, services and activities) to various aggregators
  • Interaction with the National Library of Australia’s identification service for individuals and groups

Both systems are built on an extensible plug-in model and provide interfaces that help you integrate ReDBox and Mint within your organisational infrastructure

ReDBox Community Resources

The ReDBox project is an open source project with a strong community focus. The following resources provide useful starting points for exploring ReDBox:

QCIF has created a ReDBox image (Ubuntu 12.04 ReDBox 1.5) which is available through the NeCTAR Research Cloud Images & Snapshots catalogue. Universities planning to use ReDBox are able to launch a Virtual Machine on the NeCTAR Research Cloud with the ReDBox software pre-installed.

ReDBox Support

An overview of ReDBox support and how to submit a support request can be found here. Universities with a current Support Agreement with QCIF are able to submit and track Support requests through QCIF ReDBox Support.

QCIF provides vendor support for ReDBox on a commercial basis: download ReDBox Support Agreement.

Software history

The ReDBox product was an ANDS funded software development (EIF040 and EIF048), originally in partnership with University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and subsequently Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) and Central Queensland University (CQUniversity).
The University of Newcastle has been a key member of the ReDBox community since the commencement of the project and has provided feature requirements, site-testing and documentation resources. Flinders University and Swinburne University of Technology have also provided valuable support to the project.

Find a listing of ReDBox users here

Contact

For further information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VMs/Cloud

NeCTAR offers eResearch infrastructure in four key areas:

  • Research Cloud
  • Virtual Laboratories
  • eResearch Tools
  • A secure and robust hosting service – the National Servers Program

The research cloud is a computing resource for all Australian researchers. If offers virtual machines where researchers can develop and deploy applications and collaborate in a uniform environment with controlled sharing of data.

Get service

To apply for research cloud access now, e.g. to set up and run a virtual machine, researchers should log in and complete an allocation request via the NeCTAR Dashboard.

NeCTAR provide user guides and support for users here.

Users who require a customised set up, or who fail to get access to the research cloud through the dashboard, are welcome to apply to QCIF directly for an allocation. We are happy to discuss your requirements.

QRIScloud – Virtual machines / research cloud explained

The NeCTAR component of QRIScloud will eventually become a national centre for new information-centric research capabilities. It will significantly simplify the combining of data, computing, and analysis applications, and enable the development of research workflows based on access to multiple resources. The research cloud will provide an open, robust and scalable platform for researchers to deploy, share and manage their research applications.  Building from current data-intensive computing for genomics, and for the ecology research and characterisation communities, QRIScloud will support NeCTAR Virtual Laboratories and Research Tools in these areas.  It will extend the application of its expertise to other fields to develop and support cross-institution and cross-disciplinary collaboration, providing access to applications and facilities for data-intensive “connected researchers” in a broad range of disciplines.
Getting a VM– the process (non-standard)

  • Researcher logs in to the NeCTAR dashboard and fills in an allocation request. QCIF’s team of eResearch Analysts can help you complete your application. Your application will be emailed to NeCTAR for initial assessment.
  • See the NeCTAR pages for what happens next.

Not sure if the cloud is for you? Talk to QCIF’s team of eResearch Analysts about how the cloud can help you with your research.

QCIF will manage the node to ensure it is sustainable well beyond the life of the initial NeCTAR project.