The term high performance computing (HPC) is 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 HDR 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

High performance computing facilities are located at each of the QCIF member partners. If you are a staff member or student at UQ, QUT, Griffith, JCU, CQU or USQ, please contact your institution's HPC/eResearch department initially:


National Computational Infrastructure

QCIF holds a share of the NCI facility. This entitles QCIF members to access time on the supercomputer at the NCI and use about 3.4 million service units annually (SU, a service unit, is approximately one CPU hour).

Queensland researchers can use NCI's supercomputer either by applying directly to NCI for an allocation of time under the NCMAS scheme (a merit allocation scheme) or by applying for an allocation from QCIF’s partner share.

Please apply for QCIF's share via the application form on the QRIScloud portal. (Please note: if you are a first-time user of the portal, you will be asked to create an account before you can create the request). 


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


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


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.


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Based in Queensland, QRIScloud offers researchers large-scale cloud computing and data storage services.  Its role is to stimulate and accelerate the use of computing by researchers across all disciplines.

QRIScloud lets researchers compute using large virtual clusters, host web services, store even very large research datasets, share existing data collections across research communities, and collaborate more easily with other researchers nationally and internationally, whether in government, academia or industry.

QRIScloud is part of a federally-funded, national network of research computing infrastructure designed to provide researchers with access to high-speed, high-capacity computing services.   QRIScloud is managed by QCIF and jointly operated through The University of Queensland and James Cook University. To access QRIScloud services, such as setting up data storage, or launching virtual machines, please contact QCIF.

QRIScloud enables institutions to focus on their key research, knowing that compute power is readily available and that datasets generated by their researchers are stored in a safe and easily accessible location.

Using QRIScloud, researchers can:

•    Share datasets with collaborators worldwide
•    Manage and control access to their data collections
•    Leverage data collections stored in state and national RDSI nodes
•    Integrate access to Queensland-based HPC facilities and specialised cloud services
•    Access virtual labs with national communities
•    Launch on-demand computation
•    Host web services
•    Access and use a wide range of existing eResearch services, tools and applications.

To find out how QRIScloud can support your research, visit the QRIScloud site