Dr Steve Manos

Dr. Steven Manos leads a team of nearly 30 people at the University of Melbourne responsible for digital research platforms, training and engagement. His mission is to lift the digital literacy of the research community by arming them with the digital tools to do what they love, and do it in a more far-reaching and effective way. He does this by building communities, actively training researchers and establishing innovative and extremely usable platforms for research. In the past he did a PhD in Physics at Sydney University and a stint of post-doctoral research at University College London. He lives in Melbourne with his partner and son, and enjoys designing and making furniture.


Presentation: Nectar - Accelerating Innovation in the Public Research Sector with OpenStack

In 2010, the Australian research community voiced their need for a flexible, low-cost computing resource they could access on demand. A cloud solution quickly became the sought after approach, with its low barriers to entry well matched for the collaborative nature of academic research. In early 2011, a number of open source cloud options were evaluated, and OpenStack met the key criteria of a strong community of developers, a culture of openness, and compatibility with research practice.
Fast forward to 2017, five years since its launch, the Nectar cloud is a highly utilised national research platform, supporting more than 10,000 researchers with over 35,000 cores installed across 8 sites distributed around the country. It underpins a range of research tools and virtual laboratories, used by researchers across all research disciplines. More recently, a new science clouds program is building three community focussed cloud platforms - the Australian Biosciences, Ecosystems Science and Ocean Sciences clouds. These are set to enhance access to shared data and tools, tuned to each community’s domain-specific needs.

This presentation will tell the story of how the cloud evolved and developed, and how it is used by researchers around the country, with a focus on the lessons learnt along the way.