QRIScloud Service Portal
QRIScloud is updating its website to provide its users with improved access to QRIScloud services and support and a range of information about the status and performance of their QRIScloud services. Try it today – the service is live as of Monday, 4 May 2015.
The improved website requires users to have AAF (Australian Access Federation) credentials and to register for a QRIScloud account to be able to create and work with virtual machines and data collections (more information below).
While the home page remains the same, the Account, Services, and Support buttons provide an expanded capacity to order new data, compute, applications and professional services.
- The Account page stores a user’s profile, which enables improved support with up-to-date and secure information on all of your services and contact details in one place. The Account page also features a usage service that provides information about the active QRIScloud services belonging to a user.
- The Services page provides a catalogue of data, compute, applications and professional services available. It also provides access to information about the services and their use, and a shortcut to order or request each of the services.
- The Support page provides access to self-help information and a means to contact the QRIScloud support team when further assistance is needed.
This is the first release of what will develop into a quick, easy and automated way to take advantage of QRIScloud research services. In this release there is a clear catalogue of available services that will be expanded in the future. Many of the services involve a request for assistance from the QRIScloud support team. Over the coming months these service requests will become increasingly automated, making the tasks of ordering services and gaining support much simpler.
We will inform QRIScloud users of any changes and updates via QRISnews, our e-newsletter, previously called QRIScloud NewsFeed.
AAF and User Registration
QRIScloud is asking users to register with QRIScloud so that we can provide improved services both to users and to their institutions and research communities, and so that QRIScloud is able to provide secure access to services and data when necessary.
From today, users who request services through QRIScloud will be redirected and asked to verify their identity through AAF. This is straightforward for people who are registered users of an AAF affiliated university or other research institution – this means just about every public sector researcher in Australia as these researchers are already registered with the AAF. If you are not registered yet, QCIF can register you through the AAF virtual home service – just enter a request through the Support page of the QRIScloud website.
Once you have logged in through AAF, the first time you use a service through the new QRIScloud website you will be asked to register with QRIScloud. This involves completing a profile form and providing phone contact and research institution details. After that you will be recognised through your AAF identity and will not be required to register again.
With registration, QRIScloud offers a personal dashboard where you can access the service catalogue, order services, track the progress of your service requests, access and use your virtual machines and data storage, and track the status and usage of your services. Using the details on file, QRIScloud can more easily optimise the services provided to you and report usage and statistical information back to our stakeholder institutions.
Flashlite Data-intensive HPC
As reported recently in the national press, the University of Queensland, with substantial financial support from QCIF, other partners and the ARC LIEF program, has installed a data-intensive high performance computer, named Flashlite after the large flash memory solid-state (SSD) disks that it uses to access very large volumes of data for bulk processing.
The model for Flashlite’s design is the Gordon computer at the San Diego Supercomputing Centre (named after Flash Gordon) that has been spectacularly successful at solving a wide range of data-intensive (and not so data-intensive) problems.
Flashlite is being installed adjacent to QRIScloud in the Polaris data centre and will take advantage of the rapid data transfer capability between the two systems.
Flashlite comprises 1632 cores arranged into 68 nodes each with half a terabyte of main memory and 326.4 TB of SSD.
We look forward to the commissioning and early trials of Flashlite.