Cloud Power Users

Cloud Power Users
June 24, 2016 Karen Mecoles

Rowland Mosbergen is a power user of the Nectar Research Cloud, managing five production-ready virtual machines (VMs) as lead developer for Stemformatics. After meeting other power users of the Nectar Research Cloud at a meeting hosted by QCIF, the Queensland node of the Research Cloud, Rowland established a power users group. According to Rowland, a power user wants to build things that are “maintainable, extensible, scalable, reliable.”

Like other power users, Rowland wants the best experience for the over 400 users they support, with limited resources. Nectar “enabled us to save tens of thousands of dollars per year” compared to commercial cloud providers, and that money saved goes towards better serving the stem cell research community. “The national Nectar infrastructure has reduced our downtime. In particular VicNode has been rock-solid,” Rowland said. As Rowland stated “We’re very, very lucky to have Nectar. We’ve heard collaborators from the UK say ‘I wish we had infrastructure like that.’” The Nectar Research Cloud has enabled the group of power users to improve the efficiency of their operations and better serve their users

Interested in learning more about the group of power users, Rowland sent out a questionnaire. Unsurprisingly he found that all the developers were extremely time poor and most were full stack developers – that is a one person team. “What came out quite a lot,” Rowland said, “was a feeling of isolation.” The overwhelming feedback was of being under resourced and being forced to quickly swap between multiple roles. The power users group allows these time poor individuals a chance to query each other on new technologies and share ideas to maintain their goal of best practice. As Rowland commented, “I can ask questions at any time to a community that understands my needs.” You can apply to join the Nectar Power Users Group here:!forum/brisbane-nectar-power-users-group/join

Stemformatics is a web-based pocket dictionary for stem cell researchers. It allows these researchers to quickly and easily visualise their datasets and high-quality public datasets. More information :