Tag Archives: Virtual Laboratory

The CVL on R@CMon

The Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) is a powerful platform that integrates Australian imaging facilities with computational and data storage infrastructure, together with sophisticated processing and analysis toolsets. The CVL platform provides scientists working in various fields with a common analysis and collaboration environment, the CVL turns the humble remote desktop into a highly flexible Scientific Software as-a-Service delivery platform powered by the NeCTAR Research Cloud.


The CVL Desktop

The current production CVL includes toolsets covering Neuroimaging, Energy Materials and Structural Biology research drivers. The project includes so-called “CVL fabric services”, which provide the necessary infrastructure to modularise popular software toolsets from any number of domains.

The R@CMon team assisted the CVL team in migrating CVL services into R@CMon. The use of persistent storage (Volumes on R@CMon) ensured consistent user home directories and software-stack repositories. The default “CVL Desktop” pool is now serving users with software-rendered CVL environments running on R@CMon. The CVL team is also a beta user of GPU flavours on R@CMon and is currently testing GPU-enabled CVL environments on the “CVL GPU node” pool (via CVL Launcher).

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The available pools on the CVL Launcher.

The following video demonstrates a GPU-enabled CVL environment launched on R@CMon. It shows the PyMOL and UCSF Chimera applications from the Structural Biology workbench, running and utilising the available GPU. The use of GPU enables seamless interaction and manipulation of datasets.

The plan is to increase the “CVL GPU node” pool to accommodate more users once GPU node capacity on R@CMon has been upgraded with deployment of R@CMon Phase 2. Watch this space for more CVL on R@CMon news. Other updates about the CVL and its sub-projects are also available on the CVL site.

The GVL on R@CMon

The R@CMon team has been working closely with the GVL (Genomics Virtual Laboratory) team to bring the GVL to the Monash node of the NeCTAR Research Cloud. It’s now here!

The GVL provides an accessible infrastructure for connecting genome researchers  with their datasets using analysis tools that are executed on dynamically provisioned computational resources – Amazon AWS EC2 and the NeCTAR Research Cloud. The GVL Launcher allows users to launch CloudBioLinux, CloudMan and Galaxy computational platforms on a number of cloud computing infrastructures.


The GVL Launcher, showing available cloud infrastructures for starting GVL clusters.

Initially, the GVL was only available on the Melbourne node. Persistent volume storage is one of the main requirements of the GVL. With the initial volume service now available on the Monash node, users can now launch the GVL at the Monash node. By choosing the Monash availability zone, the GVL head node and all subsequent compute nodes will be launched at monash-01.


Users can choose specific availability zones to launch their GVL instance.

The GVL team makes the latest stable GVL image available to the users.  And now, we’re ready to launch our first GVL platform in the Monash node. This will launch the head node for the platform. It will be accessible via CloudMan web interface once it has been booted up and all necessary services have been initialised. In the next parts of this blog series, the various GVL use cases will be covered, including – using a dynamically scaled GVL platform.


GVL Launcher status page, provides information on accessing the GVL instance.