CVDL operate on a cost recovery basis and charge fees for data linkage projects and for the use of VALT virtual machines to access and analyse data.

Data linkage costs

The cost for data linkage projects varies according to the complexity of the request, particularly where there are requests for data that aren’t routinely linked in the Integrated Data Resource (IDR), if there are cohort files that need to be linked, whether the project involves multi- or cross-jurisdictional linkage, and whether additional legal review is required e.g. development of a privacy impact assessment.

The table below shows a breakdown of time required for various project elements. This can be used to estimate linkage costs based on CVDL’s daily rate of $1284/day (ex GST). Linkage fees will be reviewed each financial year in line with CPI changes.

Project componentNumber of days
External cohort files for linkage using names, dates of birth etc1 day per file
External cohort files for linkage with identifier numbers0.5 days per file
External cohort files for location or familial-based linkage or selection5 days per file
Development of contracts or agreements to collect or share data5 days per contract/agreement
External files containing content data required in the analysis0.5 days per file
Victorian Government datasets required for analysis0.25 days per file
Commonwealth or other State and Territory datasets required for analysis5 days per file
Privacy Impact Assessment development for requests from two Government departments10 days
Privacy Impact Assessment development for requests from three or more Government departments20 days

Please contact the CVDL ([email protected]) to discuss your project requirements and to obtain a formal quote of linkage costs.

VALT virtual machine access costs (effective 1 September 2023)

The CVDL recently streamlined its virtual machine offerings to reduce complexity. All new projects will be able to choose from one of the below virtual machine options, where usage is charged on a monthly basis (or part thereof). Existing projects that have a scheduled completion date before 31 December 2023 will continue with their existing specification. Projects with a completion date into 2024 will be transitioned to an equivalent machine from the options below after 1 January 2024, from which time fees will be as shown below.

The CVDL is charged by Microsoft for the use of cloud computing resources by the virtual machines and these costs are passed on to VALT users. Users pay a fixed cost for the setup of the virtual machine, while ongoing costs vary depending on the virtual machine specification chosen. Six options are available for users based on small, medium and large projects and whether an SQL licence is required. Additionally, two power-on schedules are available – either 24/7 access, or access on Monday – Friday from 8am – 6pm. Customised specifications are available; however, these will attract additional fees. Contact the CVDL ([email protected]) for more information.

The table below details the specifications of each machine and cost per month. Please note that these costs are subject to change as Microsoft adjust their pricing.

Virtual machine typeComputing resources providedCost for 24/7 accessCost for access Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm
No SQL   
  • Two CPU core
  •  8GB RAM
  •  250GB standard disk
  • Access to R, Python, Julia, Power BI
  • Desktop BYO STATA and MS365 license
  • Two CPU core
  • 14GB RAM
  • 500GB standard disk
  • Access to R, Python, Julia, Power BI
  • Desktop BYO STATA and MS365 license
  • 8 CPU Cores
  • 56GB RAM
  • 500GB standard disk
  • Access to R, Python, Julia, Power BI Desktop
  • BYO STATA and MS365 license
  • 16 vCPU
  • 112GB RAM
  • 1TB standard disk
  • Access to R, Python, Julia, Power BI Desktop
  • BYO STATA and MS365 license
SQL Servers   
  • General purpose SQL 2 vCore (250GB)
  • General purpose SQL 4 vCore (500GB)
  • General purpose SQL 6 vCore (500GB)

If you require SQL for your project, we recommend choosing one of the three SQL servers above and then combining this with a small virtual machine. The SQL database holds the computing power, so only a small VM is required to connect to the database. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Fixed Costs

Setup fee$1000
Microsoft licence$60/month
Maintenance fee$50/month
Archiving fee (up to 10 years)$500

Setup fees cover the time and costs associated with establishing the virtual machine, configuring it to the appropriate specification, user account creation, and provisioning of linked data to the machine.

Ongoing maintenance fees cover the time and costs to run updates and security patches on the machine, update or refresh data (if requested), change specifications, install novel software, provide troubleshooting, and decommission machines on project completion.

Microsoft licence fees are charged by Microsoft for the use of the Windows operating system on the virtual machine.

Archiving fees cover the time and costs associated with removing data from the virtual machine, transfer to long-term storage and retrieval as required.

Billing cycle

Virtual machine use is billed retrospectively i.e. once a project is complete, an invoice will be generated for the number of months (or part thereof) that the virtual machine was in use. For example, if a project used a virtual machine for 45 days, the invoice would cover two months usage.

Short term projects (<12 months) will be invoiced at the end of the project. Long term/ongoing projects will be invoiced bi-annually. 

When a machine is turned off, computing costs are paused, however there will still be a monthly cost attached to maintaining the managed disks for the machine.

Project examples

Project sizeSpecificationLinkage costs (ex GST)Total cost 
Small4 datasets$1,284$3,852 
All are Victorian Government  
No external cohort  
No PIA required  
2 days project administration$2,568 
Medium8 datasets$2,568$10,914 
One external to Vic Gov$642 
One external cohort file with names, address$1,284 
No PIA required  
5 days project administration$6,420 
Large12 datasets$3,852$32,100 
One Commonwealth dataset$6,420 
Two cohort files with names, address$2,568 
PIA required (two Government departments)$12,840 
5 days project administration$6420