Institutions unveil high-performance computing network

As innovation helps keep the Canadian economy competitive, and innovation thrives on research and development, IT decision-makers are often hard pressed for faster, larger computing resources that are capable of supporting massive simultaneous workloads.

Recently, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced the launch of a pan-Canadian research network called High Performance Computing (HPC) to deliver new tools for high-performance computing research.

The $88 million project unites seven regional computing consortia, such as ACEnet, under the banner of one national organization called Compute/Calcul Canada. The new network, primarily for university researchers with large computational needs, will help them share data on research projects throughout the country.

HPC will serve over 60 universities and over 6,000 researchers across Canada. The CFI says the HPC will include multiple dedicated light paths with a combined bandwidth of at least 10Gbps.

The network will also include a total data storage capacity of 6.2 petabytes on a national scale.

“We felt it might serve everybody’s best interests if we brought them together and developed a proposal for [a single] national HPC network,” says Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the CFI.

Phillipson says each of the regional consortia will now act to differentiate and specialize in a specific area of computing needs.

“It will help [researchers] by providing access to the appropriate hardware and software, as well as access to the appropriate technical people who will advise them. The CFI has been considering the importance of high-performance computing because it will play [a major role] in Canada’s future scientific endeavours and research,” he says.

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