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[[Image:Sharcnet_logo.jpg|center]]
 
[[Image:Sharcnet_logo.jpg|center]]
 
<center><big>'''Knowledge Base / Expanded FAQ'''</big></center>
 
<center><big>'''Knowledge Base / Expanded FAQ'''</big></center>
<b>This page is a comprehensive collection of essential information needed to use SHARCNET, gathered conveniently on a single page of our Help Wiki.  If you are a new SHARCNET user, this page most likely contains all you need to get going on SHARCNET. However, there is much more information in this Help Wiki. Please use the search box to find pages that may be relevant to you.  You can also go to the [[Main Page]] of this wiki for a general table of contents.  Finally, you can also look at the [[Special:AllPages|list of all articles in this Help Wiki]] or a [[Special:Categories|list of all categories]].</b>
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<b> '''Note''': Most of the old FAQ entries have been removed as they are now covered at the Compute Canada level: https://docs.computecanada.ca/wiki/Frequently_Asked_Questions
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Some of the information on this page was moved to the [[Legacy Systems]] page.</b>
 
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__TOC__
 
__TOC__
  
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<!--To make this long page more manageable, each major section has its content on its own separate page, which is then transcluded into this one.  Please edit the pages listed below to see the change reflected on this page-->
 
{{:FAQ: About SHARCNET}}
 
{{:FAQ: About SHARCNET}}
 
{{:FAQ: Getting an Account with SHARCNET and Related Issues}}
 
{{:FAQ: Getting an Account with SHARCNET and Related Issues}}
 +
{{:FAQ: Getting Help}}
 +
{{:FAQ: Research at SHARCNET}}
 +
{{:FAQ: Contacting SHARCNET}}
 +
{{:FAQ: How to Acknowledge SHARCNET in Publications}}
 +
{{:FAQ: What types of research programs / support are provided to the research community?}}
  
{{:FAQ: Logging in to Systems, Transferring and Editing Files}}
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<!--checked2015--><!-- This page is general information. -->
 
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{{:FAQ: Compiling and Running Programs}}
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{{:FAQ: Programming and Debugging}}
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== Getting Help ==
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=== I have encountered a problem while using a SHARCNET system and need help, who should I talk to? ===
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If you have access to the Internet, we encourage you to use the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems/submit problem ticketing system] (described in detail [[Knowledge_Base# SHARCNET Problem Ticket System|below]]) through the [http://www.sharcnet.ca web portal].  This is the most efficient way of reporting a problem as it minimizes email traffic and will likely result in you receiving a faster response than through other channels.
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You are also welcome to contact system administrators and/or high performance technical computing consultants at any time. You may find their contact information on the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/contact/directory directory] page.
+
 
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=== How long should I expect to wait for support? ===
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Unfortunately SHARCNET does not have adequate funding to provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  User support and system monitoring is limited to regular business hours: there is no official support on weekends or holidays, or outside 9:00 - 17:00 EST . 
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Please note that this includes monitoring of our systems and operations, so typically when there are problems overnight or on weekends/holidays system notices will not be posted until the next business day. 
+
 
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=== SHARCNET Problem Ticket System ===
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==== What is a "problem ticket system"? ====
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This is a system that allows anyone with a SHARCNET account to start a persistent email thread that is referred to as a "problem ticket".  The thread is stored indefinitely by SHARCNET and can be consulted by any SHARCNET user in the future.  When a user submits a new ticket it will be brought to the attention of an appropriate and available SHARCNET staff member for resolution. 
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You can find the SHARCNET ticket system [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems here], or by logging into our website and clicking on "Help" then "Problems" in the top left-hand-side menu.
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==== How do I search for existing tickets ? ====
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Type a meaningful string into the <i>search box</i> when logged into the SHARCNET web portal.  You can find this text entry box beside the <i>Go</i> button on the top right-hand-side of the page in the web portal. 
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It is recommended that one use specific words when searching, for example the exit code returned in your job output, or the error message produced when attempting a command. Use of common search terms may produce too many results and this coupled with the lack of sophisticated ranking for results means your search will likely be misleading or time consuming if you have to sift through many results by hand.
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==== What do I need to specify in a ticket ? ====
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If you do not find any tickets that deal with you current problem ([[Knowledge_Base# How do I search for existing tickets ? |as illustrated above]]) then you should ensure you include the following information, if relevant, when [[Knowledge_Base# How do I submit a ticket?|submitting a ticket]]:
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#use a concise and unique <i>Subject</i> for the ticket
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#*this makes it easier to identify in search results, for example
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#select sensible values for the <i>System Name</i> and <i>Category</i> drop down boxes
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#*this helps guide your ticket to the right staff member as quickly as possible
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#in the <i>Comment</i> text entry box:
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##if the problem pertains to a job report the <u>jobid</u> associated with the job
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##*this is an integer that is returned by sqsub when you submit the job
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##*you can also find a listing of your recent jobs (including their jobid) in the web portal [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/profile/mysn at the bottom of this page]
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##report the exact commands necessary to duplicate the problem, as well as any error output that helps identify the problem
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##*if relevant, this should include how the code is compiled, how the job is submitted, and/or anything else you are doing from the command line relating to the problem
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##if this ticket relates to another ticket, please specify the associated ticket number(s)
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##if you'd like for a particular staff member to be aware of the ticket, mention them
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#if you want to expedite resolution you can [[Knowledge_Base#How do I give other users access to my files ? |make your files publicly available]] ahead of time 
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#*you should include any relevant files required to duplicate the problem
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#*if you're not comfortable with changing your own file permissions, in <i>Comment</i> you can request that a staff member provide a location where you can copy the necessary files, or arrange file transfer via other means.  If your code is really sensitive you may have to arrange to meet in person to show them the problem.
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==== How do I submit a ticket? ====
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We recommend that you read the above section on [[Knowledge_Base#What do I need to specify in a ticket ? |what to specify in a ticket]] before submitting a new ticket.
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Users can [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems/submit submit a problem ticket] describing an issue, problem or other request and they will then receive messages concerning the ticket via email (the ticket can also be consulted [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems via the web portal]).
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You can also open a ticket automatically by emailing <i>help@sharcnet.ca</i> with the email address associated with your SHARCNET account.
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=== How do I give other users access to my files ? ===
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There are two ways to provide other users with access to your files.  The first is by changing the file attributes of your directories directly with the chmod command and the second is by using file access control lists (acl). Using ACLs is more flexible as it allows you to specify individual users and groups and their respective privileges, whereas using chmod is more coarse grained and only allows you to set the permissions for your group and global access.  At present ACLs are only supported on the SHARCNET global work (/work) and home (/home) filesystems.
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====providing global access with chmod====
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The following instructions provide commands that you can use to make your files available to all SHARCNET users, including staff.  It assumes that you are sharing files in your <i>/home</i> directory, but you can change this to <i>/work</i> or <i>/scratch</i> or etc. with the same effect.
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In the below, instead of <your-subdirectory> , type the name of the subdirectory where the files you want to give access to are located:
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(1) Go to your home directory by running:
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        cd
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(2) Authorize access to the home directory by running:
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        chmod o+x  .
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(3) Authorize access to <your-subdirectory> by running:
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        chmod -R o+rX <your-subdirectory>
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Note that if the directory you wish to share is nested multiple directories below your home directory (eg. you want to give access to ~/dir1/dir2, but not ~/dir1) you will have to run:
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        chmod o+x .
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in any of the intervening directories if they are not already globally accessible.
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To restrict all public access due to these changes one can simply run the following commands:
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        cd
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        chmod o-x .
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====providing per-user/group access with setfacl====
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An Access Control List (ACL) is basically a list of users and groups with their associated file access privileges which is associated with a file/directory.  At present ACLs are only supported on the SHARCNET global work (/work) and home (/home) filesystems.
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One can see the ACL for a particular file/directory with the '''getfacl''' command, eg.
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[sn_user@hnd50 ~]$ getfacl /work/sn_user
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getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names
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# file: work/sn_user
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# owner: sn_user
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# group: sn_user
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user::rwx
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group::r-x
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other::--x
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One uses the '''setfacl''' command to modify the ACL for a file/directory.  To add read and execute permissions for this directory for user ricky, eg.
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[sn_user@hnd50 ~]$ setfacl -m u:ricky:rx /work/sn_user
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Now there is an entry for ''user:ricky'' with ''r-x'' permissions:
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[sn_user@hnd50 ~]$ getfacl /work/sn_user
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getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names
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# file: work/sn_user
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# owner: sn_user
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# group: sn_user
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user::rwx
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user:ricky:r-x
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group::r-x
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mask::r-x
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other::--x
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To remove an ACL entry one uses the '''setfacl''' command with the '''-x''' argument, eg.
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+
[sn_user@hnd50 ~]$ setfacl -x u:ricky /work/sn_user
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Now there is no longer an entry for ''ricky'':
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[sn_user@hnd50 ~]$ getfacl /work/sn_user
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getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names
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# file: work/sn_user
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# owner: sn_user
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# group: sn_user
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user::rwx
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group::r-x
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mask::r-x
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other::--x
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Note that if one wants to provide access to a nested directory then the permissions need to be changed on all the parent directories using the ''-R'' flag.  Please see the man pages for these commands ''man getfacl; man setfacl'' for further information. If you'd like help utilizing ACLs please [mailto:help@sharcnet.ca email help@sharcnet.ca].
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=== I am new to parallel programming, where can I find quick references at SHARCNET? ===
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SHARCNET has a number of training modules on parallel programming using MPI, OpenMP, pthreads and other frameworks.  Each of these modules has working examples that are designed to be easy to understand while illustrating basic concepts.  You may find these along with copies of slides from related presentations and links to external resources on the [[Main Page]] of this training/help site.
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=== I am new to parallel programming, can you help me get started with my project? ===
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Absolutely. We will be glad to help you from planning the project, architecting your application programs with appropriate algorithms and choosing efficient tools to solve associated numerical problems to debugging and analyzing your code. We will do our best to help you speed up research.
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=== Can you install a package on a cluster for me? ===
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Certainly.  We suggest you make the request by sending e-mail to [mailto:help@sharcnet.ca help@sharcnet.ca], or [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems/submit opening a problem ticket] with the specific request.
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=== I am in a process of purchasing computer equipment for my research, would you be able to provide technical advice on that? ===
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If you tell us what you want, we may be able to help you out.
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=== Does SHARCNET have a mailing list or user group? ===
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Yes. You may subscribe to one or more mailing lists on the email list page available once you log into the web portal. To find it, please go to MyAccount - Settings - Details in the menu bar on the left and then click on Mail on the "details" page. Don't forget to save your selections.
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=== Does SHARCNET provide any training on programming and using the systems? ===
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Yes. SHARCNET provides workshops on specific topics from time to time and offers courses at some sites. Every June, SHARCNET holds an annual ''summer school'' with a variety of in-depth, hands-on workshops.  All materials from past workshops/presentations can be found on the SHARCNET web portal.
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=== How do I watch tickets I don't own? ===
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There are two ways.  First, to view the tickets of user "USERID", type the URL like below:
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https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems/view?username=USERID
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,where USERID is the user you want to see. In the "Actions" column, click on "watch" for problems that you want to follow. This should enable you to receive notifications if any of the problems you are "watching" are updated.
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If you want to do the same thing for tickets posted by other members in your group, just access their userpage (listed on https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/users/show/361 )
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The other way is to use 'search box' in the SHARCNET website. By typing the ticket number or userid, you can do similar thing described above.
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== Research at SHARCNET ==
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=== Where can I find what other people do at SHARCNET? ===
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You may find some of the research activities at SHARCNET by visiting our [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/research/initiatives research initiatives] and [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/research/profiles researcher profile] pages.
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=== I have a research project I would like to collaborate on with SHARCNET, who should I talk to? ===
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You may contact [mailto:barb@sharcnet.ca SHARCNET head office] or contact members of the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/contact/directory#techteam SHARCNET technical staff].
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=== How can I contribute compute resources to SHARCNET so that other researchers can share it? ===
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Most people's research is "bursty" - there are usually sparse periods of time when some computation is urgently needed, and other periods when there is less demand. One problem with this is that if you purchase the equipment you need to meet your "burst" needs, it'll probably sit, underutilized, during other times.
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An alternative is to donate control of this equipment to SHARCNET, and let us arrange for other users to use it when you are not. We prefer to be involved in the selection and configuration of such equipment. Some of SHARCNET's most useful clusters were created this way — Goblin, Wobbie and others were purchased with user contributions, and Orca's newest/fastest nodes are contributed. Our promise to contributors is that as much as possible, they should obtain as much benefit from the cluster as if it were not shared. Owners get preferential access. Naturally, owners are also able to burst to higher peak usage, since their equipment has been pooled with other contributions. (Technically, SHARCNET cannot itself own such equipment — it remains owned by the institution in question, and will be returned to the contributor upon request.) If you think this model will also work for you and you would like to contribute your computational resource to help the research community at SHARCNET, you can contact us for such arrangement.
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=== I do not know much about computation, nor is it my research interest. But I am interested in getting my research done faster with the help of the high performance computing technology. In other words, I do not care about the process and mechanism, but only the final results. Can SHARCNET provide this type of help? ===
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We will be happy to bring the technology of high performance computing to you to accelerate your research, if at all possible. If you would like to discuss your plan with us, please feel free to contact our [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/contact/directory#techteam high performance computing specialists]. They will be happy to listen to your needs and are ready to provide appropriate suggestions and assistance.
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=== I am a faculty member from non-SHARCNET member institution. Could I apply for an account and sponsor my student's accounts? ===
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As long as you and your students can obtain a Compute Canada account you will be able to obtain SHARCNET accounts.  See [[Knowledge_Base#What_is_required_to_obtain_a_SHARCNET_account| above]] for further information on what is required to obtain an account.
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=== I need access to more CPU cores or storage than are available by default, what programs exist to support demanding computation? ===
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SHARCNET participates in the Compute Canada NRAC (National Resource Allocation Competition) and provides a continual competition for groups that require more than the default level of access to our resources.  Please see [[Dedicated Resources]] for further information.
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=== I heard SHARCNET offers fellowships, where can I get more information? ===
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SHARCNET no longer actively runs a fellowship program.  You may find information regarding past fellowships and other dedicated resource opportunities on the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/research/fellowships Research Fellowships page] of the web portal.
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=== I would like to do some research at SHARCNET as a visiting scholar, how should I apply? ===
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In general, you will need to find a hosting department or a person affiliated with one of the SHARCNET institutions. You may also [http://www.sharcnet.ca/my/contact contact us] directly for more specific information.
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=== I would like to send my students to SHARCNET to do some work for me. How should I proceed? ===
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See above.
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== Contacting SHARCNET ==
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=== How do I contact SHARCNET for research, academic exchanges, and technical issues? ===
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Please contact [mailto:barb@sharcnet.ca SHARCNET head office].
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=== How do I contact SHARCNET for business development, education and other issues? ===
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Please contact [mailto:barb@sharcnet.ca SHARCNET head office].
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== How to Acknowledge SHARCNET in Publications ==
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=== How do I acknowledge SHARCNET in my publications? ===
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We recommend one cite the following:
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This work was made possible by the facilities of the Shared Hierarchical
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Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET:www.sharcnet.ca) and Compute/Calcul Canada.
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=== I've seen different spellings of the name, what is the standard spelling of SHARCNET? ===
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We suggest the spelling SHARCNET, all in upper case.
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== What types of research programs / support are provided to the research community? ==
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Our overall intent is to provide support that can both respond to the range of needs that the user community presents and help to increase the sophistication of the community and enable new and larger-in-scope applications making use of SHARCNET's HPC facilities. The range of support can perhaps best be understood in terms of a pyramid:
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=== Level 1 ===
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At the apex of the pyramid, SHARCNET supports a small number of projects with dedicated programmer support. The intent is to enable projects that will have a lasting impact and may lead to a "step change" in the way research is done at SHARCNET. Inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional projects are particularly welcomed. Projects can expect to receive support at the level of 2 to 6 months direct support per year for one to two years. Programming time is allocated through a competitive process. See the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/Documents/SN_prog_application_guidelines.pdf guidelines].
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=== Level 2 ===
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The middle layers of support are provided through a number of initiatives.
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These include:
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* Programming support of more modest duration (several days to one month engagement, usually part time)
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* Training on a variety of topics through [[Main Page|workshops, seminars and online training materials]]
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* Consultation. This may include user-initiated interactions on particular programs, algorithms, techniques, debugging, optimization etc., as well as unsolicited help to ensure effective use of SHARCNET systems
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* Site Leaders play an important role in working with the community to help researchers connect with SHARCNET staff and to obtain appropriate help and support.
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=== Level 3 ===
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The base level of the pyramid handles the very large number of small requests that are essential to keeping the user community working effectively with the infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. Several of these can be answered by this FAQ; many of the issues are presented through the [https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/problems/submit ticketing system]. The support is largely problem oriented with each problem being time limited.
+

Latest revision as of 13:36, 10 May 2019

Sharcnet logo.jpg
Knowledge Base / Expanded FAQ

Note: Most of the old FAQ entries have been removed as they are now covered at the Compute Canada level: https://docs.computecanada.ca/wiki/Frequently_Asked_Questions Some of the information on this page was moved to the Legacy Systems page.


Contents


About SHARCNET

What is SHARCNET?

SHARCNET stands for Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network. Established in 2000, SHARCNET is the largest high performance computing consortium in Canada, involving 19 universities and colleges across southern, central and northern Ontario.

SHARCNET is a member consortium in the Compute/Calcul Canada national HPC platform.

Where is SHARCNET?

The main office of SHARCNET is located in the Western Science Centre at The University of Western Ontario.

What does SHARCNET have?

The primary SHARCNET compute system is Graham heterogeneous cluster located at the University of Waterloo. It is named after Wes Graham, the first director of the Computing Centre at Waterloo. It consists of 41,548 cores and 520 GPU devices, spread across 1,185 nodes of different configurations.

What can I do with SHARCNET?

If you have a program that takes months to run on your PC, you could probably run it within a few hours using hundreds of processors on SHARCNET / Compute Canada clusters, provided your program is inherently parallelisable. If you have hundreds or thousands of test cases to run through on your PC or computers in your lab, then with hundreds of processors running those cases independently will significantly reduce your test cycles.

Who is running SHARCNET?

The daily operation and development of SHARCNET computational facilities is managed by a group of highly qualified system administrators. In addition, we have a team of high performance technical computing consultants, who are responsible for technical support on libraries, programming and application analysis.

How do I contact SHARCNET?

For technical inquiries, you may send E-mail to support@computecanada.ca or help@sharcnet.ca, or contact your local system administrator or HPC specialist. For general inquiries, you may contact the SHARCNET main office.

Getting an Account with SHARCNET and Related Issues

To use SHARCNET (and also Compute Canada) facilities one has to apply for a Compute Canada account.


Getting Help

I have encountered a problem while using a Compute Canada/SHARCNET system and need help, who should I talk to?

If you have access to the Internet, we encourage you to use the problem ticketing system (described in detail below) . This is the most efficient way of reporting a problem.

You are also welcome to contact system administrators and/or high performance technical computing consultants at any time. You may find their contact information on the directory page.

How long should I expect to wait for support?

Unfortunately Compute Canada/SHARCNET does not have adequate funding to provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. User support and system monitoring is limited to regular business hours: there is no official support on weekends or holidays, or outside 9:00 - 17:00 EST .

Please note that this includes monitoring of our systems and operations, so typically when there are problems overnight or on weekends/holidays system notices will not be posted until the next business day.

Compute Canada Problem Ticket System

What is a "problem ticket system"?

This is a system that allows anyone with a Compute Canada account to start a persistent email thread that is referred to as a "problem ticket". When a user submits a new ticket it will be brought to the attention of an appropriate and available Compute Canada/SHARCNET staff member for resolution.

You can interact with the ticket system entirely via email. There is also a web interface to see tickets you have submitted in the past.

What do I need to specify in a ticket ?

To help us address your question faster, please try to do the following when submitting a ticket:

  1. specify which of our systems is involved
  2. if the problem pertains to a job, then report the jobid associated with the job; this is an integer that is returned by the scheduler when you submit the job
  3. report the exact commands necessary to duplicate the problem, as well as any error output that helps identify the problem; if relevant, this should include how the code is compiled, how the job is submitted, and/or anything else you are doing from the command line relating to the problem
  4. if you'd like for a particular staff member to be aware of the ticket, mention them

How do I submit a ticket?

In general, you can submit a new ticket by emailing support@computecanada.ca with the email address associated with your Compute Canada account. If you are using another email address, please provide your full name, your Compute Canada default username (if available) and your university or institution.

If you like, you can also target your inquiry more specifically, by using the following addresses to submit your ticket:

I am new to parallel programming, can you help me get started with my project?

Absolutely. We will be glad to help you from planning the project, architecting your application programs with appropriate algorithms and choosing efficient tools to solve associated numerical problems to debugging and analyzing your code. We will do our best to help you speed up research. If your programming project would involve a significant staff time, you should consider applying for Dedicated Programming support. (We run the competition annually; see https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/research/programming).

Can you install a package on a cluster for me?

Certainly. We suggest you make the request by sending e-mail to support@computecanada.ca with the specific request.

I am in a process of purchasing computer equipment for my research, would you be able to provide technical advice on that?

If you tell us what you want, we may be able to help you out.

Does SHARCNET provide any training on programming and using the systems?

Yes. SHARCNET provides workshops on specific topics from time to time and offers courses at some sites. Every summer (usually late May to early June), SHARCNET holds an annual HPC Summer School with a variety of in-depth, hands-on workshops.

SHARCNET also offers a series of online seminars (so-called "General interest webinars"), typically delivered every second Wednesday at lunch time. These are announced via the SHARCNET events mailing list and one can see the schedule at the SHARCNET event calendar. Past seminars are recorded and posted on our youtube channel. A full listing of the past webinars is available on the Online Seminars page.

Attending SHARCNET Webinars

SHARCNET makes a number of seminar events available online (New User Webinar, general interest talks, etc.) using Zoom. Zoom can be used by either installing an app (available for Windows, Mac, Linux etc), or running it in a browser (no installation required). A (free) Zoom account is required for attending our webinars. The Zoom link is provided on the event page in our Events calendar, https://www.sharcnet.ca/my/news/calendar .

Please note that if your device has a microphone (highly recommended) and/or webcam, they will be used by Zoom to transmit your audio and video to all seminar participants. They are normally off by default, but you can enable them by clicking on a corresponding button at the bottom of your Zoom window - but only when allowed by the host. Normally we do not allow attendees to use their mikes during the webinar, but we have special time for questions and answers at the end of each webinar when the mikes can be enabled. Generally, please keep your mike muted (and webcam disabled) unless you want to ask a question.

We normally record our seminars, and make them available to all SHARCNET users. The recordings are posted on our youtube channel:

http://youtube.sharcnet.ca 

The links to the video recordings, slides and abstracts can be found on our online seminars page.

To subscribe to our events mailing list (which advertises upcoming webinars, summer schools and such), send an email to

events+subscribe@sharcnet.ca

To unsubscribe, send an email to

events+unsubscribe@sharcnet.ca

Research at SHARCNET

I have a research project I would like to collaborate on with SHARCNET, who should I talk to?

You may contact SHARCNET head office or contact members of the SHARCNET technical staff.

How can I contribute compute resources to SHARCNET so that other researchers can share it?

Most people's research is "bursty" - there are usually sparse periods of time when some computation is urgently needed, and other periods when there is less demand. One problem with this is that if you purchase the equipment you need to meet your "burst" needs, it'll probably sit, underutilized, during other times.

An alternative is to donate control of this equipment to SHARCNET, and let us arrange for other users to use it when you are not. We prefer to be involved in the selection and configuration of such equipment. Our promise to contributors is that as much as possible, they should obtain as much benefit from the cluster as if it were not shared. Owners get preferential access. Naturally, owners are also able to burst to higher peak usage, since their equipment has been pooled with other contributions. (Technically, SHARCNET cannot itself own such equipment — it remains owned by the institution in question, and will be returned to the contributor upon request.) If you think this model will also work for you and you would like to contribute your computational resource to help the research community at SHARCNET, you can contact us for such arrangement.

I do not know much about computation, nor is it my research interest. But I am interested in getting my research done faster with the help of the high performance computing technology. In other words, I do not care about the process and mechanism, but only the final results. Can SHARCNET provide this type of help?

We will be happy to bring the technology of high performance computing to you to accelerate your research, if at all possible. If you would like to discuss your plan with us, please feel free to contact our high performance computing specialists. They will be happy to listen to your needs and are ready to provide appropriate suggestions and assistance.

I need access to more CPU cores or storage than are available by default, what programs exist to support demanding computation?

SHARCNET participates in the Compute Canada NRAC (National Resource Allocation Competition) and provides a continual competition for groups that require more than the default level of access to our resources. Please see Dedicated Resources for further information.

I heard SHARCNET offers fellowships, where can I get more information?

SHARCNET no longer actively runs a fellowship program. You may find information regarding past fellowships and other dedicated resource opportunities on the Research Fellowships page of the web portal.

I would like to do some research at SHARCNET as a visiting scholar, how should I apply?

In general, you will need to find a hosting department or a person affiliated with one of the SHARCNET institutions. You may also contact us directly for more specific information.

I would like to send my students to SHARCNET to do some work for me. How should I proceed?

See above.



Contacting SHARCNET

How do I contact SHARCNET for research, academic exchanges, and technical issues?

Please contact SHARCNET head office.

How do I contact SHARCNET for business development, education and other issues?

Please contact SHARCNET head office.

How do I contact a specific staff member at SHARCNET?

See staff directory for contact information.

How to Acknowledge SHARCNET in Publications

How do I acknowledge SHARCNET in my publications?

We recommend one cite the following:

This work was made possible by the facilities of the Shared Hierarchical 
Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET:www.sharcnet.ca) and Compute/Calcul Canada.

I've seen different spellings of the name, what is the standard spelling of SHARCNET?

We suggest the spelling SHARCNET, all in upper case.


What types of research programs / support are provided to the research community?

Our overall intent is to provide support that can both respond to the range of needs that the user community presents and help to increase the sophistication of the community and enable new and larger-in-scope applications making use of SHARCNET's HPC facilities. The range of support can perhaps best be understood in terms of a pyramid:

Level 1

At the apex of the pyramid, SHARCNET supports a small number of projects with dedicated programmer support. The intent is to enable projects that will have a lasting impact and may lead to a "step change" in the way research is done at SHARCNET. Inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional projects are particularly welcomed. For the latest information about the program, including application guidelines, please see the Programming Competition page in our web portal.

Level 2

The middle layers of support are provided through a number of initiatives.

These include:

  • Programming support of more modest duration (several days to one month engagement, usually part time)
  • Training on a variety of topics through workshops, seminars and online training materials
  • Consultation. This may include user-initiated interactions on particular programs, algorithms, techniques, debugging, optimization etc., as well as unsolicited help to ensure effective use of SHARCNET systems
  • Site Leaders play an important role in working with the community to help researchers connect with SHARCNET staff and to obtain appropriate help and support.

Level 3

The base level of the pyramid handles the very large number of small requests that are essential to keeping the user community working effectively with the infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. Several of these can be answered by this FAQ; many of the issues are presented through the ticketing system. The support is largely problem oriented with each problem being time limited.