Press Releases

With just one month to go, registration is gaining momentum for Ontario’s Advanced Research Computing Congress! Building on the 30-year history of High Performance Computing Symposium (HPCS) – Canada’s premiere HPC Conference – Compute Ontario has launched Ontario Advanced Research Computing Congress (OARCC). This reinvigorated event offers researchers, policy makers, technical, and administrative leaders a forum to showcase the latest research trends, discoveries, and technical achievements in the ARC sector. OARCC is a multidisciplinary gathering of thought leaders and practitioners in high performance computing. Register today.

SHARCNET is pleased to announce the results of its Round XI Dedicated Programming Support competition. The primary objectives of this program are to enable key research projects with the potential for exceptional and lasting impact that require significant programming support to proceed, and facilitate optimal exploitation of SHARCNET’s or Compute Canada’s computing infrastructure for internationally leading research.

In this Round, programmer allocations have been made to the following researchers:

  • Susan Brown, English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph
  • Natalia Ivanova, Physics, University of Alberta
  • Marek Stastna, Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo

SHARCNET plans to run another competition in late Spring of 2018. Please visit our DP website for more information. Congratulations to our Round XI awardees!

On Jan 30 all legacy SHARCNET systems (this does not include “Graham”) will be unavailable for approximately 2 days. During this time we will move users off of some older, unstable storage to a new storage array. All files will be moved and users should not notice any difference when logging back in after the outage. We will also be patching the systems to address the recently identified Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities.

Our team constantly patches issues and this is mostly done transparently to users. In this case a full reboot is required and all jobs will be lost.

This issue, along with the majority of recent security alerts are called local exploits. That means the systems can not be compromised by a remote attack, it must be done after correctly logging into the cluster. All users are encouraged to protect their passwords and ssh keys. Security is everyone’s responsibility.

How to choose a password.

SHARCNET is issuing a call for proposals for Dedicated Programming Support Round XI. For this round, applications are encouraged that satisfy the programme objectives and priority will be given to proposals that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Propose an innovative project that will leverage the capabilities of the new GP3 system, “Graham”, especially GPUs and FPGAs.
  • Propose a programme of work that deals with the efficient processing of large, heterogeneous datasets (“big data”) using a variety of data mining, machine learning or other analytics software.

Applications are submitted via SHARCNET’s webportal and are due by December 10, 2017. Consultation with a SHARCNET HPTC prior to submission is required. Note that users must have a SHARCNET webportal account in order to access the online form.

Due to the current workload of SHARCNET programming staff, only a limited number of proposals are expected to be awarded in this round. For additional information, please refer to the application guidelines. Questions should be addressed to

Compute Canada is now accepting applications to its annual Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC): Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition and the Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition.

These competitions are open to all researchers based at Canadian academic institutions who are eligible to apply for funding to the federal granting agencies. Applications are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence, and researchers who need more resources than are available through the Rapid Access Service (RAS) are encouraged to apply.

All proposals must be submitted electronically through the Compute Canada DataBase (CCDB) by Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. & YOKNEAM, Israel, May 15, 2017 — Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX), a leading supplier of high-performance, end-to-end smart interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems, today announced that the University of Waterloo selected Mellanox EDR 100G InfiniBand solutions to accelerate their new supercomputer. The new supercomputer will support a broad and diverse range of academic and scientific research in mathematics, astronomy, science, the environment and more.

The University of Waterloo is a member of SHARCNET (, a consortium of 18 universities and colleges operating a network of high-performance compute clusters in south western, central and northern Ontario, Canada.

“The growing demands for research and supporting more complex simulations led us to look for the most advanced, efficient, and scalable HPC platforms,” said John Morton, technical manager for SHARCNET. “We have selected the Mellanox InfiniBand solutions because their smart acceleration engines enable high performance, efficiency and robustness for our applications.”

“One of the unique challenges of academic computing lies in a university’s need to support a very broad range of applications and workflows,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox smart InfiniBand solutions deliver the highest performance, scalability and efficiency for a variety of workloads, and also ensure backward and future compatibility, protecting the university’s investment.”

The University of Waterloo system is using Mellanox’s EDR 100Gb/s solutions with smart offloading capabilities to maximize system utilization and efficiency. The system also includes Mellanox’s InfiniBand to Ethernet gateways to provide seamless access to an existing Ethernet-based storage platform.

Located in Southern Ontario, Canada, University of Waterloo’s supercomputer serves a diverse faculty, supporting both undergraduate and graduate research across a wide range of disciplines including Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Environment, Math, and Science as well as leading edge research in astronomy. More info

We are pleased to announce 2017 Ontario Summer School on High Performance Computing – West hosted by SHARCNET from May 29 – June 2, 2017 at the University of Waterloo.

Register online NOW

The deadline for Summer School West registration is May 25th at midnight.

This five-day, two-stream summer school includes lectures and labs on programming distributed and multicore systems and on various topics pertaining to scientific computing. Attendees will learn how to program distributed memory systems (networked computers) known as “clusters”, shared memory multicore systems and GPUs. We will also cover common programming languages (including Python and Matlab/Octave) and software packages pertaining to specific research domains.

This year, the Summer School West location and dates were chosen to coincide with the launch of the SHARCNET’s newest and most powerful supercomputer, Graham. The School’s curriculum was customized to provide Graham-specific training, starting with the dedicated Monday morning course “Introducing Graham, SHARCNET’s Newest Cluster”.

A long-running event for SHARCNET, Summer School was introduced to users over a decade ago. Summer School is now an Ontario-wide event taking place at three campuses every year. Summer School Central will run July 24-28 at the University of Toronto, and the Queen’s University will host Summer School East from July 31 – August 4. Note that the courses offered by the three sites may be slightly different. Please check the site specific programs for details.

While there is no fee to attend Summer School, registration is required.

Waterloo, Ontario (Friday, May 5, 2017) — The University of Waterloo, Compute Canada and Compute Ontario today unveiled the largest supercomputer at any Canadian university. Located at Waterloo, it will provide expanded resources for researchers across the country working on a broad range of topics, including artificial intelligence, genomics and advanced manufacturing.

Named Graham, the supercomputer can handle more simultaneous computational jobs than any other academic supercomputer in Canada, ultimately generating more research results at one time. With its extraordinary computing power and a storage system of more than 50 petabytes — or 50 million gigabytes — Graham can support researchers who are collecting, analyzing, or sharing immense volumes of data.

“Research and innovation have helped define the University of Waterloo, and will remain important priorities for our future,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. ”Graham allows us to increase our capacity to be a global leader in advanced computing. Thanks to the support of both the federal and provincial governments, CFI, Compute Canada and Compute Ontario we will be even closer to realizing this vision.”

Graham is the result of an investment worth $17 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Government of Ontario. It is one of four new supercomputing and data centres that are part of a national initiative valued at $75 million that involves CFI, and various provincial and industry partners. Compute Canada, in collaboration with its member institutions and partners, is implementing the improvements to facilities across the country. SHARCNET, a multi-university consortium in Ontario, led the implementation at Waterloo in partnership with Compute Ontario.

“Research today is increasingly data intensive. For the community of over 11,000 Canadian researchers that we serve today, Graham will give Canadian researchers and innovators the ability to compete and excel globally using big data and big compute tools,” said Mark Dietrich, president and CEO of Compute Canada. “We are honoured to collaborate with our partners at the University of Waterloo and Compute Ontario in this achievement.”

Supercomputers are a fundamental part of advanced research computing (ARC), which plays an essential role in scientific discovery, innovation and national competitiveness. Graham is the third of four new national systems at universities across Canada.

“We are excited to announce the launch of Graham for the benefit of the research community,” said Nizar Ladak, president and CEO of Compute Ontario. “With such a strong reputation for innovation, the University of Waterloo makes an excellent host site. Compute Ontario proudly supports this system, which will ensure Ontario is well positioned as a global leader in advanced computing and a global focal point for highly qualified personnel.”

Waterloo’s supercomputer takes its name from J. Wesley (Wes) Graham, a former professor at the University. His many contributions to the development of software and hardware have had a major impact on the computing industry, and he played a significant role in establishing the University’s international reputation for teaching and research in information technology. More info