Press Releases

Early Saturday morning, January 15th, the SHARCNET border router suffered a software crash of its primary cpu. The crash caused a soft reset but left the router in a semi-functional state. Some services appeared available to a subset of external users depending on where they were connecting from. Others had little, to no connectivity, including DNS timeouts and name lookup failures. A cold restart of the router was needed to restore it to proper operation. This was done at approximately 7am, Monday morning.

The side effect of this odd routing state was that it left several systems and networking infrastructure unstable, causing further outages to specific clusters and services at Western (ie. mail, web, global work, goblin). By 11am, most services were fully restored and the goblin cluster was restored shortly after.

Some running jobs may have failed due to IO errors, but most will have waited until the filesystems were restored. Due to the restart, all running jobs on goblin were terminated. If you have concerns over a failed job, please send an email to We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

A Strategic Plan for Compute Canada was a key recommendation of the International Review Panel. This plan draws on suggestions from that panel as well as the information and discussions from the Town Hall Meetings held earlier this year. It has been many months in preparation and review by Compute Canada’s committees and must be submitted to CFI before the end of December 2010.

As a working document, it is presently available on the Compute Canada website in English, but once approved by the Board of Directors it will be made available in French and English.

Comments from the research community are invited and should be sent to by end of day Monday, December 20th.

In the 2011 winter term, UOIT will host a SHARCNET High Performance Computing graduate course that will be offered over Access Grid. Lectures will be given by the UOIT SHARCNET HPC consultant, Alex Razoumov, on Wednesdays from 2pm-5pm, starting January 12 and ending April 13, 2011.

UOIT graduate students will be able to obtain credit for this course through UOIT’s Modelling and Computational Science Graduate program. If a graduate student at another institution would like to take the course for credit, it would be expected students should register in an appropriate course listed in their own university’s graduate program. For such students, it is expected that each institution will have a course coordinator who is responsible for local logistics, and for assigning and assessing the student project that is required in the course.

Interested parties or those with questions should contact: Greg Lewis, Associate Professor, Mathematics, and Graduate Program Director, Modelling and Computational Science, Faculty of Science, UOIT (

Principal Investigators (PIs) at Canadian academic institutions who require access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources on Compute Canada systems are hereby invited to submit proposals requesting allocations of CPU time and storage to the 2010 Compute Canada National Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC). The deadline for submitting applications is November 8, 2010 at 3pm EDT.

There will be an information session about the NRAC process on October 14th at 2pm EDT via AccessGrid. Dr Gren Patey, who Chairs the NRAC, will lead the session. Contact your local consortia for connection details.

Please refer to the Compute Canada website for additional details.

Thanks to generous support from SciNet, SHARCNET, and others, Software Carpentry will be offered online this fall to 40 students at Ontario universities. The course will be taught online: each week, students will view a series of video lectures and work through exercises with support from the instructor and TAs through Skype, desktop sharing, web forums, and other channels.

If you, your colleagues, or your students are interested, please visit for details, or contact the course administrator at The course is non-credit, but there is no charge for enrollment. While capacity is limited, the course will be offered periodically.

A printable poster is also available for distribution.

Planning is underway for the Compute Canada booth at SC’10.

SuperComputing 2010
The Future of Discovery
New Orleans, LA, November 13 – 19, 2010.

Researchers using HPC in Canada are invited to submit proposals for demo presentations at the event. Compute Canada is requesting demos that are visually captivating and fall into one of the following conference areas: climate simulation, heterogeneous computing and data intensive computing. Demonstrations may be presented onsite or, if there is significant interest, Compute Canada will provide a high speed connection to enable remote presentations. Please identify any preferred times and if there are any complementary posters or handouts.

Researchers may submit their demo proposal to Susan Baldwin,, with a brief statement explaining the importance of HPC to their work and describing their demonstration’s technical requirements.

Industry Canada has launched a consultation process in order to develop a strategy for the digital economy. The details can be found at The site encourages submissions in response to the questions and issues raised by the government’s consultation paper and a number of submissions are already available on the web site. The site encourages participation and, in particular, encourages you to vote for or against particular ideas located in the “Idea Forum” sections.

Compute Canada has submitted an idea titled “To Compete You Must Compute” that describes the value and necessity of HPC to the digital economy. If the future of HPC in Canada is important to you – as a researcher, university staff member, student, or postdoc – please vote. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of HPC. The deadline for voting has been extended to July 13th.

SHARCNET is currently running its annual User Satisfaction Survey, to seek feedback from the user community on all aspects of our organization and operations. Users will find the survey within the SHARCNET web portal and are encouraged to respond by July 15th (note the deadline has been extended). Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for an iPod Touch.

Your feedback is important to us! Results from the survey assist us in evaluating our success in meeting users’ HPC needs and help us improve our services in the future. Summary results from previous surveys are also available via the web portal.