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Beginning January 1, 2012 SHARCNET will no longer independently collect reporting information from our primary investigators, or require that SHARCNET accounts be renewed at the SHARCNET web portal. As of the new year this functionality will be provided by Compute Canada via the Compute Canada website. An email from Compute Canada will explain the new process in detail, however, it is quite similar to what SHARCNET has done in the past.

A major benefit of this transition is that primary investigators who use multiple Compute Canada facilities will no longer have to actively maintain multiple account profiles and respond to multiple reporting requests, as well as manage sponsored account renewals at each facility.

Should you have any questions or concerns about this transition please contact the appropriate support channel:

SHARCNET: help@sharcnet.ca
Compute Canada: accounts@computecanada.org



November marked the start of a series of celebrations to commemorate SHARCNET’s 10-year anniversary. A number of local events were organized by the Site Leaders, which included open houses, receptions, and sponsored talks. The premier event was a luncheon reception on December 3rd hosted by the University of Guelph, where members of the SHARCNET research community joined the Board, the Strategic Council, industrial partners, and the SHARCNET team to help us celebrate this important milestone.



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 Compute Canada (https://computecanada.org). In addition to offering access to computing resources with an aggregate peak of well over 1 PetaFlops of compute power and more than 5 Petabytes of storage, Compute Canada offers applications-enabling assistance from HPC experts at the regional consortia.

Allocations will be valid for one year, beginning January 2012. Under exceptional circumstances and for long term national and international projects an extended timeframe may be granted. Allocations of longer than one year will be subject to NRAC (National Resource Allocation Committee) approval and will require the submission of an annual progress report.

The deadline for submitting applications is October 18, 2011 at 3pm EDT.



SHARCNET has issued a call for Letters of Intent for Round III of SHARCNET’s Research Support Programmes: Dedicated Programming Support. The deadline for Round III LOI’s is September 30, 2011, and selected applications will be invited to submit a full proposal by November 30, 2011.

Please refer to the application guidelines for more information about this programme.



OTTAWA, Ontario, June 16, 2011 – Compute Canada, the organization leading the creation of a powerful national High Performance Computing platform for academia and scientific research in Canada today announced it will partner with Super Micro Computer, Inc. to build a high-performance computing platform for its HPC for the Humanities initiative.

HPC for the Humanities is part of a distributed network of high-performance computers sharing data resources and tools among academic researchers throughout Canada. This initiative will enable humanities researchers to take advantage of the enormous potential of high performance computing to deal with large and complex sets of unstructured data in the form of books, election and financial data, archaeological information and newspapers. Researchers will be able to sort, mine, and visualize data and to ask new questions about events, the development of civilization, as well as written, audio and video materials. Supermicro’s 8-Way architecture, GPU support, mass-storage capacity and high-throughput I/O capabilities provide an excellent foundation for high computational performance and scalability.

“High performance computing in the social sciences and humanities is central to advancing creativity and innovation,” stated Chad Gaffield, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. “This initiative will help to support our scholars and their partners in advancing knowledge on a wide array of topics that are central to our economy and quality of life.”

“We qualified Supermicro based on their product performance/price, service quality, green power efficiency, and company history,” said Susan Baldwin, Executive Director of Compute Canada. “Supermicro’s culture of innovation and integration expertise aligns well with our charter to foster a new era in HPC evolution and to continue to provide the HPC resources needed for world-leading research. As part of Supermicro’s integrated solution we would also like to acknowledge Intel, Samsung, Toshiba and LSI for contributing to this project as well.”

Researchers will have the advantage of an HPC system based on Supermicro’s 8-Way, 5U SuperServer® (5086B-TRF) which supports 80 Cores with 8x Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8800 (10-Core) and integrates up to 2TB of Samsung DDR3 ECC reg. DIMMs. The system also includes 4.8TB of Toshiba/LSI RAID storage and expandability for up to 4 GPUs. This is an enterprise-class platform designed for mission-critical applications and high-availability.

“Developing new understanding of the human system will require the ability to efficiently analyze massive amounts of data to reach new insights,” said Raj Hazra, General Manager of High Performance Computing at Intel. “The Xeon processor E7-8800 is one of our most advanced technologies today for this kind of problem. We are excited to participate in this initiative.”

“Supermicro’s HPC SuperServers have a wide range of applications in the fields of academia and research,” said Dr. Tau Leng, GM of HPC Solutions at Super Micro Computer, Inc. “HPC for the Humanities will achieve new levels of collaboration using our high-density, scalable HPC solutions. We look forward to advancing this and future HPC initiatives with Compute Canada.”

The Supermicro equipment will be housed at SHARCNET.



SHARCNET is 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. 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.



SHARCNET is pleased to announce “SHARCFest 2011”, our annual outreach campaign of conferences, training, and sponsored events to help educate the broader community on the uses and importance of high-performance computing to research. Our premier event, SHARCNET Research Day 2011, will be held on May 19th at Sheridan College and includes two keynote talks by leading HPC researchers, Jonathan Schaeffer and Ralph Pudritz.

The anchor event for SHARCFest will be our annual HPC Summer School scheduled from May 30-June 3, also at Sheridan College. For the first time, this year’s Summer School will be jointly run by SHARCNET, SciNet and HPCVL.

For more information, please refer to the SHARCFest calendar.



Planning for our annual HPC Summer School, a week-long set of intensive courses covering a wide range of topics in High Performance Computing (MPI programming, OpenMP programming, Visualization, GPU programming, Best Practices & Debugging, and much more), is underway. This year, Summer School is being jointly run by SHARCNET, SciNet and HPCVL.

When? May 30 – June 3, 2011
Where? Sheridan College (Trafalgar Road Campus), Oakville, Ontario

Additional details and registration information coming soon.