2018 Compute Ontario Summer School Central

May 14, 2018 in blog, for_educators, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, news

The Compute Ontario Summer School on Scientific and High Performance Computing is an annual educational event for graduate/undergraduate students, postdocs and researchers to learn and share knowledge and experience in high performance and technical computing on modern HPC platforms.

Apart from the Compute Ontario Summer School Central, which will be hosted in Toronto by SciNet from June 11 to June 15, 2018, there are two other instances of the 2018 Compute Ontario summer school: One hosted by SHARCNET at Western University (May 28-Jun 1) one hosted by CAC at Queen’s University (Jul 30-Aug 3). Each of the three site has a slightly different list of courses, but all include both in-class lectures and hands-on sessions. Those who attend at least three full days cumulatively will receive an official certificate in HPC training.

The Toronto summer school (“Compute Ontario Summer School Central”), hosted by SciNet, will have the following three streams: Stream 1: High Performance computing; Stream 2: Data Science; Stream 3: Biomedical. Instructors are from SciNet, SHARCNET, and CAMH.


Wilson Hall – New College
University of Toronto
St. George Campus
40 Willcocks St.
Toronto, ON M5S 1C6

Rooms: 524, 1016, 1017, 2006 (check the sessions for the room assignments)


Step 1: Log into the SciNet education site with your SciNet account, select the Compute Ontario Summer School in “Browse Courses”, and click on the “Register Me” link on the right. OR: if you do not have a SciNet account, register at tinyurl.com/toss2018reg, enter the required information such as login, password and email. In the latter case, you will receive an email with a link to confirm your email.

Step 2: Make your session selection (see program below). You can alter your selection at any time, but note that seats are limited.


The event is free of charge, though meals and lodging are at the participant’s own expense. We therefore thank the organizations who are providing the instructors (which they do free of
charge). This event is furthermore sponsored by Compute Ontario, the umbrella organization for Academic Advanced Research Computing in Ontario.


HPC Stream Data Science Stream Biomedical Stream
Mon, Jun 11
Morning: 09:00-12:30
Welcome and Introduction to HPC and SciNet Welcome and Introduction to HPC and SciNet Welcome and Introduction to HPC and SciNet
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Introduction to the Linux Shell Python for MRI analysis
Tue, Jun 12
Morning: 09:30-12:30
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Introduction to R Image Analysis at Scale
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming Clusters with Message Passing Interface Introduction to Python Machine Learning for Neuroimaging
Wed, Jun 13
Morning: 09:30-12:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Parallel Python PLINK
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Machine Learning with Python Next Generation Sequencing
Thu, Jun 14
Morning: 09:30-12:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Neural Networks with Python RNASeq Analysis
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Programming GPUs with CUDA Scientific Visualization Suites R for MRI analysis
Fri, Jun 15
Morning: 09:30-12:30
Shared Memory Parallel Programming with OpenMP Debugging, Profiling and Bring-Your-Own-Code Lab Public Datasets for Neuroimaging
Afternoon: 13:30-16:30
Shared Memory Parallel Programming with OpenMP Debugging, Profiling and Bring-Your-Own-Code Lab HCP with HPC: Surface Based Neuroimaging Analysis

HPCwire: SciNet Launches Niagara, Canada’s Fastest Supercomputer

March 9, 2018 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

HPWire reports on the launch on the new supercomputer Niagara at Scinet.

Launch of the Niagara Supercomputer at SciNet

March 5, 2018 in for_educators, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

The Niagara supercomputer was officially launched on March 5th, 2018. We were honoured by the presence and remarks of Reza Moridi (Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science), Nizar Ladak (Compute Ontario President and CEO), Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte (CFI President and CEO), Prof. Vivek Goel (Vice-president of Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto), and Prof. W. Richard Peltier (Scientific Director of SciNet).

SciNet’s CTO Daniel Gruner gave an overview of the new system:

Niagara is located at University of Toronto and operated by the university’s high-performance computing centre SciNet, but the system is open to all Canadian university researchers.

Niagara is the fastest computer system in the country and is able to run a single job across all 60,000 cores thanks to a high-performance network which interconnects all the nodes. For more information on the configuration, see here.

A time-lapse of the building of Niagara is available (part of SciNet’s YouTube channel):

This system is jointly funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Ontario, and the University of Toronto.

ZDNet: Lenovo gives a boost to the Canadian supercomputer Niagara

March 5, 2018 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

zdnet reports on the launch on the new supercomputer Niagara at Scinet.

Road to Niagara 3: Hardware setup

March 5, 2018 in blog-technical, for_press, for_researchers, for_users, news, Road_to_Niagara, Uncategorized

This is the fourth of a series of posts on the transition to SciNet’s new supercomputer called “Niagara”, which will replace the General Purpose Cluster (GPC) and Tightly Coupled Cluster (TCS). The transition to Niagara will take place in the fall of 2017, and the system is planned to be available to users in early 2018.

The University of Toronto has awarded the contract for Niagara to Lenovo, and some of the details of the hardware specifications of the Niagara system have been released:

The system will have the following hardware components:

  • 1,500 nodes.
  • Each node will have 40 Intel Skylake cores (making a total of 60,000 cores) at 2.4 GHz.
  • Each node will have 200 GB (188 GiB)of DDR4 memory.
  • The interconnect between the nodes will be Mellanox EDR Infiniband in a Dragonfly+ topology.
  • A ~9PB usable shared parallel filesystem (GPFS) will be mounted on all nodes.
  • A 256TB Excelero burst buffer (NVMe fabric, up to 160 GB/s) will be available for fast I/O.
  • Peak theoretical speed: 4.61 PetaFLOPS

Niagara is estimated to be installed and operational towards in March 2018, and ready for users not too long after.

Even before official ready-date, there will a period in which select users can try out and port their codes to Niagara.

After the friendly-user period, all current users of the GPC (and former users of the TCS) will get access to Niagara.

The large core count, ample memory per core, and fast interconnect support Niagara’s intended purpose to enable large parallel compute jobs of 512 cores or more.

The software setup will also be tailored to large parallel computations. Nonetheless, there will still be a fair amount of backfill opportunity for smaller jobs.

The setup of Niagara is intended to be similar in spirit to the GPC, but different in form: scheduling per node, a home, scratch and possibly project directory defined in environment variables, a module system, and access to our team of analyst to help you get your codes running, and running well.

International HPC Summer School 2018 in Ostrava, by SciNet, XSEDE, PRACE and Riken

December 22, 2017 in for_educators, for_researchers, for_users, frontpage, in_the_news, news

A High-Performance Computing Summer Institute
July 8-13, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Expenses-paid program
Apply by February 13, 2018
Website: http://ihpcss18.it4i.cz

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from institutions in Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States are invited to apply for the ninth International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences, to be held July 8 to 13, 2018, in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, and hosted by the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre.

Applications are due Feb 13, 2018. The summer school is organized by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the RIKEN Advanced Insti­tute for Computational Science (RIKEN AICS), and the SciNet HPC Consortium.

Leading computational scientists and HPC technologists from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada will offer instructions on a variety of topics and also provide advanced mentoring. Topics include:

  • HPC challenges by discipline
  • HPC programming proficiencies
  • Performance analysis & profiling
  • Algorithmic approaches & numerical libraries
  • Data-intensive computing
  • Scientific visualization
  • Canadian, EU, Japanese and U.S. HPC-infrastructures

The expense-paid program will benefit scholars from Canadian, European, Japanese and U.S. institutions who use advanced computing in their research. The ideal candidate will have many of the following qualities, however this list is not meant to be a “checklist” for applicants to meet all criteria:

  • Familiar with HPC, not necessarily an HPC expert, but rather a scholar who could benefit from including advanced computing tools and methods into their existing computational work
  • A graduate student with a strong research plan or a postdoctoral fellow in the early stages of their research efforts
  • Regular practice with parallel programming (i.e., student utilizes parallel programming generally on a monthly basis or more)
  • May have a science or engineering background, however, applicants from other disciplines are welcome provided their research activities include computational work.

Students from underrepresented groups in computing are highly encouraged to apply (i.e., women, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, etc.). If you have any questions regarding your eligibility or how this program may benefit you or your research group, please do not hesitate to contact the individual associated with your region below.

Interested students should apply by February 13, 2018. Participation, meals and housing will be covered for the selected participants, also support for intercontinental travel will be given (contingent to funding).

Further information and application, see http://ihpcss18.it4i.cz.

Bursting Through Limits with Peta-Scale Storage at SciNet

December 11, 2017 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

Scientific Computing reports on SciNet’s Burst Buffer storage setup for the upcoming Niagara cluster.

Deployment Collaboration With Lenovo Will Power Canada’s Largest Supercomputer Center

December 7, 2017 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

HPCwire reports on SciNet’s deployement collaboration with Lenovo for the upcoming Niagara cluster.

SciNet supercomputer’s GPFS trick: We node what you did, burst buffer

December 7, 2017 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

The Register reports on SciNet’s storage solution for the upcoming Niagara cluster.

SciNet Relies on Excelero for High-Performance, Peta-Scale Storage at New Supercomputing Facility

December 7, 2017 in in_the_news, news, Road_to_Niagara

Market Insider and PR Newswire report on the new storage facility to be deployed with SciNet’s upcoming Niagara cluster.