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.

High Performance Computing Analyst – Post Doctoral Fellow (IBM/SOSCIP)

November 16, 2017 in for_researchers, for_users, HPC Jobs, HPC Jobs Ontario, news

SOSCIP is currently looping for a new BlueGene/Q support post-doc.

Job Description
In partnership with 15 leading Ontario academic institutions, federal and provincial governments, IBM is supporting collaborative research projects that leverage high performance computing to drive commercial outcomes for social and economic development in Ontario. We have announced over 40 exciting research projects aligned to Health, Energy, Cities, Water, Mining, Cybersecurity, Digital Media, Advanced Manufacturing and Agile Computing. We are now hiring to support these projects.

Specialist – IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer based at University of Toronto.

This role is for a cross-team specialist who will support IBM Blue Gene/Q, the largest supercomputer in Canada. The selected candidate will be part of a team based at University of Toronto and provide parallel programming support to research teams. The research teams include faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and other industry partners. This role is pivotal to advising, building and optimizing applications to leverage massively parallel platforms and drive innovation to impact the lives of Canadians.

Job Responsibilities:

• Assist research teams in making effective use of massively parallel platforms including one of the largest supercomputers in Canada and a new research platform for exascale computing
• Develop, port, optimize and analyze scientific numerical codes using thousands of CPU cores on the Blue Gene Q using Fortran, Python, C, C++, etc
• Parallel-programming assistance on smaller-scale x86 and Power clusters, possibly including GPU’s
• Install, upgrade and lead day-to-day operations for scientific infrastructure including mathematical software packages, libraries, compilers, visualization software, schedulers etc
• promote, advise and teach mini-courses on scientific computing and parallel programming

Click here for more information

Road to Niagara 2: GPC Reduction

October 26, 2017 in news, Road_to_Niagara

This is the second 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, which means its installation will start soon. To make room for this system, the General Purpose Cluster will be reduced from 30,912 to 16,800 cores on Tuesday November 28, 2017, at 12:00 noon.

Niagara is estimated to be installed, operational and ready for users towards the end of February 2018. At that time, the GPC will be decommissioned.

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 (and their allocations on GPC or TCS will be carried over).

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

Although the details of the Niagara system are yet to be announced, existing SciNet users can get more information about the new system here.

Road to Niagara 1: Tightly Coupled Cluster Decommissioned

October 25, 2017 in frontpage, news, Road_to_Niagara


This is the first of a series of posts on the transition to SciNet’s new supercomputer called “Niagara”, which will replace our aging 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.

To make room for Niagara, old systems will have to go. Because enabling research computing is our priority, throughout the process of installting Niagara, at least 50% of the GPC will be kept running. The GPC will not be completely switched off until Niagara is available.

The first cluster to go was the TCS. This was SciNet’s first supercomputer, a 102-node, 3264-core, IBM Power 6 system installed in January of 2009.

The TCS was shut off on September 29, 2017, and physically removed in October. The end of an era.

As the pictures below show, you don’t just put your old supercomputer to the curb, there is a bit of work involved in removing it. It took about 8 hours, 14 pallets, 10 racks, and 3 truck loads. And a $5 bill was found under one of the TCS racks, so we made some money as well!

Currently we are in mids of finalizing the contract for Niagara, so the next post in this series will provided more details on the new system to come.

Decommissioning the old Power 6 TCS requires a little fork lift; those are heavy nodes.

TCS nodes taken out of their racks.


The empty space left behind by the TCS…


Decommissing TCS subfloor connections.

Expired: Job Opportunity at SciNet: HPC Sysadmin

September 11, 2017 in blog-general, for_users, HPC Jobs, HPC Jobs Ontario, news

The SciNet HPC Consortium is looking to augment their team with a systems administrator.

Title of job: Systems Administrator and Web Applications Developer

Location: SciNet HPC Consortium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Summary of job:
The System Administrator and Web Applications Developer maintains and updates SciNet Identity Management System including complete integration with Compute Canada Database; develops the security plan for SciNet High Performance Computing systems ensuring maximum availability of the computing system and integrity of research performed on the High Performance Computing System. The incumbent designs, tests, implements, maintains and improves web-based applications for the SciNet User Portal and the Compute Canada Database, tests and monitors SciNet connectivity to University of Toronto and the rest of Compute Canada; designs and recommends improved networking schemes and hardware to enable researchers to efficiently move datasets across the country. Performs system administration on Linux High Performance Computing systems including Canada’s largest supercomputer (40,000+ cores) and large storage system, as well as other hosted systems. Minimum qualifications: BSc in Computer Science or a related field or equivalent combination of education and experience; 5 years of relevant work experience.

Salary: $81,918 CAD with an annual step progression to a maximum of $104,759 CAD (USW Pay Band 16). Pay scale and job class assignment is subject to determination pursuant to the Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Maintenance Protocol.

Closing date: Sep 25, 2017, 11:59:00 PM EST

For more details, see the job site of the University of Toronto

New Courses and New Initiatives for this Coming Semester

September 2, 2017 in for_educators, for_press, frontpage, news, Uncategorized


Excited about the beginning of a new academic year?

We, at SciNet, certainly are!

SciNet has created several new courses for this coming fall semester and we are really excited about that!
Take a look at our education website to learn about all the courses and workshops that we will be offering.

In addition to the traditional courses on Scientific Computing, we have also added courses on Computational BioStatistics, Machine Learning and Neural Networks, and basic level introductory courses for students without any previous background on computing or programming!

Additionally, several members of our team have obtained Graduate restricted appointed positions at the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Physics Department!

The number of SciNet courses that are listed as U of T graduate courses continues to increase (no small feat for a non-teaching unit like SciNet). Our full-term graduate courses in 2017/2018 are

Finally, starting this September we want to officially launch our “Research Initiative Program”!

This is a collaborative program, aimed to partner with research groups across the University, in order to boost and empower research.

Of course, research support is something that we have been doing since the beginning of SciNet, by providing technical support and the infrastructure to researchers for tackling their computational needs.
This program will go beyond that, by allowing researchers to explicitly partner with SciNet’s scientists, in order to pursue short and long term research projects.

More information about this program, ongoing collaborations and areas of expertise can be found at the
Research @ SciNet page.