Technology Plan Update

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Compute Canada is currently leading a broad transformation of Canada’s advanced research computing platform, replacing many aging compute and storage systems with modern systems designed to meet today’s science needs.

In early December 2015, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was published to acquire new equipment and software for the forthcoming national data infrastructure.  The selected systems and services will begin to be available this spring. The newly expanded Cloud system for the University of Victoria will be available at about the same time. Later, separate Requests for Proposals for the systems at Simon Fraser University and the University of Waterloo will be issued, for systems that will be delivered in the second half of the year or in early 2017.  The University of Toronto’s system will be purchased in 2017.  The overall process is on-target for all of our new technology procurement and offerings.

Quick Facts:

  • High availability servers have been purchased and deployed at Simon Fraser University and at the University of Waterloo. These servers will be used for things like single sign-on, the national helpdesk  ticketing system, and the Compute Canada Database (CCDB) where user and projects information is kept.
  • The storage purchase is nearing completion, and will add massive online capacity: 15 petabytes initially, 40 petabytes later in 2016, and approximately 62 petabytes in 2017.
  • Compute Canada is also deploying object storage technology, which will provide key advantages to many users over traditional filesystems.  Object storage will enable automated multi-site replication, enhanced capabilities for access control, and the ability to publicly publish data sets.
  • Filesystems will be maintained and expanded, and will be augmented by hierarchical storage management, which will automatically offload data to near-line media to increase available online capacity.
  • These new systems will be equipped with a robust backup system, including for automated off-site backups.
  • The GP1 procurement process for the University of Victoria is nearing completion, with the purchase of a new OpenStack-based cloud system. This new system will provide greatly expanded and updated cloud platform for a wide variety of current and future uses.
  • The GP2 procurement process at Simon Fraser University is underway, as the RFP is currently being developed, and should be issued in the spring. Here, the first general purpose cluster will be installed at Simon Fraser University over the summer.  

The complete details of the Technology Plan can be found in the Technology Briefing.

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