In recent years, the Compute Canada Federation (CCF), which provides Canada’s national advanced research computing (ARC) platform for academic researchers across the country, has run one of the biggest technology renewals in the country’s history, in an effort to ensure the ongoing operation of, support for, and investment in Canada’s ARC platform.
Between 2015 and 2018, CCF used funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to replace aging systems with six new ones that consolidated resources and centralized services.
RENEWAL OF A STATE-OF-THE-ART ECOSYSTEM
Back in 2015, our ecosystem featured 27 data centres, 50 systems, 200,000 cores, 2 petaflops (the ability for a computer to do one quadrillion floating-point operations per second) and 20 petabytes. Fast-forward five years and it has transformed into six national systems, 284,322 cores, 348PB and more than 200 experts to respond to the needs of Canadian researchers by delivering world-class ARC infrastructure and services.
The compute available to researchers includes 238,144 GPUs, 2,706 CPUs and 43,472 vCPUs (or virtual CPUs on cloud).
Find out more about the national advanced research computing (ARC) platform, available to researchers across Canada.
NEW NATIONAL SYSTEMS
Initially, a national competition concluded with four new national sites chosen to host five new systems, namely Arbutus (University of Victoria); Cedar (Simon Fraser University); Graham (University of Waterloo); Niagara (University of Toronto). Later, Béluga (McGill University/Calcul Québec) and Narval (École de technologie supérieure/Calcul Québec) systems joined to make a national total of six.
As part of the national DRI strategy, $50 million was dedicated to the immediate expansion of ARC capacity at the five existing national host sites. This capacity expansion was completed March 31, 2020.
For more technical information on each system, visit this page.
Read more about the technology renewal process on this page.