HPC systems have thousands of processors, multiple GPUs, hundreds of gigabytes of memory, and terabytes of storage available. Resources are available throughout Canada in the form of large compute clusters provided by the consortia under the umbrella of Compute Canada but also through your own equipment hosted in the university data centres.
High performance computing (HPC) is a powerful tool in today’s research and allows for large-scale computations of complex systems, for big data analysis, or for data visualization.
The Digital Research Alliance of Canada is the organization overseeing all of the compute clusters available in Canada. To begin using a cluster, you must first register and open an account.Open an account
All compute clusters use a queuing system allowing each program to run at full speed without running out of resources.
To run the program, you must submit it to the queue and the cluster scheduler will determine where and when your job will be completed. The wait time in the queue depends on the current usage of the cluster as well as on the requested amount of CPU cores, memory and requested run time. Jobs that require many resources carry a longer wait time because the scheduler has to wait until there is space for your job. It is therefore very important to know how many resources your program requires in order to minimize waiting times.