Niagara supercomputer available to all Canadian researchers

Veronica Silva
March 6, 2018

Niagara, Canada’s most powerful supercomputer to date, is now available to researchers across the country, thanks to funding from the federal and provincial governments and Univ of Toronto, where the supercomputer is housed. Niagara is being supported by the university’s high performance computing division, SciNet. The supercomputer is part of the national advanced research computing infrastructure, which includes Cedar at Simon Fraser Univ, Arbutus at the Univ of Victoria, and Graham at Univ of Waterloo. Compute Ontario says Niagara is the fastest computer system in the country and is able to run a single job across all 60,000 cores, which is the equivalent of roughly 60,000 powerful desktop computers. This computing power is ideal for data-rich, large-scale computing and simulation research challenges in artificial intelligence, climate change research, ocean modelling, genomics, astrophysics, and other disciplines. Univ of Toronto says Niagara is unique among other computer systems in the country because of its capacity, power and bandwidth. It has 1,500 servers or nodes – with 40 cores each -- and provides more than three petaflops of processing power. It is supported by 12 petabytes (12 million gigabytes) of storage. The servers are connected to a high-speed digital network of more than 40 kilometres of fibre optic network cables. The cluster of computers, servers, routers and storage solutions is powered by leading brands, including Lenovo, Excelero and Mellanox. Niagara is also funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Ontario.

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