Ontario participates in the fastest, long-distance, academic big data transfer in Canada

For Immediate Release

Salt Lake City, November 17, 2016 – Today, Compute Ontario joined several leading Canadian and international organizations have successfully tested a next-generation, ultra-fast data transfer at SC16, the world’s largest supercomputing conference.

In partnership with Compute Canada, ORION, Calcul Québec and other partners, this demonstration is the fastest, long-distance academic data transfer known in Canada. Data-intensive research in sectors like genomics and personalized medicine, environmental science and advanced manufacturing require stable, dedicated, high bandwidth connections for data exchange, analysis and visualization. This demonstration was a direct end-to-end data transfer over high speed networks.

“The successful large data transfer further proves the strength and capacity of Ontario and Canada’s advanced research computing community. In response to the rapidly changing nature of the modern, competitive marketplace, this test demonstrates the innovative technology that allows researchers to be agile and adaptable. Compute Ontario is dedicated to continually supporting Ontario’s researchers in their pursuit of quality research, bolstered by next-gen digital infrastructure,” says Nizar Ladak, President and CEO, Compute Ontario

“Today’s successful next-generation data transfer test is a sign of our technologically advanced times. Not only do we have sophisticated, high-capacity advanced research computing facilities available, but a collaborative environment in which great discovery and learning happens. ORION is proud to partner with leading Canadian organizations to support this demo because we realize that the complex problems of our modern economy cannot be solved alone. We need each other to create a better future. Together, we’re all partners in making Ontario and Canada a global leader in innovation,” says Alfonso Licata, President and CEO, ORION

For this demonstration, scientific datasets were transported over a dedicated 100Gbps network from Toronto and Montréal to the StarLight International/National Communications Exchange Facility in Chicago and then to the final destination at the SC16 venue in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Advanced research computing enables us to envision a better, environmentally sustainable future. The collaborative community of climate scientists seeks to better understand the biological, chemical and physical processes that govern the evolution of the planetary environment through the development and use of sophisticated numerical models. Given a future greenhouse gas scenario, the knowledge obtained through this computationally intensive process enables us to project future climate conditions with greater accuracy. Effectively responding to greenhouse warming has become one of the most significant global policy challenges of our time, and robust digital infrastructure enables us to make evidence-based decisions.” says Dr. Richard Peltier, Director of the Centre for Global Change Science (University of Toronto), Principal Investigator, Polar Climate Stability Network, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

“If we want to make inroads against cancer, we must share genomic and molecular data with the scientific community. Due to the complexity of the disease, collaboration is essential. And because of the huge size of the data sets, effective research requires advanced computing and high-capacity infrastructure that can support intensive data transit. The collaboration among biomedical researchers, computer scientists, and software engineers, supported by advanced infrastructure, isn’t just an organizational goal — it is imperative if we are to save lives. It’s that simple,” says Lincoln Stein, Interim Scientific Director, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

The collaboration included Calcul Québec, CANARIE, Ciena, Compute Canada, Compute Ontario, ETS, Globus, GTAnet, Juniper Networks, McGill University, Mellanox Technologies, Nokia, Northwestern University, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Open Commons Consortium, ORION, RISQ, SAK Data, SmartOptics, Seagate Technology, StarLight International/National Communications Exchange Facility, Université Laval, and the University of Toronto.


About Compute Ontario

Incorporated in 2014 as a not-for-profit organization, Compute Ontario supports advanced computing in Ontario through funding from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Compute Ontario leads a federation of four Ontario consortia (SciNet, SHARCNET, HPCVL, and HPC4Health), and works with Ontario universities, colleges, research organizations, ORION, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and SOSCIP. It partners with the corresponding federal organization, Compute Canada, as well as regional organizations ACENET, Calcul Quebec and Westgrid, to plan and coordinate the supply of advanced computing for Canadian academic researchers.


Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing Communications
Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)

Kelly Nolan
Executive Director, External Affairs, Compute Canada
www.computecanada.ca / www.calculcanada.ca