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Frequently Asked Questions

A variety of commodity and high-performance clusters, large shared-memory computers, and specialized storage, visualization and collaboration facilities are available. Our WestGrid Computing Facilities page provides more in-depth details about the various systems and advice on which one to use. A single account application gives access to all but a few of the more specialized resources, for which a separate request may be required.    

Users are encouraged to write to ...

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In general, any academic researcher from a Canadian research institution who requires significant high performance computing resources to support his or her research may apply for an account on WestGrid. WestGrid resources must be used exclusively for research projects that fit into one of the following categories:

  1. Research projects that are supported by a recognized funding agency
  2. Research projects that are eligible for funding from such an agency
  3. Industrial research projects
  4. Research under contract

WestGrid systems may be used for...

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The process of working together to accomplish a task. From a WestGrid standpoint, when we talk about collaboration we really mean DISTRIBUTED, SYNCHRONOUS collaboration. The goal of the WestGrid collaboration infrastructure is to support researchers by bringing the right people together, with the right data, at the right time.
By Distributed Collaboration, we mean collaborating with colleagues at a distance. WestGrid provides researchers with access to a range of tools to help them work with colleagues at remote institutions, whether across town or around the world.
By Synchronous Collaboration, we mean collaborating with colleagues at the same time. The WestGrid collaboration technologies are targeted at supporting remote research meetings, seminars, and training.
You might not. With that said, if you are working with researchers at other institutions the WestGrid collaboration infrastructure might be able to help you. Our goal is to help you perform your research more effectively by helping you to communicate with remote colleagues more effectively, create more effective distribtued research groups, and helping to build new research relationships.

We support a number of technologies, including Vidyo, H323 and AccessGrid video conferencing, and VRVS collaboration tools. In addition, we support an instant messaging server that uses the Jabber protocol.

We have an extensive set of web pages that provide details on the technologies we support. Please refer to the Collaboration support web page for more details.

For security reasons, no one at WestGrid knows your password.

If you are sure that you have forgotten your password, we need to relay a temporary password to you by telephone. Send an email to and we will give you appropriate telephone numbers that you can use to contact a WestGrid account administrator.  When you phone you will be given a temporary password that you use to log in to


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