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About WestGrid (FAQ)

WestGrid is one of four regional HPC consortia that operate and support Compute Canada national platform of supercomputing resources, which brings together computer and data facilities, computational expertise, and hundreds of academic researchers to tackle some of Canada’s biggest research challenges.

Compute Canada serves a user community across the country in disciplines ranging from the sciences and engineering to arts and humanities. The partner institutions and resource centres that comprise the national platform are hubs of interdisciplinary computational research. Together, these distributed computing facilities work collaboratively to provide the expertise and resources necessary to give Canada’s researchers and innovators access to world-class technologies.

As one of Compute Canada’s largest regional divisions, WestGrid encompasses 15 partner institutions across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its user community is supported by a distributed and cohesive team of technical staff and system architects.

Compute Canada, in partnership with regional organizations WestGrid, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec and ACENET, leads the acceleration of research innovation by deploying state-of-the-art advanced research computing (ARC) systems, storage and software solutions. Together these partners provide essential ARC services and infrastructure for Canadian researchers and their collaborators in all academic and industrial sectors.

Compute Canada's world-class team of more than 200 experts, employed by 34 partner universities and research institutions across the country, provide direct support to research teams.

Compute Canada is a proud ambassador for Canadian excellence in ARC nationally and internationally.

WestGrid's 14 partner institutions include:

British Columbia
University of Victoria
University of British Columbia
Simon Fraser University
University of Northern British Columbia

University of Alberta
University of Calgary
University of Lethbridge
The Banff Centre
Athabasca University

University of Saskatchewan
University of Regina

University of Manitoba
The University of Winnipeg
Brandon University

WestGrid resources support research that depends on access to computing resources beyond the means of the local resources of the individual researcher. This also serves to relieve the researcher of the burden of maintaining his or her own machine room.

You should consider using WestGrid if your local computing environment presents fundamental barriers to advancement of your projects, due to such factors as limited numbers of machines, limited memory, inadequate disk space etc. Another reason to use WestGrid is for the access it provides to parallel processing for faster turnaround of individual jobs, and more aggregrate memory to enable larger jobs to be completed.

Please contact if you have any questions about whether or not WestGrid is a fit for your research computing needs.

WestGrid offers online training sessions on topics such as getting started with WestGrid, programming languages, specialized software, research data management, and data visualization tools.

WestGrid also coordinates in-person training sessions to deliver interactive, hands-on instruction on a range of introductory and advanced topics. This can include:

If you would like WestGrid to host an in-person training session at your institutions, please contact Alex Razoumov for more information. 

To stay informed of upcoming training opportunities, join our mailing list and/or follow WestGrid on Twitter (@WestGrid).