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Legacy Systems Migration Process

Funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and provincial partners has been used to replace several ageing systems with new national systems to consolidate resources and centralize services. For more information on the national migration process and the 2017 Technology Refresh Update, please visit the Compute Canada website

This page provides details specific to migrating users and data off WestGrid’s legacy systems including any action WestGrid users need to take.

Thank you in advance for your patience during this migration period. We are working hard to limit the disruptions to your research during this transition. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of this migration process, please contact

Table of Contents:

WestGrid Systems Defunding Schedule

*** Note“Defunded” means that the system is no longer funded, operated or maintained as part of Compute Canada’s national cyberinfrastructure platform, which is funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) program. After this time the system may not be available for use by Compute Canada or WestGrid users.

Once a system has been defunded, local institutions may choose to keep a system running, at their own cost and discretion. This may result in usage limited to a certain group of users (e.g. only those from the local institution).

Users are encouraged to contact the Site Lead of the defunded system for further information.***

"Decommissioned" means the system is no longer in operation and has been retired from all further service. 


Legacy Systems to be Defunded

System(s) Institution / Location Defunding Date What To Do...
Orcinus University of British Columbia


Mar. 31, 2019

This system will continue operating as a WestGrid / Compute Canada CFI funded system for ONE MORE YEAR!

Note: Limited warranty support after January 1, 2017. See below for details. 

Support for this system is on a best efforts basis and is not guaranteed. Users should ensure all important data is backed-up on another system. After March 31, 2019 this system will be for LOCAL USERS ONLY (researchers located at or collaborating with the University of British Columbia).

Email to clarify local use policies. 


Users are asked to move their data to a new system  BEFORE the Defunding Date.

Any remaining data WILL BE DELETED from the system by the Data Deletion Date listed in the table above. Please refer to our Data Storage Policies for more information. Users should ensure they take the appropriate steps to comply with any data management requirements their institution or project may require.

How to Migrate your Data

To move your data off a system, follow these instructions: 

  1. Delete any unneeded files.
  2. Prepare your data for transfer by archiving and compressing files.
  3. Read detailed recommendations on where to go for each of the to-be-defunded systems.
  4. Refer to the General Directives for Migration page on the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki for step-by-step instructions of how to transfer your data. 
  5. Email to notify us when you have moved your data. 

Getting Started on the New Systems

Compute Canada's new national systems are now available for use.

**Instructions for logging on and getting started with the systems can be found here.**

Descriptions of the new systems can be found on the New Systems page of the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki. 

As a rule-of-thumb those users located in the West (Manitoba to BC) should choose Cedar, and the rest should choose Graham. This has no particular technical justification but does give at least some guidance for the choice. For Cedar and Graham, the parallel filesystems, interconnects and external persistent storage is the same with a slightly different mix of compute nodes.

ALL USERS must use their Compute Canada username and password to login to the new systems (the username and password used to log in to See User Accounts and Groups on the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki for more information.

Data Retention Policy for Defunded Systems

User data on defunded systems will be deleted. Users are responsible for migrating their data to alternate storage.  

For defunded systems, the host institution assumes full control of the system, including managing the storage file systems and backups. Users should contact the Site Lead of defunded systems for further information about the host institution’s data retention and deletion policies.

IMPORTANT: Non-local user data on defunded systems will be deleted after the published deletion date. WestGrid has arranged with the host institutions to keep data until the published deletion date, but can make no guarantees about data retention after that date. WestGrid will not retain any long term or back-up copies of user data and as noted above users must arrange for migration of their data. Users should also ensure they take the appropriate steps to comply with any data management requirements their institution or project may require.

Decreased Performance And Limited Support

Please Note: Legacy systems scheduled for defunding are not being maintained under comprehensive vendor support programs due to the prohibitive cost. Only critical components (interconnects and shared storage) are maintained. No new (or replacement) compute nodes will be added which will likely result in a reduced number of available compute nodes and cores over time as components die. We also expect the reliability of these resources to decline and downtime to increase due to additional needs for maintenance and repairs. There may be significant outages. If jobs are lost due to an outage, they will need to be resubmitted.


As of January 1, 2017 the Orcinus storage system is not under vendor support. Due to the redundant nature of the storage controllers we feel that this is an acceptable risk. Orcinus will be backed up to the new storage system, the National Data Cyberinfrastructure (NDC) located at SFU and Waterloo. There may be some lack of continuity in backups as we transition between legacy and new tape systems, so we recommend users keep their own copies of critical data.  


Do I Need to Migrate?

Any user of a system in the table above will need to move any stored data and/or compute use to another system BEFORE the listed defunding date. **Please move your data well in advance of the defunding date to avoid network bottlenecks with file transfers.**

Please refer to for detailed instructions and recommendations for each of the to-be-defunded systems.

Future Use of Defunded Systems

Local institutions may choose to keep a defunded system running at their own cost and discretion. However, this may result in usage limited to a certain group of users (e.g. only those from the local institution). Researchers are encouraged to contact their local sites directly for further information:


For more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about migration, the national systems, and other Compute Canada services, visit the FAQ page on the Compute Canada Documentation Wiki.

Support & Other Links

Please email for general help and questions at any point during the migration process, or refer to the following links for more tools, tips and support related to migration:

Updated 2017-07-25: Changed the quota on Grex. Updated 2017-08-03: Revised the defunding table at the top with new dates and linked everything to the docs wiki pages. Also revised the who needs to migrate section. Updated 2017-10-16: Revised the 2017 defunding table with new dates for Bugaboo. Updated 2017-12-07: Removed defunded systems, added new dates for Bugaboo.