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Compute Canada demonstrates one of the fastest, long-distance, academic big data transfers in Canada

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (November 17, 2016) - Several leading Canadian and international organizations successfully tested a next-generation, ultra-fast data transfer at SC16, the world’s largest supercomputing conference.

Led by Compute Canada, this demonstration is one of the fastest, long-distance, academic data transfers 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 Canada's National Research and Education Network.

“Supercomputing is innovation’s infrastructure. In the digital age, access to tools that can manage massive data sets is critical for our research and innovation community and their industrial and international partners. We need to continue to work with our partners to remain at the forefront of this technology to remain competitive internationally,” says Mark Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Compute Canada.

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.

“With the explosion of data in genomics, rapid data transfer capabilities are absolutely essential. For example, we have a project with Japanese collaborators who are sending us 200TB of whole-genome data. For such projects, the data transfer rate has become one of the main limiting factors to this collaboration,” says Dr. Guillaume Bourque, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University and the Director of the Canadian Centre for Computational Genomics.

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.

For more information, click here to read the Backgrounder or contact Kelly Nolan, Executive Director, External Affairs at Compute Canada - kelly.nolan@computecanada.ca