CanHEIT / HPCS 2016


CUCCIO oversees the annual Canadian Higher Education Information Technology Conference, known as CANHEIT. With a focus on IT issues of interest to Canadian universities and colleges, CANHEIT brings together staff, managers and senior administrators who are responsible for the management and evolution of their campus information systems, learning systems and digital infrastructure. CANHEIT is an open conference and anyone is welcome to attend. Attendees are not required to be a member of CUCCIO. As the only national conference for IT professionals in higher education in Canada, CANHEIT brings together IT staff from universities and colleges across Canada each year to share ideas, showcase best practices and learn from each other. Attendance at CANHEIT is open to IT professionals in higher education across Canada, whether or not their institution is a member of CUCCIO.


The High Performance Computing Symposium (HPCS) is a multi-disciplinary conference that is considered Canada’s premier supercomputing forum. Each year, Canadian and international researchers in all fields of engineering, applied sciences, medicine and life sciences, mathematics and humanities, analysts, and IT professionals from academia and industry gather to exchange the ideas, tools, and new discoveries that are driving today’s innovations in computational research.

During this symposium, members of the international scientific community will present the results of research conducted using or about advanced research computing. In the past, presentations have covered subjects such as parallel computing, big data, molecular interactions, biophysics, environmental research, theoretical and computational chemistry, genomics and biomechanics. In 2016, HPCS is being organized by Compute Canada and WestGrid.

Conference info


Notes / Talks / Thoughts


  • University of Alberta Data Centre Tour
    • Attended by: Lawrence

  • Bringing it all together: IT Client Service, request tracking, student staff, residences, and more!
    • Attended by: Lawrence

  • OpenPOWER Initiative (Jonathan Dement, IBM. OpenPOWER Project Manager) Attened by Lori
    • Google approached IBM with request to open POWER architecture; realized entire enterprise was completely dependent on Intel pricing/roadmap, wanted alternatives. (ie. ARM not an alternative). IBM is licensing processor tech openly to partners.
    • OpenPOWER Foundation founders: Google, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA, Tyan
    • OpenPOWER 8 systems currently available from vendors eg. Tyan. Several year old tech but with support for NVLink and other expansion tech. Built for throughput on RISC arch. Fully supported in many Linux flavours including Red Hat, Ubuntu, SUSE and Debian and BSDs. OpenPOWER runs in little-endian mode.
    • Review of POWER8 compared to latest Intel options: competitive for multi-thread/throughput. ( )
    • POWER 9 systems will be available at the mid-2017 with advanced features that meet/surpass Intel:
      • 24cores per CPU
      • large eDRAM
      • 14nm
      • PCIev4
      • NVLink 2.0
      • CAPI (Coherent Accelerated Processor Interface)
      • 25GBps attach bus
      • server-class memories (NVDIMM)
      • 48PCIe lanes


  • Spark Tutorial ( Felix-Antoine Fortin, Laval) Attended by Lori, Lawrence, Robyn
    • Utilized Jupyter ( notebook frontend for Python interaction with Apache Spark on Calcul Quebec cluster (colosse).
    • Spark ~ in-memory Hadoop for fast data manipulation
    • Support for data forms including Spark SQL
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Topic revision: r3 - 2016-07-21 - LoriPaniak
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