Platforms

A high performance combination you won't find anywhere else

The SOSCIP advanced computing platforms feature four distinct and unique systems that provide academic and industry researchers with a competitive advantage not available anywhere else in Canada. Our technology is bolstered by high-level technical support from our experts at the University of Toronto, Western University, Queen’s University and IBM.

AGILE COMPUTING PLATFORM

Agile computing systems use reconfigurable hardware that can be adapted to the computing task at hand, delivering significant improvements in performance while using less power than traditional CPU-only systems.  One such reconfigurable hardware technology, called Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), is emerging as a powerful accelerator device for a wide range of applications such as real-time data stream processing, machine learning, big data analytics, and physical systems simulation.

The SOSCIP Agile Computing Platform is the first cloud-based FPGA accelerator development platform in Ontario.  It is a set of heterogeneous systems consisting of IBM POWER8(R)- and x86-based servers and Nallatech PCIe-385N(TM) accelerator boards with Altera(R) Stratix(R) V FPGAs. POWER8 servers include IBM’s Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) technology, which extends shared virtual memory capabilities to the accelerator and significantly reduces device driver overhead.  Development tools available on the platform for FPGA accelerators include Altera Quartus(R) II, OpenCL(R), and the IBM CAPI Development Kit. Additional tools and support for agile computing projects are available separately from CMC Microsystems.

BLUE GENE/Q PLATFORM

The SOSCIP IBM Blue Gene/Q (BGQ) is Canada’s fastest supercomputer and is designed to handle large-scale, distributed applications that require massively parallel processing power, such as molecular modelling, drug discovery, climate change forecasting, and computational fluid dynamics.

The BGQ is well-suited for applications that can use 1,024 cores or more at a time and require low-latency, high-bandwidth communication between processors. A highly dense and energy efficient supercomputer, the BGQ is built around a system-on-a-chip compute node with a 16-core 1.6 GHz PowerPC®-based CPU with 16 GB of RAM. The SOSCIP BGQ is a four-rack 65,536-core system capable of 840 Tflops peak theoretical performance. Each rack has 16 I/O nodes that run a full Red Hat Linux OS that manages the compute nodes and mounts the file system. The compute nodes run a lightweight Linux-based operating system called CNK and are connected using a custom 5D torus high-speed interconnect.

CLOUD ANALYTICS PLATFORM

The SOSCIP cloud analytics platform is the first research-dedicated cloud environment in Canada.  The SOSCIP cloud is unique in that it provides access to a broad array of IBM software tools for application development and data analytics which can be combined with user-specific and other open source software to create customized virtual machines to meet project demands.  The cloud platform is ideal for complex data analysis, streaming and managing large data volumes, and data mining applications.

The SOSCIP cloud platform is based on OpenStack, and provides users with a self-serve big data analytics computing environment. Running on a cluster of Intel Xeon hypervisors, it has 1440 CPU cores, 7.5TB of RAM, and 850TB of disk storage in total. Using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the cloud provides an environment for IBM analytics software including InfoSphere Streams, BigInsights, and DB2, amongst others.

HIGH SECURITY LARGE MEMORY SYSTEM

The SOSCIP High Security Large Memory System (LMS) is a virtual symmetric multiprocessing environment, aggregating three IBM x86 servers using ScaleMP software into a single virtual system.

The primary hardware node consists of four Intel Xeon Processors providing 32-cores at 2.7GHz with 1.5TB of RAM. Two secondary hardware nodes consist of four Intel Xeon Processors providing 16-cores at 2.0GHz with 1.5TB of RAM each. The result is a single virtual 64-core, 4.5TB environment. The network topology of the LMS is a mesh, with each hardware node having a direct-attached QDR Infiniband link to other nodes.

The SOSCIP LMS is outfitted with the latest IBM analytics software and is ideal for data intensive projects that involve in-memory databases, key-value storage, and large computations.

IBM WATSON

The SOSCIP Watson Platform provides a window into the IBM cognitive API’s and hosted services managed and maintained at the Queen’s University Centre for Advanced Computing (CAC). This system provides extended Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) access to the IBM Watson tools. The Watson API’s are continuously evolving to provide cognitive solutions to such challenges as: natural language recognition, tone analysis, visual recognition, IoT, conversations. The current list of available API’s is accessible through https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/bluemix/watson.

GPU-ACCELERATED PLATFORM

In the summer of 2017, SOSCIP will install its latest technology, a GPU-accelerated platform, for artificial intelligence applications, including machine learning and deep learning, as well as diverse engineering and scientific applications including materials science, astronomy and geophysics. Please contact us for further information on this platform.

Use of SOSCIP’s computing platforms are governed by our Terms of Use.