Lab Canada

HPCVL advances work in stem-cell research and physics with technological acquisition

Kingston, ON – Sun Microsystems is helping the High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory ( to more pursue discovery and research projects with the selection of Sun technologies within its high-performance computing centre. The expansion is expected to quadruple current computing power and storage, and speeding results for researchers working on complex scientific and economic problems.

The new HPCVL systems will be built upon Sun technologies including Solaris 10, Sun Fire E25K SPARC processor-based servers and Sun 6130 StorEdge arrays. The $22 million purchase will allow the Canadian research organization to enhance a powerful and efficient computing solution that services multiple research groups including the areas of stem-cell research, economics, physics and psychology.

“HPCVL depends upon access to the best compute technology, and we’re excited to be working with Sun to integrate current and future SPARC based high-performance systems into our research centers,” says Dr Ken Edgecombe, executive director of HPCVL. “Sun has consistently kept us at the forefront of high performance computing, enabling our world-class researchers to advance their work in fields that impact our society at many levels.”

Since 1999,HPCVL and Sun have been building on a public/private relationship to enhance the Canadian research which has seen smaller research clusters give way to a single, more powerful and efficient cluster that services multiple research groups.

“The new technology investment will significantly boost HPCVL’s capabilities and maintain its status as one of the world’s leading HPC centers,” says Dr Marc Tremblay, Sun Fellow, vice president and chief architect for the scalable systems group at Sun. “In phase two, HPCVL intends to use Sun’s future high-end multi-threaded SPARC-based systems that will optimize performance and enable them to stay on the leading-edge.”

“With the acquisition of our new E25Ks, we will increase our already significant computing power by more than a factor of four, and running Solaris 10 and the StorEdge array ensures we capture the large volumes of data created by our researchers,” continues Edgecombe. “While HPCVL requires the latest technology to be effective, it also needs a clear roadmap for the future. As a publicly funded organization, our choice of Sun ensures we meet our current computing needs and the forward looking systems ensure the total cost of ownership delivers maximum value over the long term.”