Regional System

Meet Siku, our cluster for regional priorities and industry usage.

Installed in late 2019, ACENET’s Siku (meaning “sea ice” in Inuktitut) cluster was funded in large part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) with the intention of generating regional economic benefits through industry engagement, while recognizing the important work that ACENET does for academic research in the region. The system is managed in a manner which leads it to be financially partially self-sustaining under a not-for-profit organization model.

The priority for Siku is paid industry usage with some academia able to tap into unused capacity. Academic researchers may also access the pay-for-use model if they require the same priority as industry on Siku.

Meet Siku:

  • 4500 cores with Intel Cascade Lake CPUs
  • NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs to power AI/Machine Learning projects
  • A high-throughput low-latency EDR Infiniband interconnect
  • A 1.5 PB parallel filesystem with data protected by regular tape back-ups
  • 100 Tflops at peak speed
  • Web-based graphical exploration of your data with R-Studio or Python, and a virtual desktop in your browser
  • Stable and secure backup system
  • An extensive range of software is available, but you may need to provide your own license if you’re using commercial products.

Technical help  Technical specifications

Siku is not intended to replace academic researcher use of the national infrastructure, but rather to accommodate needs and priorities that cannot be well met by these systems. Academic researchers can request access to Siku via a light-weight application form to determine if the system is the right fit for your needs.

Access will be reviewed annually in April.

Researcher Access Request Form

SSH with Hardware Security Keys at Siku

In order to help our clients improve the security of their login authentication, we are now offering you the option to connect to our Siku cluster using SSH keys backed by a hardware security key (e.g. Yubikey). You can use either of two new types of cryptographic keys, ecdsa-sk or ed25519-sk, and authenticate to ACENET's systems via one of the most secure methods currently available.

If you have a hardware security key and are working on Windows 11, MacOS 12 or 13, or a modern Linux distribution, you can likely start using this option  now.

On older operating systems, you will need to update OpenSSH. If you're not sure how to do that, or are unsure whether this option is right for you, you can experiment with the cross-platform application Termius, which will provide support right out of the box on a trial basis.