Consulting & Support

ACENET’s team of Advanced Computing System Administrators and Research Consultants provide expertise, help and training to you for the duration of your project.

In addition to their expertise in supercomputing, most of ACENET’s Research Consultants have advanced degrees in a variety of scientific fields. It’s a powerful combination that bridges technology and research. Our clients appreciate the innovative solutions that stem from ACENET’s team-based approach to solving challenging issues.

We have technical staff based in Halifax, St. John’s, Fredericton, Charlottetown and Antigonish, with the capacity to send expert help where it’s needed. While loosely responsible for the geographic area in which they’re situated, ACENET’s support team leverage their diverse individual skill sets, delivering the specific expertise required, regardless of location.

We Can Help You

  • Determine the most appropriate compute and storage resources
  • Obtain an account and get started with the systems
  • Move from Windows to Linux
  • Install, debug, and configure your software and plugins
  • Optimize, design, configure, parallelize, and troubleshoot your code for use on a high performance computing system
  • Migrate your data and set up analyses
  • Optimize your efficiency by teaching  you how to manage schedulers
  • For cloud: help set up a virtual machine (VM), install plugins and software, apply patches, migrate data, build portals and develop back-end tools
  • Through ongoing support

Local Specialists

Among our team are specialists in:

  • Big data and data analytics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cloud
  • CFD
  • Data management and planning
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Cybersecurity 
  • 3D scientific visualization

In addition, our partnership in the Digital Research Alliance of Canada Federation provides clients with access to over 100 technical experts located across the country, enabling us to tackle just about any problem. 

We Make it Easy

We offer:

  • In-depth collaboration where needed, particularly for newer clients
  • NEW Embedded Technical Support program
  • Accessible and responsive assistance through
    • our Help Desk
    • direct email/phone/videoconference
    • face-to-face meetings
  • Group and individual training (beginner to advanced), with core skills instruction and customized learning by arrangement
  • Consulting on grant applications
  • Hosting services, whereby we install, operate and maintain advanced computing equipment (See Funding Support Services below)

* NEW Embedded Technical Support Program *

The Embedded Technical Support program helps researchers in any discipline at Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions to adopt or improve their use of advanced computing techniques and resources in their research. 

The program pairs our technical experts with innovative projects that have high potential for success and impact, and that require advanced computing resources, programming support and/or in-depth technical expertise. Some examples of areas we can help include: code parallelization, profiling and optimization for HPC systems; scientific or data visualization; data analytics; workflow migration from the desktop to a cluster; research portal creation on a cloud platform; and Incorporation of advanced computing into research programs.

Successful projects under this program are able to access focused and dedicated support from one of  ACENET’s research consultants for a period of two to four months. During this period, the ACENET staff member will spend up to 50% of their time working on the project.

May 2023 Call
Application Form

We thank all the applicants from our May 2023 call. The successful projects were:

Om Rajora, UNB: Development of Reference Transcriptome, and Identification and Characterization of Differentially Expressed Genes and Pathways in Response to Climate Change Conditions in Black Spruce; and
Lisa Lunney Borden, St. FX: Developing a research portal for knowledge mobilization and dissemination for the JJP Chair for Equity in Mathematics Education.

Annual Research Group Consultations

As your project develops, invest time in an annual check-in with your ACENET Research Consultant to support the evolution of your research work – and your research team. Protect against avoidable errors and delays by allowing us to directly equip your new team members and help your group coordinate its computational work for optimal processing. Routine review allows our experts to alert your team to efficiencies available through more strategic use of advanced computing systems.

Feel free to email your local Research Consultant directly. If you’re not sure who to contact, email and we’ll help make that connection.

Funding Support Services

ACENET has almost 20 years experience hosting, managing and operating supercomputing systems. That’s experience we can bring to you. 

If you’re considering purchasing your own server as part of a government funding proposal, we may be able to help with the needs assessment, system design, budgeting, and technical section of the proposal, as well as hosting, managing, operating and maintaining the equipment by incorporating it into our Atlantic regional system, Siku.  This could save you both money and time. 

    • Your dollars could be dedicated to maximizing compute/storage capacity, as we already have key infrastructure pieces in place. 
    • It would enable you to burst beyond your purchased capacity in times of need to access the rest of Siku.  
    • You would not need to engage or deploy a systems administrator, as we have technical staff with the required expertise. 
    • You would be able to leverage the computing environment, software stack, monitoring, reporting and cybersecurity aspects of the Siku system. 
    • It would reduce idle capacity on the system, as other users would be able to pick up these cycles, thus maximizing the public dollar investment and strengthening your case to the funding agency.

To learn more about ACENET hosting your grant-funded infrastructure, review our guidelines.

Research Data Management

Through our partnership with the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance), our researchers have access to data management tools and planning expertise, including Lunaris, a scalable, national research data discovery service.

The bilingual Lunaris platform provides a single point of search for Canada’s multidisciplinary research data held in a variety of repositories including those of post-secondary institutions, departments at all levels of government, research organizations and national repository initiatives.