Conference delegates will experience over 60 hours of content rich programming including panel discussions, presentations, birds of a feather discussions, poster sessions, and keynote addresses.

Session Topics

Big Data/Data Analytics :: Collaboration :: Leading/Partnering :: People ::
Research & IT :: Security :: Student Centered :: Technologies & Trends

Big Data/Data Analytics

The 2018 Federal Budget announced $572 million in support of digital research infrastructure (DRI), with the commitment for continuing annual funding. The strategy for how these funds will be spent in the next five years is currently in development, with leadership from Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), and a wide range of community stakeholders and organizations. This session will provide the latest update on the DRI strategy, with a focus on research data management (RDM), including: the outcomes of the 2019 National Data Services Framework Summit and related meetings; recently funded RDM software platforms; intersections with efforts to build a global open science framework; the Tri-Council Data Management Policy.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Research Data Canada
Presenter: Mark Leggott, Executive Director of Research Data Canada

How does a research institution initiate and sustain a data governance strategy?

In this session, hear how UBC’s first Chief Data Officer developed the foundational elements needed to support the institution’s data governance framework. UBC’s data governance strategy is relatively new – less than two years in – and the session will give an inside look at the driving forces behind making data governance a critical component of the university and having it led under the Office of CIO.

Using UBC as a primary example, participants will hear about the early planning stages including how to set priorities,adopt data standards and data definitions, how to leverage effective decision-making with the support of data stewards, and emerging skills for recruiting a skilled team. The session will also explore the challenges of coordinating across diverse academic and administrative units who have created their own sources of data, duplicated and repurposed existing ones, and developed their own Data Warehouses to support local initiatives.  Lastly, the session will examine the importance of collaboration and inclusiveness in working with community partners, particularly with centralized and decentralized departments across campus.

Participants will walk away with greater insights on how to assess their institution’s readiness for data governance,what resourcing is required for the scope of work to be done, and how to approach their own challenges with greater confidence.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenter: Marcela Hernandez, University of British Columbia’s Chief Data Officer

Build a poster that outlines:

  • What is Data Architecture?
  • The Challenges of Data Architecture in a Higher Education Environment
  • What is Data Governance?
  • Outline tools of Data architecture (Data Catalogs, Data Management Strategy, Data Modelling)
  • Display the Data Maturity Model.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenter: Darren Law, Data Architect, IST Planning & Governance

High Performance Computing (HPC) has witnessed a recent shift in its user base. What used to be mainly a select club of physicists and chemists is now opening its doors to groups of non-traditional users. They are often pioneers in their fields because they are the first ones to explore large datasets or extremely complex models. With these new users come new unexpected uses for computing clusters. With these new uses come new demands that used to be considered as trivial or optional, like real-time data visualization. These demands often require access to fast, reliable connections to accommodate the transfer of visual data in real time. At Compute Canada, we still struggle with some aspects of it, mainly because there are many workflows and use cases and some of them are challenging given the limitations and design of our hardware. From medical imagery to hydrology, I present some real-life examples of how our structure answers the needs of researchers and how it struggles to do so. With this, I aim to add to the conversation started by Compute Canada’s data visualization team and hopefully stimulate the creation of fresh new solutions to existing problems.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Université Laval
Presenter: Julie Faure-Lacroix


Decentralized academic departments, schools and faculties historically received less attention from Enterprise IT and the ERP teams. Hence, silo systems were developed to create services that was missing from the ERPs.

TRACS is a system developed by a Local IT department at the Faculty-level to fulfill the needs of a particular Faculty. It works well for that Faculty, but it is not support by Enterprise IT nor integrated with the ERPs.

Enterprise TRACS (eTRACS) is trying to fill that gap. eTRACS is an enterprise-level administrative system being built in-house by the same team that developed the original TRACS. The system is going to be the system to assist processes performed by staff and faculty members at academic units. The system addresses shortfalls from ERPs, modernizes operational processes and connects decentralized units with central administrative units to ultimately allow administrative staff at academic units to spend more time to serve students.

This poster session shares the vision of using an agile development methodologies to connect and engage users with the development team. At the same time, the session shares the challenges the team is facing around data governance, data integration with ERP, and multiple completing requirements from multiple clients.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Presenter: Mr Eric Leung, Director of Faculty Information Technical Solutions

The CUCCIO Communications Special Interest Group (SIG) is celebrating its first year in existence. We came together on top of Burnaby Mountain last year at CANHEIT-TECC. We’ve grown from a handful of enthusiastic communicators to an active and robust SIG with representation from over 43 universities across Canada. Join us to learn about what we’ve accomplished in the past year, where we’re going, and how you can get involved and contribute to our roadmap. This session is open to anyone interested in communications and its role in IT.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Presenters: Stephanie Stewart, Communications Officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at Simon Fraser University

Lisa Speigel, Technology Business Coordinator, in the Office of the CIO at Acadia University

Jyll Weinberg-Martin, Manager of Communications and Culture for Computing & Communications Services at the University of Guelph

The SFU IT leadership team will take you on our journey to implement a vision of One I.S. where all Information Systems will work together in a seamless fashion, and everyone who supports those systems will work together in seamless fashion.

Over many years the IT support for our institution had devolved into a series of independent and uncommunicative silos. We are currently in the process on knitting our IT services back together into an integrated fabric of services through our vision of One I.S. (Information System).

We have come to the realization that our shared future for all IT at SFU requires unification of the vast and diverse array of people, processes, data, and technologies together into a seamless system. We refer to this vision for all information systems at the University as One I.S.

Creating One I.S. requires integration of our core administrative systems, development of a single integrated teaching &learning ecosystem, and implementation of a unified research computing environment. It also requires our local and enterprise IT organizations to behave like two sides of the same coin.

To achieve this vision, close cooperation and collaboration across all information systems providers throughout the University is required. This vision of unified information systems also requires significant internal improvements within the IT Services organization.

The panel will discuss key successes and challenges in moving forward with the vision at a large research university with a vast array of  IT services, complex funding sources, and contradictory demands. We will discuss key processes such as stewardship, planning, socialization and transformation within the context of a higher education organization where there are infinitely more ideas than money.

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Presenters:  Mark Roman Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Simon Fraser University.

Keith Fong, Application Services Team Lead

Sandeep Sidhu, Director of Client Services and advisor to the Chief Information Officer

Jennifer Casey, Director, Digital Transformation Office

Richard Blackwell, Manager, Information Technology, Psychology

A project team has been dedicated to implementing a new system or service. You’ve all worked hard to engage your stakeholders and make them aware that this change is coming. Go live went off without a hitch. The project team disbanded and returned to their regular roles or moved on to new projects. The system or service is handed over to its owners and officially moved into operations.

What tools and tactics were used to prepare your stakeholders, including your own IT department and how can they be leveraged for operational success? From a communications standpoint, this presentation will provide lessons learned ranging from integration of information into an ITSM, reworking website content, and continuous awareness efforts. We’ll demonstrate that many of the approaches are similar, regardless of institution size, centralized or decentralized IT, and we can learn from each other. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Acadia University

Presenters: Lisa Speigel, Technology Business Coordinator, in the Office of the CIO, at Acadia University

Stephanie Stewart, Communications Officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at Simon Fraser University

As our organization entered into a transformation in 2013 and implemented new IT service management processes and tools, we worked on this initiative as a project. With a beginning and an end for the key activities that would be stepping stones in our transformation program.

As we planned and implemented the key new processes and trained staff to utilize new tools, we did get better at a lot of things, specifically responding to our clients more quickly. This resulted in a lot of positives. People wanted to talk to us, people wanted us to help them, people came to us first for support, and these are all great improvements and indicators that we are doing the right things with our changes. What it didn’t prepare us for was being fully ready for the continuous improvement expected by our colleagues.

What we have been focusing on ever since are these questions: How do we keep up with ever growing expectations? How do we keep getting better? How can we keep everyone up to speed on the changes we make to our services?

This session will focus on the experiences in the Client Services teams and share some of the challenges and rewards we have experienced in the past few years.

Note: I would be willing to do this as a panel if anyone wants to volunteer to help with it or participate from another organization.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenter: K-L Holter, Director, Client Services, Information Services & Technology

The University of Guelph migrated to Office 365 in 2016 (undergrad students) and 2017 (grad students/staff/faculty). Communications were a critical part of our success. We had a comprehensive, three-phase plan that worked very well, with the communications team being intimately involved in the entire project. This presentation will outline the three phases, the main messages and marketing materials in each phase, and will touch on the different types of training as well. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Guelph, Computing & Communications Services
Presenter: Jyll Weinberg-Martin, Manager of Communications and Culture for Computing & Communications Services

Getting to a solution is difficult especially if we don’t agree on the problem and we shy away from fully understanding everyone’s perspectives. It can be even daunting when we attempt this task across multiple departments on campus for a complex process that can significantly increase an organization’s risk.  

As threats and vulnerability is increasing in higher education institutions, our critical incident processes must adapt to be comprehensive, efficient and coordinated. This is especially challenging when you have three inconsistent and siloed processes of cybersecurity, IT and privacy as they limit the institution’s ability to respond with the right decisions. Insufficient, untimely inFormation and poor coordination can potentially lead to significant reputation and financial damage to a university.

At UBC, we applied a new collaborative approach for a process improvement initiative using lean methodology and operational data as our guide. Through a series of workshops with multiple departmental stakeholders at different levels of the organization from University Counsel, Risk Management, Cybersecurity, Communications, and InFormation Technology, we developed a harmonized critical incident management process.  

We will elaborate on what worked well and the challenges encountered highlighting the groups’ perspectives and experience. We will show and tell some of the artifacts used in the workshop to facilitate engagement which could be easily leveraged as templates.

Three key takeaways for the audience:

1. Understanding and empathizing each group’s perspectives and issues when problem solving and solutioning

2. Use of data and visuals to support process improvement and quickly build consensus with a large group, even if the data is not perfect

3. The collaborative journey together is as valuable as the outcomes of the workshop

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenters: Ms Shirley Tanoto, Senior Client Services Manager
Meghna Kanakagiri, Client Services Manager

In 2017, SFU announced its plans to replace the email and calendar system, affecting the entire university community with over 50,000 accounts. Anxiety levels shot up, to no one’s surprise: Email and calendar has become, and continues to be, so deeply rooted in our day-to-day routines and business needs, particularly with faculty and staff members.

In this one project, we didn’t simply swap out an email system. We sought to mindfully guide the community through the transition and succeeded in:

  • changing the organization’s perspective of IT (in a very positive way),
  • strengthening relationships between enterprise and local IT, and
  • establishing a lasting impression, serving as inspiration for future initiatives.

Learn more about the strategy behind SFU’s recent transition to a new email and calendar system, including:

  • what measures were taken to promote one of SFU’s largest cross-team collaboration efforts with various departments throughout the university,
  • key motivators and effective means of reaching out to faculty, staff, students, and retirees,
  • major long-term gains resulting from the completion of the project, and
  • notable limitations and workarounds for mitigating their impact on success.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Presenter: Ms Melissa Luck, Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) within the Digital Transformation Office

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”” — John Quincy Adams

This session is targeted at Enterprise and Solution Architects. The session is a discussion of where leadership elements factor into the Architect role and what non-technical skills are critical to providing good leadership.

Topics could include (not limited to):
Managing by influence
Sharing project leadership w/ Project Managers
Developing Emotional Intelligence
Facilitating Effective Meetings

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenter: Lonnie Smetana, Architect

As our organization planned its move to Microsoft Office365, I volunteered to use Microsoft Teams in our Office 365 tenant to explore the capabilities and learn the tips and tricks to using Teams as a collaboration tool. I used Teams to support a workgroup I was leading that required sharing documents, holding meetings, having ongoing conversations, and frequently consulting with each other. Our work group includes both internal team members and guests from other universities, partners and organizations with a total team size of just under50 members.

We used the Office 365 Education A1 license for our university to explore the features and ease of use of the tool to support our project team. With no previous experience with the product, we set up the Team site and learned along the way how to leverage the features of the tool with minimal training and configuration effort.

This session will focus on the experience and share the lesson’s learned.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenter: K-L Holter, Director, Client Services, Information Services & Technology


Recognizing the higher costs of developing, supporting and maintaining “home-grown” solutions, the University of Guelph is shifting toward more cloud-based and commercial off-the-shelf products. This session explores some of the business analysis techniques and processes we have used to identify, gather and validate requirements for procuring large (RFP-requiring) and small (non-RFP) solutions. We will share our templates, processes, and best practices, while considering some of the challenges and opportunities specific to a university environment such as multiple and diverse stakeholder groups, academic vs. administrative needs, as well as budget and timeline considerations for the broader public sector.  This is intended to be an interactive session where we can learn from one another.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Guelph
Presenters: Saveena Patara, Business Analyst and Project Manager

Most Canadian universities struggle with the concept of one centralized IT function that can serve the diverse needs of a university; especially one that is large, complex and research intensive. This presentation will explain the model and methods used by a single and comprehensive IT function that supports Monash University, its affiliates and whole owned subsidiaries after it successfully transitioned from dozens of independent IT groups. The largest and most innovative university in Australia, Monash University is a top 100 university operating in multiple countries. It has over 87,000 students and is a member of the prestigious Group of Eight.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Monash University
Presenters: Trevor Woods, Chief Information Officer

IT Systems and Services have to be part of the overall organizational strategy. Although we excel in planning, project management, keeping systems running and satisfying customer needs, we seldom define the overarching principles that should guide our decisions and actions.

For the past few years, HEC Montréal designed and implemented an Information Security Framework. As we are now defining all our other operational processes based on industry standards and best practices, we designed a new IT Governance Framework. This framework aims to provide sustainable value for the university, using IT as a transformational lever while providing reliable services based on efficient processes.

We will present our motivations and inspirations for the new framework, our ITSM change project, our revised processes and thoughts on where we are headed

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: HEC Montréal
Presenters: Mr Richard Lacombe, Director of Information Technology

Do you feel your University is failing to reach it’s potential in the digital field? Is it because your team lacks core competencies, or do these situations sound familiar?

  • Stakeholders don’t understand the fundamentals of how digital works.
  • You have painful confrontations about the best approach to a project.
  • You face conflicting organizational priorities.
  • You are always jumping from one ‘urgent’ project to the next.
  • You have the same arguments again and again.
  • You find yourself endlessly explaining the same things to clients and stakeholders.
  • Your team and digital lack a clear focus and direction.
  • Clients and colleagues expect your team to conform to their way of working.

A Digital Playbook (or Digital Service Manual in more formal settings) is an educational resource to help standardize and formalize the way we work together as digital professionals. It allows the digital team to define the direction and helps to defuse potential confrontations by applying broad standards and digital policies that help focus work, and empower teams to say “no” to requests.

Join Michael Warf, Manager of Digital Services for the University of Lethbridge in case-study on how the U of L adopted this crucial piece of Digital Governance.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Lethbridge
Presenter Bios: Michael Warf, Manager, Digital Services 

IT support at The University of Manitoba leverages various support models including central (IST), distributed (Non IST) shared (Combined) in the delivery of IT services to our community.

Information Services Technology (IST) when invited conducts IT assessments for non IST supported areas. The assessment process was identified as a key Client Relationship Management (CRM) activity by a working committee of colleagues across the organization.

Evolution of the output from the process has seen a shift in focus from local IT support duties and work categorization to IT opportunities and challenges as seen by clients that can be incorporated into their long term IT strategy goals if desired.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenters: Antoine Brownlee, Assistant Director, Client Relationship Management

This session will provide an overview of what IT Governance is and introduce you to the IT Governance principles and practices at the University of Manitoba. The IT Governance processes have been in place for close to 5 years and have processed close to 200 submissions.

This session will present the criteria required for submission, the process and procedures for evaluating the submissions, and the terms of reference for the committees and the council.

Finally the session will review the key deliverables produce as part of the IT Governance process:

  • Delivery Report
  • Portfolio Radar Diagram
  • IT Governance SharePoint site

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenter Bios: Mr Terry Bunio, Manager of the Project Management Office

In 2016 McMaster University completed an IT Services Review, one of the recommendations was to implement IT Governance. 

Come and learn about the 5 principles the Implementation Team employed to build an IT Governance framework, the 4 significant lessons that we’ve learned, the 3 communication channels we use, the two dashboards that we created, and the one absolute thing you need to make IT Governance a success. 

This is for anyone who is getting started with IT Governance, considering IT Governance or just curious about how to avoid bureaucracy with something that just sounds bureaucratic. Join us for an interactive session on the path to IT Governance enlightenment…alignment. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: McMaster University
Presenters: Amanda Lee Baldwin, Senior Manager, Strategic Implementations for the Office of the AVP and CTO with McMaster University.  

Diana MacPherson, Senior Business Specialist, with McMaster University

IT Service Management is an important function of Universities and Colleges across Canada. It is challenging to ensure all customer needs are being met in the academic environment, with varying budgets and competing interests.

As part of the CUCCIO Client Services Special Interest Group, the ITSM Tools and Processes sub-group conducted a survey on IT Service Management practices and tools at member institutions. As expected, the results of the survey show a variety of approaches in a range of environments. We will share some comparisons, what works well for us, and what others shared with us.

Some of the survey information we will review in this session includes: ITIL practices, educating the business on ITSM, lessons learned, service desk structure, centralized  vs. decentralized, ticket tools in use, SLA use and metrics.

This session will be interactive, and we welcome questions, general discussion and information sharing.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Regina
Presenters: Lori Pelletier Manager, IT Support Group, in Information Services at the University of Regina

Sue Mckinlay, Senior Manager of Client Services in Technology Services at McMaster University.

Costin Ciuclaru, Manager of Client Services at York University.

Higher Education have one of the most diverse environments for the type, size, and complexity of Information Technology work undertaken. IT Governance usually focuses on the large Enterprise projects, but how do you approve, prioritize, and schedule all the Operational Incidents, Service Requests, Enhancements, Operational Projects, Tactical Projects and Enterprise Projects in one holistic prioritized list?

This session will present the principles and practices implemented at the University of Manitoba to tailor the Governance and guidelines used to marshal the required works of the different types at the University. This presentation will also share the criteria on what makes the work required an incident, service request, enhancement, tactical project, or enterprise project. The level of Project Management structure and project deliverables required for each work types will also be presented.

Finally we will share the how the University in Manitoba is creating the One list to Rule them all – combining all the different types of work in one list to help to provide clarity to the institution and those working on the projects.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenters: Terry Bunio, Manager of the Project Management Office

York University (York) would like to present the case for streamlining and orchestrating the traditional manual Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The presentation will be in the form a case study and technology demonstration based on the work already completed at York.  The improvement project was initiated in response to findings from the most recent Academic and Administrative Program Review (AARP) and Institutional Integrated Resource Plan (IIRP) Working Group reports.

Current challenges with existing approach include:

  • Inconsistent procurement durations (2 – 14 months)
  • Lack of RFP pipeline visibility, results in reactive stakeholder engagement and unmanageable resource demand resulting in delays
  • Inconsistent stakeholder engagement resulting in incomplete requirements
  • Lack of formalized process to ensure RFP template language reflects current procurement stakeholder compliance requirements
  • Sub-optimal task sequencing
  • Poorly defined Procurement, Security, Privacy and Risk requirements
  • Failure to deliver successful, uncompromised proponents, resulting in cancellation and re-issuing of RFPs
  • Faculty autonomy and decentralized budgets allow for local purchases without consideration of pan-University strategies
  • Holistic competitive bids are rare due to siloed nature of IT groups
  • Varied institutional needs demand broad IT procurement/vendor types (e.g. small through to large multi-nationals) and associated contract terms
  • I think we need to also include poorly defined requirements

These result in the following impacts:

  • Failed RFPs and/or contract negotiations
  • Assumptions of risk due to unintended language/clause gaps
  • Non-compliant solutions
  • Sub-optimal and/or brittle solutions
  • Increased cost of ownership
  • Squandered resources for all stakeholders

The presentation will introduce the process centred approach used to identify the current RFP fulfillment process together with the associated challenges, defects and waste.  We will go on to show the architecture of the BPMS/Office 365 centric solution culminating in a live demonstration of proof of concept.  Finally, we will discuss the benefits offered by this approach together with opportunities for future enhancements to the solution.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: York University
Presenters: Gary Taylor, Business Analyst and Process Engineer, PMO

Our proposal would consist of describing the IT governance regarding use of IT resources to implement software applications for administrative and academic  units on campus as well as presenting a summary of our project management and business systems analysis methodologies.  We’ll summarize the processes used and highlight the challenges with completing analysis, design, system selection and implementation when constrained with limited IT resources and limited capacity of business representatives.  We have a small team of IT professionals in our department whose responsibilities are split between operational support requests and project work.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Regina
Presenters: Susan McGillivray, IT Project Manager

The need for universities to improve operating performance has been increasing with pressures on budgets. This requires administrators to improve the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of their units. A challenge made even more difficult given the complexity of university processes, structures, and the need to collaborate across functions to achieve end to end integrated services.

To tackle this problem we developed an in-house approach. By adapting existing service analysis tools, such as Matt Watkinson’s Grid, and blending them together we were able to create a comprehensive framework that assessed the need, value, effectiveness and efficiency of a service.

This session will demonstrate how the service review model provides a framework that;

  • allows us to see all the factors that impact success of the services,
  • reveals hidden assumptions and beliefs that constrain innovation,
  • enables insights into service inter-dependencies,
  • provides a means to examine the broader impact of strategic decisions,
  • facilitates understanding of the user experience and service value,
  • and enables us to improve the quality and sustainability of service delivery.

We’ll share our experiences with the service reviews, highlighting key findings and strategies to implement and sustain improvements.

How the session will unfold (timetable)

  • 5 min – Explain the challenge (relevance to higher ed IT community), our solution (service review framework), the outcomes and ultimate goal of the service reviews.
  • 30 min – Introduce the service review framework. Allow attendees to take a hands on approach and take one of their own services through a high level service review.
  • 10 min – Share University of Alberta experiences using the framework and conclude the session (leaving time for Q&A at the end)

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Alberta
Presenters: Brian Stewart, Deputy Chief Information Officer, University of Alberta.

LeeAnne Klein, Change Management Practice Lead, University of Alberta

As one of Ontario’s largest higher education institutions, George Brown College is committed to transforming the student experience, and in that mission the college’s approach to IT is no exception. But IT’s role in transforming the student experience is changing. With the increasing popularity of ‘anything-as-a-service’, higher education IT is no longer just about technology. Today, leading IT teams are seeing technology as a way to improve service delivery, one in which students and staff – the end users – are their consumers.

But how do you extend that service delivery offering to the student desktop and access to academic resources such as applications? Today’s students come to study with very different expectations than ever before. The proliferation of smart devices, ‘apps’ and indeed app stores has set a standard of anytime on-demand access; an expectation that extends to the provision of academic applications at college, too.
The challenge sounded simple but was in fact impacting the student learning experience. Academic applications needed by students – wide-ranging in nature due to the college’s vast array of degree programs – were only available in specific computer labs in certain locations across campus, and only within a set period. So, to use the software needed to study and complete coursework, students had to go to labs for access.
George Brown College’s IT team went about searching for a solution to this challenge, with the goal of providing a service to increase access to software, rethink the entire deployment model to let the applications follow the students, and enable BYOD.
This session will outline how the college IT department has transitioned to be a service provider in respect to software for students and staff, along with the driving factors for making a change, the obstacles along the way, and the outcomes achieved since doing so. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: George Brown College
Presenters: Frank Rosa, IT Director of Enterprise Applications

We are excited to share all the great work that is being done to create a Project Management Community of Practice at McMaster University. The Project Management Community of Practice was introduced in 2018 and we recognize that this is a journey with many more opportunities for growth.  Our goal is to start with team members in the Central Information Technology department and extend to the larger information technology project management community at the University.  In addition to collaboration, this presentation touches on the people aspect, engaging with a number of professionals with various project experiences to bring diverse thinking to the community of practice. 

Why a Community of Practice approach?

  • CONNECTS people across campus
  • Share ideas & experiences
  • Promotes continuous improvement
  • Solve problems
  • Create new knowledge
  • Develop new capabilities
  • Innovate

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: McMaster University
Presenters: Carmalita Larkin, Manager of the Project Management Competency Centre

How do you communicate user service status, or project implementation status in real time to your stakeholders?

At the University of Manitoba, central IT has built a website that is able to inform our stakeholders of a variety of notices. Our stakeholders are able to access this website from any device, on or off campus. As well as see a permanent display in two locations.

This presentation will talk about the notices we are currently including, and why we have opted to expose the information the way we have. We will also cover the Format of the website, explaining how we can rotate less critical information in as user either watch the monitors or their device.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenters: William Moore


Many rural and remote areas in Northern Canada lack the high-speed broadband connectivity enjoyed by most urban areas. There is an opportunity to support the region’s economic development by providing access to the connectivity and resources required to address some of its unique challenges. This means rising to the challenge of creating ultra-high-speed broadband connections in areas with limited infrastructure. High-speed broadband is essential for growth in Northern Canada, including for its research and education institutions. Further, access to research and education opportunities is essential to economic development, and Northern Ontario is home to a full range of such institutions. 

Despite the Canadian Radio and Television Commission’s access and speed targets as well as associated federal funding in 2016, only 70 per cent of Northern Ontario has access to 5 Mbps service. There is work to be done in connecting the North, especially in rural/remote areas. There is a tendency to view geographical isolation, small populations, high transportation costs and limited infrastructure as barriers to innovation. However, digital infrastructure and the knowledge economy can be leveraged to overcome such barriers. The region’s natural resource ecosystem needs broadband infrastructure to expand the national and provincial economy in trade, employment, economic development and taxation revenue. Beyond that, connectivity also has potential for positive impact on the social health of the region.

This panel will examine the challenges of and solutions for extending and enhancing the ultra-high-speed network connectivity to the rural and northern areas of Canada, including the role that our national research and education network can play.

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: ORION
Presenters: Katie Tuck, Manager, IT Services

Jason Panter, Manager, Information Systems & Technology

Kilely Bender, Acting Chief Operating Officer at the Manitoba Education Research and Learning Information Networks (MERLIN)

Delilah Moysich, VP of Business Planning, Marketing, and Strategic Partnerships at ORION, Ontario’s only research and education network

Diversity and inclusion in tech is a hot topic generating a lot of attention in recent years. While the benefits of diverse tea have been well articulated and widely discussed, the conversation too often stops there. The University of Ottawa is committed to turning the conversation into action. Learn about the University of Ottawa’s Women in Innovation initiative and have an open conversation about the opportunities and challenges involved in diversity and inclusion efforts.

This presentation will provide you with an evidenced-based overview of the current state of gender diversity in tech with a specific focus on the role of higher education institutions. Most importantly, this session will leave you with a set of concrete actions that can take immediately to help attract, retain and develop more diverse work forces. While this session focuses on gender diversity, the principles and actions are applicable to all forms of diversity and inclusion efforts.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Ottawa
Presenters: MaryAnn Welke Lesage, Chief Architect at the University of Ottawa, and co-chair of the uOttawa’s Women in Innovation group. </p

Interns can inject your team with creative energy, increase productivity and drive new projects…or they can suck all your precious time. How do you hire the elusive intern? You know…the one that comes in with some of the answers, but not all…fits seamlessly into your team culture…and thinks that “initiative” isn’t just a buzzword that looks good on their LinkedIn profile, but is rather an essential character trait?

Find out how a clever marketing campaign combined with a hackathon can help you hire your very own awesome intern.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Calcul Québec – Université Laval
Presenters: Félix-Antoine Fortin, Professional Services

Julie Faure-Lacroix, Scientific Liaison Agent

It might sound like a reality show — “Manager Swap.” Where staff get a new Manager and watch him or her adapt to an entirely different environment and work styles. But in reality, one of the best ways to have staff develop a broad and deep set of leadership competencies is to move around in a variety of challenging and diverse jobs.

In 2018, the University of New Brunswick IT department implemented a Manager Exchange program between our Client Services and Technical Operations divisions. Attendees to this presentation will learn how our six month exchange program became a year-long swap. This presentation is part 2 to our 2018 CANHEIT, when we had just found out that the Manager Exchange was only half way through. In this presentation, participants will hear about the challenges and benefits of participating in a job exchange.

Some of the things participants will learn about during the presentation are: how to deal with preconceived notions about things such as the other side of the business, how as a manager you had to learn to let go and let things happen differently than you would deal with them with your old job, how and how the exchange benefited not only the people who swapped positions, but also the division teams, the department, and ultimately the organization.

While there is a risk to implementing a Manager Exchange program in your organization, participants in the presentation will learn why the reward outweighs the risk and learn why this exchange program should become reality in their organizations.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of New Brunswick
Presenters: Blair Sawler, Service Operations Manager

Diversity can be a simple numbers game, but inclusion is where the real work begins. Join BOF leader Julie Faure-Lacroix where she shares her real-world insights learnt from her work growing a Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) Chapter within Québec. And jump in and share your own hard-earned insights into how we can increase the diversity within our teams, our institutions, and our industry…and then how can we make this lasting change by focusing on inclusion.

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: Université Laval
Presenters: Julie Faure-Lacroix, Scientific Liaison Agent, Calcul Québec

The Information Technology Services Leadership Team at Lethbridge College has developed a process for identifying, developing and promoting from within the department. Come join us to understand what we have developed, the successes, the challenges and how we intend to further refine the program over time.

Our story will focus on how a staffing challenge was re-imagined as a people development opportunity. We will also discuss the history and philosophy of promoting from within and how this leadership challenge is being addressed. 

The intention of this session is to share with one another what we have each learned through our unique experiences. Developing the right people, for the right roles, at the right time, is essential to having a high-performing team. Please come to listen, to engage, to discuss, and to learn.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Lethbridge College
Presenters: Matt Norton, Director, Information Technology Services

Dave Saunders, Manager, Enterprise Systems, Lethbridge College

As Calcul Québec progresses towards the status of Women In High Performance Computing (Women in HPC) chapter, we continue to struggle with recruiting female employees. However, if we shift our focus away from our workforce to our user base, we realize that equally important work needs to be done regarding our teaching approach of HPC to women and minorities. Because courses, summer schools, workshops, and one-on-one tutoring are a major part of Calcul Québec’s definition, we must strive to deliver quality services not only to the easy-to-reach cis male audience, which composes the bulk of our users but also to those who historically were not preponderant users of HPC facilities. Women in HPC’s main focus is inclusivity, women inclusivity in particular, and this inspired me to create a new type of all-woman introductory class to HPC. This course, taught by a woman to an exclusively female audience, aims at creating a safe learning environment for women and hopefully reach out to those who would not usually dare attend a computer class with a majority of men. Here I discuss the takeaways from that teaching experiment and propose a framework to expand those classes to the province of Québec.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Université Laval
Presenters: Julie Faure-Lacroix, Scientific Liaison Agent, Calcul Québec

The IST transformation program began in earnest in 2015.  In June 2016 I presented at CANHEIT on how the transformation had impacted the University and IST.  I am planning on re-visiting that presentation and see if results are still there and what else has changed.  I have been conducting many one on one interviews with front line staff over the past 6 months and have gained additional insight into how behaviors are changing or are not.  Also, these interviews and other inputs from new managers and client areas, have provided me new perspectives on the “how do you change culture” question.  That question, or the “we need to change the culture” statement often for part of the justification for beginning these types of programs.  I would like to offer my assessment of how our transformation see to have taken hold at the front line levels, how and why.  Also, what behaviours see to be working, what is not , what signs are there in the organization’s behaviour to signify change and perhaps offer some opinions why.   

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenters: Mario Lebar, Chief Information Officer

Research & IT

This paper will examine how digital research infrastructure (DRI) can be delivered in order to better support scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences.  The paper will begin with a brief look at DRI, or cyberinfrastructure, in the HSS disciplines over the past few decades then survey briefly the approaches to large digital research infrastructure in other countries. The purpose will be to explore what DRI looks like within the Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines.  Apart from DARIAH, I will focus heavily on DRI for digital archaeology and heritage. 

 The second part of the paper will discuss different models for delivering DRI to Humanities and Social Sciences scholars at different scales.  I will examine a number of case studies at the international, national, and institutional levels including examples in Canada, the United States, and in the United Kingdom.  Within these case studies I will look specifically around issues of governance and organization, as well as issues around research data management particular to Humanities and Social Science researchers.  

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenters: Dr Megan Meredith-Lobay, Research Specialist for Humanities and Social Sciences at UBC Advanced Research Computing.

Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) is an integral component of the research enterprise in all fields including the natural sciences,

engineering, social sciences, and humanities. The need for High Performance Computing (HPC), large-scale data storage, and on-demand computing

continues to grow rapidly beyond the ability of individual organizations to provide such services. In Canada, there has been an effort to centralize
(or nationalize)

the delivery of such services in order to reduce costs and increase capacity. Whilst a noble goal, this has resulted in unintended consequences such as increased complexity in certain administrative processes, data privacy concerns, complex resource allocation models, and technical challenges
in operating large-scale infrastructure. This presentation discusses the rationale for the deployment of substantial local DRI resources at UBC as a necessary
component in fulfilling the university’s research mission and maintaining the competitiveness of the research environment.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: UBC ARC/WestGrid/CC
Presenters: Dr Roman Baranowski

Ryan Thomson, Systems Administrator

Venkat Venkat, Systems Administrator

Wade Klaver, Systems Administrator

Jamie Rosner, Life Sciences Analyst

Supporting researchers as IT can be difficult due to the complexities of their research and the need to translate this to computational resources such as hardware, software, or training. By hiring researchers as IT specialists, this gap can be bridged.

At the University of Ottawa, Jarno van der Kolk, PhD, who has a background in computational nanophotonics, was hired for this purpose. The position is beneficial for both the researchers as well as for IT. Since the IT specialist has a background in research they are already familiar with how research works. They can then use this perspective to assist the researcher in using Compute Canada resources, purchasing their own equipment, or even to increase the efficiency of their software. Additionally, monthly seminar series are organized to provide training in a wide range of subjects pertaining to research software, such as the use of parallel computing with OpenMP or MPI, but also data visualization, SLURM usage, or data security.

The benefits of hiring researchers in IT support is not limited to just researchers. The IT department also benefits from having personnel with a link to both research and IT as this brings the researcher’s perspective into the development of new tools or initiatives at a very early stage, which makes IT much more research-centric.

In this talk, we will address the initial rationale for this position, how it has been received, challenges encountered, the current results and what may lie in the future.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Ottawa
Presenters: Dr Jarno van der Kolk

Where is your research data, how is it organized, and how can you find what you need with many people working on the same project?  We’re working on helping researchers tackle these questions.

The University of Saskatchewan and Simon Fraser University, with the support of Compute Canada/WestGrid and CARL/Portage and through funding from CANARIE, are collaborating to develop a set of scalable software components called Radiam to fill functional gaps identified in existing tools and services for the management of active research data.

Join us in this presentation to learn more about Radiam.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Presenters: Todd Trann, Technical lead for both the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) and for Radiam.

Exploiting an advanced computing platform consisting of several clusters distributed across the second-largest country in the world is challenging. Each cluster may run a different operating system, use a different generation of CPU, GPU, or network fabric, or be managed by a different team of system administrators. Presenting a unified software environment can tremendously facilitate the task of supporting researchers, but is difficult to implement. This is nevertheless what Compute Canada set out to do in 2016, in the midst of deploying a new generation of large clusters.

In order to achieve this goal, we had to find software solutions to solve these challenges. Distribution, portability and performance were three important technical criteria for us. We also had to consider the practicality of each approach for our users, and reproducibility of software installations performed by staff located at various sites across Canada.

In this talk, we present the solution that we created, which has allowed Compute Canada to serve the needs of over 10,000 researchers across the country. It is used on over 20 different clusters with heterogeneous configurations, from CPU architectures as old as Nehalem or Opteron all the way up to Skylake, with and without GPUs, with InfiniBand, Ethernet or OmniPath as the network fabric, and with Slurm or Torque/Moab as the scheduler. It presents a unified software environment to the users, providing over 600 different scientific applications that are available in over 4,000 different combinations of version, compiler and CPU architecture.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Compute Canada, Calcul Québec, Université Laval
Presenters: Dr Maxime Boissonneault

Are you tired of using Excel for data collection? Have you heard of REDCap, the online data collection tool that researchers around the world are using? It is a secure web application designed to support data capture for research studies. REDCap helps you securely capture data with features like granular data access control and multi-site data segregation.

REDCap sounds like the tool that could solve many of the researchers’ data management needs. Is it really that powerful? Come see what REDCap can offer and what its limitations are.

In this talk, we will also discuss our enterprise rollout of REDCap at the University of British Columbia and the challenges encountered in deploying a secure system including role management, authentication/authorization, and data security.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenters: Michael Tang, Scientific Analyst for the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) group

Server crashed again?  Inodes mysteriously all used up?  Cluster under siege by thousands of high-memory job requests? Chances are there’s a bioinformatician to blame. Bioinformatics research is a necessity when it comes to curing disease, as well as understanding ourselves and the natural world in which we live and, to the dismay of many a sysadmin, it’s here to stay.  So what can we do about it? In this presentation we will examine the challenges, and explore possible solutions for bioinformatics workflows on traditional HPC systems.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: UBC ARC/WestGrid/CC
Presenters: Jamie Rosner, Life Sciences Research Specialist for the Advanced Research Computing team

While the greater population views all IT professionals through the same lens, those inside the community frequently don’t speak the same language, act on the same goals, or use the same hardware. Academic environments can be very different IT realms than those in corporate or government settings. I’ve spent my IT career picking up ideas and techniques on translating: chemistry to geek and back, adminglish to geek and back, and now ARC (Advanced Research Computing) to geek and back. I’ll delve into how to pull the curtain back on ARC so IT pros can appreciate the goals and challenges of ARC provisioning, and how to lead ARC pros to reach out to IT pros in supporting researchers in a more seamless manner. I’ll touch on how I approach this at the University of Alberta, and how to explain it all to administrators who don’t speak any geek dialect.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Alberta
Presenters: Dr Scott Delinger

UBC is leading the way in supporting researchers making use of the Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI). Come and learn more about the UBC ARC team, an institutionally dedicated service to support researchers across all disciplines getting access to national computational infrastructure, managing local computational infrastructure, and complying with evolving standards on research data management. 

The session will explore where UBC ARC comes from, who we are and how we work with units at UBC and other national ARC partners to help our researchers access the computing and data management resources they need in support of their research projects.  

From consulting with PIs on implementing large-scale computing infrastructure to deploying a multi-million dollar DRI system in our data center, we will share an overview of the services and examples of key resources we provide to the research community.  We will also look at the upcoming expansion of the ARC team and see how it will fuel UBC’s ability to keep up to speed with the growing needs for DRI support in the academic research landscape.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenters: Edith Domingue, Manager, Research Platforms for UBC Advanced Research Computing.

With the increasing demand for data storage, and the consolidation of the national Advanced Research Computing (ARC) resources, researchers and campus IT are facing an important challenge: bridging the data-intensive research on campus to the national ARC platform.

To make effective use of the Compute Canada Federation resources, data-intensive researchers must be able to move large datasets across the high-speed National Research and Education Network in Canada (NREN).

At the national level, the Compute Canada national sites are providing 100 Gbps connectivity to the CANARIE IP network, including data transfer nodes to make high-speed data transfer possible. The design and implementation of this network connectivity is done in collaboration with the National Research and Education Networks (CANARIE, BCNET, ORION, and RISQ).

For researchers on campus, the environment is more challenging. The data flowing from the campus lab will typically go through multiple network domains, from the research LAN, campus core, firewall, and possibly other devices (middleboxes) before reaching the high-speed R&E networks. Also, large data transfer flows are competing with a high number of short-lived flows that are characteristic of web and other Internet traffic on campus.

In such context, it is not possible to utilize the full potential of existing high performance networks (NREN) for data-intensive science.

In this presentation, we will describe the implementation of a campus DMZ (based on the Science DMZ framework defined by ESnet) dedicated to research computing. Université Laval has built a new data center specialized in data collection, processing and valorization. Among the applications and tools offered to researchers, a campus DMZ provides an essential service to bridge the researcher on campus to the national ARC resources.

We will describe how collaboration is essential between Campus IT and Research Computing specialists to build and sustain a campus DMZ platform.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Université Laval
Presenters: Florent Parent, Advanced Research Computing Team Lead


The use of digital technologies has become pervasive within higher education, with its influence felt deeply within the areas of teaching and learning, operations, research, and administration. As academic and administrative functions of higher education institutions seek to innovate, expand to new markets, and advance the missions of our organizations, Information Technology departments are becoming seen as important strategic business enablers. 

Universities within the pan-Canadian landscape will continue to be affected by public funding erosion and expanding costs. New lines of thinking and engagement with emergent technologies will form the basis for innovation within the higher education space.  As IT leaders, we are charged to develop strategies to better equip, make more efficient, and protect our organizations from a variety of threat vectors. Cyber security strategies developed in concert with overall IT strategic direction and within the context of institutional priorities and objectives may require flexibility and compromise while balancing the security postures within our organizations.

This presentation will put forth thoughts related to developing high-level Information Technology / Cyber Security strategies within the context of enabling and advancing the missions of higher education institutions. As recently appointed CISOs of the University of Toronto and Western University respectively, Isaac Straley and Colin Couchman will outline their approaches in developing these strategies and in what ways IT leadership has moved much closer to the central missions of their organizations.  This talk will trace emerging trends within the digital space and how, more than ever, IT leadership that understands the myriad pressures facing higher education is required.  Special emphasis will be placed on how each has approached developing their Cyber Security platforms and the inherent pitfalls and challenges associated with these processes.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Western University
Presenters: Dr Colin Couchman, CISO and Director Cyber Security and Business Services

Isaac Straley, CISO, University of Toronto.

Moving an entire university to two-factor authentication (2FA) takes work and perseverance. Driving adoption often means making sure everyone knows why they need 2FA as well as lowering barriers to adoption by administrators and users. What happens when someone leaves their authenticator at home or buys a new phone? Will they be locked out? Can you help them? How many people will actually use 2FA voluntarily? In this presentation we will provide an update from our two-paths presentation last year. You’ll hear about reactions to making 2FA mandatory for all employees and about ongoing adoption efforts where it is voluntary. We’ll talk about usability, driving adoption via feedback loops, and taking a risk-based approach when rolling out 2FA. Universities can make 2FA the norm to access just about everything. We’ll talk about how to get there. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Ryerson University
Presenters: Brian Lesser, Chief Information Officer

Andrew Ward, Identity and Access Management Specialist in Information Security Services, University of Waterloo

Patrick will discuss and demonstrate a ‘security dashboard’ which fans out to:

  • self-service web penetration test web form (12 step workflow)
  • self-service CVE (vulnerabilities and exposures) web form
  • self-service general ‘CIS’ closed-loop security settings per host/lab/MS domain
  • self-service OWASP web application web form
  • automated Faculty web penetration tests (with graphs)
  • automated Faculty web accessibility tests (with graphs)
  • automated Faculty CVE & vulnerability tests (with graphs)

This talk is based on work Patrick did for UW in 2016 and he gave a UW WatITis campus-wide talk on same. The work has since been extended.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Waterloo
Presenters: Patrick Matlock

The primary role of the information security function is to minimize and manage  institutional information risk; this is usually seen as a cost to the organization or the business unit – be it in a direct cost, or more likely an externalized cost to the customer (implementation and compliance) that is imposed from an outside unit.

But there can be another, better way: By allowing institutional identity to be leveraged in a secure and effective manner that allows our customers to execute on that value, the improvement drives desire to align their processes with 
security goals. As the information security group, our goal is thus to provide the services – IAM – in a way that aligns with their needs.

This talk will focus on how University of Toronto’s implementation of the Internet2 Grouper group and role management application has been leveraged to create value throughout the University across Institutional, Divisional, and Departmental levels, provide a greater level of IT service while reducing Institutional Information Risk.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Toronto
Presenters: Pete St. Onge, Information Security Architect

Identity and Access Management in a university setting can be daunting. Systems are antiquated, data can be unreliable, responsibilities The University of New Brunswick has been tackling these issues for some time in one fashion or another, especially as they relate to IAM. To have a more effective IAM framework, UNB has been conducting consultations, reviewing its current technology and developing the policy framework. This way, UNB can have an IAM program that is more palatable to the entire university community and makes everyone more accountable. But much work is left. This presentation will explain the various steps and challenges along the way, both technical and non-technical.

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of New Brunswick
Presenters: Erik Denis, Senior Cybersecurity Officer

Ben Steeves, Director of IT Architecture

Presentation will review the defence-in-depth strategy leveraged by UNBC and focus on their recent implementation of a DNS firewall, the role it plays, and the results they have seen.

CIRA will then walk through the aggregate DNS data across all higher education to compare the types of threat blocks we have seen in Canadian education and compare their experience with other public sector organizations. Using Kibana to analyze DNS queries for over 800,000 Canadian users including 200,000 in higher education across 24 institutions, we will:

  • Review the most common threat-types and their frequency.
  • Show the threat profiles of top-level domains (i.e. .CA versus .xyz) and what ones you may consider blocking entirely.
  • Compare the most visited and least visited domains and what is learned by analyzing the long tail of low-volume domains.
  • Show the geographic analysis of the threat origins, look at what a “normal” profile shows, and how to detect anomalies.
  • Observe some threat-peaks that the DNS data has been detected, often before broad awareness makes the security industry news (i.e. drive-by crypto-mining).
  • Review the IETF push for DNS privacy  (DoT and DoH) and how they may introduce  a new cybersecurity risk.
  • Discuss strategies that higher education could consider to help share new threat patterns across all educational institutions in Canada.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: CIRA
Presenters: Mark Gaudet and Dave Kubert, Information Security Manager at UNBC

In April of 2018 a new campus identity management system was introduced that changed the way identities are assigned to newly affiliated users, changed how identity affiliations are tracked, how account entitlements are assigned, and how subsequent affiliation data is correlated to existing identities. In parallel, Grouper was deployed and a SAML identity provider was introduced, altering the way business units define access, and how applications receive identity data.

This session will outline the University of Waterloo’s journey to move from the Waveset to IdentityIQ IDM framework, discuss design decisions made when building out and deploying the new IAM services, and reveal some lessons that were learned along the way.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Waterloo
Presenters: Sean Mason, Information Systems Specialist

This presentation is intended to be interactive. We will discuss a recent initiative at the University of Toronto in which we are asking academic and administrative units to self-assess their information risk. We will use some of the results as a case study to work through questions like:

  • Can we trust our stakeholders to assess their own information risk? – and what do we mean by trust (as a start, do they understand risk)?
  • Are the results comparable?
  • Is completing a self-assessment a useful education tool for helping others understand risk?
  • When do you use self-assessment?
  • Which do you find  most effective?

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Toronto/ITS/ISEA
Presenters: Sue McGlashan, Information Security Architect

The CIO of MacEwan University will talk about the phishing attack at MacEwan University that ultimately resulted in $11.8 million dollars being transferred to fraudsters. 

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: MacEwan University
Presenters: Shelagh Hohm, Associate VP and Chief Information Office

Last year 40 universities began CUCCIO’s first attempt at cybersecurity benchmarking. In this hybrid presentation/panel we will discuss how the benchmarking project worked, what the data looks like, and make some recommendations about best cybersecurity practices at Canadian universities. There will be three areas of focus: protecting people, protecting computers, and vulnerability management.

This year 57 colleges and universities are participating in the project and we are doing things a little differently. We’ll talk about how the project is evolving and discuss interim findings. 

The panel will include members of the benchmarking working group. The panel may range in size from 4 to 6.

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: Ryerson University
Presenters: Mr Brian Lesser, Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Monash University in Melbourne Australia rolled single sign-on authentication in the cloud and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to all alumni, affiliates, student and staff accounts across all campuses in multiple countries in less than three months and required all users to use the Okta Verify app on their phone. Text messaging/SMS isn’t permitted. Only 200 Yubi Keys have been distributed to those without phones or executives who require their Executive Assistant to login with their account. The process also required all users to change their password to ensure that no breached, or otherwise bad passwords, were being used. This presentation will discuss the reasons and approach that will help others drive faster and ubiquitous MFA adoption.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Monash University
Presenters: Trevor Woods, CIO

Many Canadian Universities are striving to improve the maturity of their cyber capabilities but the diversity within our institutions and the challenges we face working as a cohesive unit within IT often impedes our ability to fully protect our end-users. Please join us to discuss the endpoint security landscape and steps we can take to construct mature cyber risk cultures and behaviors.

Everyone is welcome to share, or even just come to listen to others about steps we can take to better protect our clients using both technical and human approaches.

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: University of Waterloo
Presenters: Mike Popoff, Director, User Services Instructional and Information Technology Services, Concordia University

Lisa Tomalty, Manager of Customer Relations and Support, IST Client Services, University of Waterloo

Panel Discussion

Paul Webber – Ryerson University
Gordie Mah – University of Alberta
Mike Wiseman – University of Toronto
David Auclair – CanSSOC Project
Ivan Sestak – CanSSOC Project

Join us in a panel discussion between the Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC) proof of concept (POC) participants to learn more about how the initiative is identifying the feasibility, and addressing the opportunities of a national shared security operations centre.

The CanSSOC POC supports the vision of enabling enhanced cyber security effectiveness for all participating institutions by leveraging foundational concepts of partnership, responsiveness, transparency, a Canadian scope, technical excellence and innovation.

The goal of the CanSSOC is to provide highly cost-effective threat detection and blocking by using data, asset, threat intelligence feeds, and machine learning to provide rapid, low-noise, prioritized alerts to partner institutions. The POC will demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach, how it will address privacy concerns, and identify the security return on investment (ROI) of a to-be proposed post-POC production CanSSOC environment.

The POC is running for 18 months, until Dec 31 / 2019. Anticipated benefits / results include, but are not limited to:

  1.  An analysis of privacy considerations in transferring security-related data within Canada
  2.  Logistical models for on-boarding of, data transfer between, and incident handling by the CanSSOC and participating institutions
  3. Required resources to implement a production shared SOC environment
  4. A governance model for a production shared SOC environment

This discussion will be of interest to anyone involved in:

  1. Negotiating multi-institution agreements
  2. Our approach to requirements gathering and governance
  3. Projects that break new ground and aim to provide value in innovative ways
  4. Projects that involve team members from multiple organizations at multiple levels of management / technical expertise
  5. Exploring an opportunity to expand the ROI of cyber security in a SOC context through data sharing and joint operations

The initiative is a joint effort of the following institutions:

University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
McGill University
McMaster University
Ryerson University
University of Toronto

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: The CanSSOC Project

Presenters: Martin Loeffler

Information Security topics have been hot for a number of years at CANHEIT – this year is no exception. In incident response: increased occurrences of supply chain fraud and another public release of a billion user accounts and passwords. In the security program development area: increased efforts to address research compliance requirements. In ‘moving to the cloud’: how to securely architect and manage Infrastructure and Platform as a Service in AWS and Azure.

Join the panel of Information Security professionals for a lively question and answer session! 

Panel Members: Gordie Mah (University of Alberta), Ken Forward (Memorial University), Colin Couchman (Western University), Denise Ernst (Queens University), Mike Wiseman (University of Toronto)

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: University of Toronto
Presenters: Gordie Mah (University of Alberta), Ken Forward (Memorial University), Colin Couchman (Western University), Denise Ernst (Queens University), Mike Wiseman (University of Toronto)

This panel will discuss the processes, challenges and lessons learned from the first national joint procurement undertaken by CANARIE and its provincial and territorial partners in Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). Participants will describe the initiatives being led by the NREN to secure Canada’s research and education network, including the deployment of a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) project. The panelists will articulate how Canada’s NREN is working towards a cohesive approach to incident response through its collaboration with partner and member institutions.

 This panel will highlight the joint procurement challenges and benefits of this project, and explore recommendations for similar ventures in the future. Participants will provide an overview of the procurement process and the requirements they used to bring all collaborators together to build consensus. The presenters will discuss how challenges and hurdles faced along the way were mitigated, and highlight lessons learned for future national collaborative procurement initiatives.

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: CANARIE Inc.
Presenters: Jill Kowalchuk, NREN Coordination Manager, CANARIE

Ben Steeves, Director of IT Architecture, UNB

Gerry Miller, Executive Director, MRnet

Preparing for a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) deployment can be a daunting task, with many questions and concerns. The partners in the National Research and Education Network (NREN) have undertaken a collaborative approach to a SIEM deployment project. Their goal is to strengthen the security posture of the NREN, and enable sharing of cybersecurity threats, intelligence and expertise at the provincial and national level.

In this panel presentation, three of the National Research and Education Network (NREN) partners will share how they prepared for their SIEM deployment, and review the current status of their installations. The presentation will explore the stages of collaborative planning, including defining technical requirements, integrating with current tools, and managing impact to processes and policies. 

The presentation will also include detailing early results from the deployment of the SIEM systems within each organization, reviewing the technical challenges encountered throughout the process, and sharing the lessons learned while overcoming those challenges. The panelists will provide tips and tools that other organizations embarking on similar projects can benefit from.

Format: Panel Discussion
Institution: CANARIE Inc.
Presenters: Jill Kowalchuk, NREN Coordination Manager, CANARIE, 

Blake MacIsaac, Network and Systems Administrator, Yukon College

Mr Andrew Andrew, Senior Developer and Security Specialist, Cybera

The Ontario higher education institutions just finished a successful 2 year pilot of the Shared CISO program which served 8 institutions and have managed to scale up this model to on board other institutions. 

The Shared CISO program is being run by ORION .  The role has provided this community with strategic security thought leadership, while bringing them tangible security guidelines for compliance, risk management, a governance framework as well as roadmap of broader shared security services.  This comes at a much needed time in the academic arena when many of Ontario’s Universities and Colleges are challenged to address security for a number of reasons.  For example, IT budgets are strapped and Provincial government funding is more limited than ever before, all this at a time when cyber threats are evolving at a much faster pace than these organizations can handle.  

In this session we will have the Farooq Naiyer ( Shared CISO) and Select CIOs including Luc Roy from Laurentian University who were part of the 2 year pilot to share their experience on the key milestones achieved and challenges faced during the pilot.

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: ORION
Presenters: Farooq Naiyer, shared CISO of 5 universities and 3 colleges in Ontario.

Mr Luc Roy, Chief Information Officer at Laurentian University

Student Centered

The problem of students accessing and sharing their transcript, registration status, and credential information is increasing due to global student flows and the expectation of instantaneous access enabled by digital workflows. In response, the ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility Project was formed. This project is designed to fundamentally improve student mobility by growing and expanding the data connectivity and digitization capacity between Canadian institutions, existing provincial data hubs,and trusted international organizations to support in-bound and out-bound transfer and mobility. Join this session to learn about the national student data exchange network being developed by CUCCIO, the national registrars’ association (ARUCC), and other national organizations. Both Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada have formally endorsed this project along with more than 70 institutions, allied organizations, and government entities.The session will share an overview of the project, provide the latest implementation updates, and capture your expert advice as we continue to move forward.

Project website:

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility Project
Presenters: Joanne Duklas ARUCC Groningen and Student Mobility Project

Lori MacMullen, CUCCIO

Brian Stewart, University of Alberta

The University of Winnipeg has implemented a solution to enable us to combine degree planning and academic advising with registration to provide a seamless experience to help students keep on-track from first year to graduation.

The Degree Audit and Student Planning projects have been a win-win for both The University of Winnipeg and our students – enabling both to be more prepared and proactive. Through our journey to implement these solutions, we have learned from our mistakes and transformed them into lessons learned. These lessons have enabled us to quickly and easily expand the solution to our Graduate Studies and Continuing Education schools.

This presentation will discuss what we have learned to improve our project planning, how we have empowered students to own their program planning, empowered the University to own new and existing data and solutions, and how we have leveraged these projects to enable additional endeavors.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Winnipeg
Presenter: Michael Doran 

Technologies & Trends

Compute Canada has invested significant funding for equipment and technical staff to create the Arbutus Cloud: 10,000 cores of OpenStack compute and over 5.8PB of Ceph storage. Come learn how Open Infrastructure projects have enabled our small, distributed team of cloud admins to build and operate the largest research cloud in Canada, opening up a new range of capabilities for our community of scientists and academics which extends beyond traditional HPC workloads into the portal, platform, and data management applications of the future.

Lead Arbutus admins Mike Cave and Jeff Albert will take you on a tour of the design and build process, including decisions on driving infrastructure from versioned code, real-world experiences with OpenStack and Ceph at scale, day-one observability and instrumentation with Prometheus, and the commitment to automation that made such a huge project manageable.

Even more exciting, we’ll show you how researchers are capitalizing on the agility of the Arbutus cloud platform: with traditional HPC workloads like BELLE/ATLAS high-energy physics data processing from the Large Hadron Collider; big data analytics like the astronomical cataloguing project that helped chart the course for NASA’s New Horizons probe past Pluto; and next-generation tools that bridge the gap between portal and HPC like the GenAP project’s massive bioinformatics analysis platform.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Victoria
Presenters: Jeff Albert, Senior Unix System Administrator

Mike Cave, Unix Systems Administrator

The integration of digital technology into all areas of business is fundamentally changing how they operate and deliver value to customers. These are reshaping products, process, culture, business models and industrial architectures. For universities this change has been slower than other sectors, affording an opportunity for us to learn from developments in more advanced industries. This is changing, however, as Higher Education leaders begin to recognize the positive impacts that digital technologies can have on student success, teaching, learning, research, organisational performance and institutional sustainability. The term digital transformation has been applied to this potential and while it is much used, it is less well understood and even less practiced. 

There are good reasons for the tentative uptake as such transformations are not for the faint of heart. Their disruptive effects on organisational culture, workforce, structures and operating norms can be substantial and carry a great degree of risk. IT units can make a major contribution here by providing leadership to the development and execution of a digital strategy that guides the organisation through the disruptive impacts. 

This presentation uses Rogers’ 5 domains of digital transformation to examine the role digital technological can play in transforming higher education institutions. The domains of Customers, Value, Data, Innovation and Competition will be used to analyse the how digitalization effects higher ed. organisations. We will also look at how the University of Alberta is adapting to this challenge and what lessons there may be for others wishing to move down this path.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Alberta
Presenters:  Brian Stewart, Deputy Chief Information Officer

Usually, research data repositories, both general and discipline-focused, feature text-based searching. However, there is increasing demand for geographic components in research, examples of which include migration paths, the distribution of agricultural yields, infrared satellite imagery, the distribution of artifacts in an archaeological site, and the flow routes of water. 

The goal of the Geodisy project is to create an extensible, open-source software method to search and discover Canadian geospatial research data using an interface specifically designed for maps, enabling users to discover geospatial resources in a more spatially-intuitive way. 

This project is funded by CANARIE and is expected to be delivered in mid-2020. In this session, we will share our progress so far towards normalizing various metadata models and standards into clean and discoverable geospatial metadata, available to all researchers anywhere.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of British Columbia
Presenters: Lee Wilson, Service Manager for Portage, a national, library-based network that builds capacity and coordinates Research Data Management (RDM) activities in Canada

We were approached by Geology to help create an online resource to help manage their collection of samples. The samples are stored all over the building  and they would like to make them available for use when teaching.

Geology Staff is working on building a Database of samples.

In the “old world” we would have to do a lot of analysis about what kinds of knowledge would have to be gleaned from the collection. We would have to write explicit queries to be able to search. 

With Machine Learning, we could turn the AI loose on the Collection. We could then show Geology how to interact with the AI to teach it how to browse the collection. 

Format: Poster Session
Institution: University of Manitoba
Presenters: Bill Spornitz, Senior Software Developer in IST.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been lurking in the shadows of the network world for about 10 years but has started to make it’s presence felt in the last few years. But really – what is it?

4 years ago, the University of Lethbridge started down the road of a new building to house our pure sciences. Collaboration and inter-disciplinary thought was at the fore of the design. At just over 400,000 square feet, the building is massive and feels even more so when you experience the 15 and 20 foot ceilings. As heard from one of the project leaders early in the process, “we will be installing stuff that hasn’t even been invented yet!”

So do we simply stay the course and put in our tried and trusted, switched and routed networks? Or do we look to the future?

It was at this point that we started a discovery process of our own into the world SDN. It was very obvious that it meant different things to different people, that different implementations of SDN had different capabilities, each with their own pros and cons. There was also the open source versus proprietary question.

During the search for tomorrow’s network one thing became quite clear – the network of tomorrow is not at all about speeds and feeds or really even about moving data around. Moving data is simply a given and all the major network players do it well.

The network of tomorrow is about who gets to talk to who in an environment that is safe, secure and resilient. While automation is a part of the puzzle, it will be about intelligent automation. While security will be a part of the puzzle, it will be built into the foundation of the network and not a kludgy bolt-on that sort of meets the need but not quite.

Join us in the journey of our SDN implementation.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: The University of Lethbridge
Presenters: Oliver, Jeff, Network and Telecommunications team lead

It’s hard to find anyone who really likes their old enterprise system. Most universities have some mix of student information, financial, and human resource systems that were designed in the 1990’s, installed in the 2000’s, and seeming obsolete today. Some institutions have invested in moving to new modern systems, but this migration is a highly costly and disruptive step. Is there an alternative strategy that can defer these costs while still meeting the needs of a university in the 2020’s? Surprisingly, we believe that its both possible, and responsible, to extend the life of the legacy system.

The California State University has an installation of PeopleSoft systems that serve 23 campuses, more than 50,000 employees, nearly 500,000 students and 3.6 million living alumni. We have begun to develop a new architecture designed to provide modern user interfaces, drive innovation through agile integration, offer timely access to business intelligence, and leverage the cloud, all through a series of incremental changes that will avoid a “forklift upgrade” of our core systems. 

In this presentation I will outline our architecture and share our experience with the first steps in building this architecture. In particular, I will describe our project to develop a RESTful API Integration Layer, as well as our hybrid cloud strategy and our cloud resident data lake. The extreme requirements of our environment suggest that if we can pull this off, many other universities can do the same. If successful, we will assure that our enterprise systems can meet our needs over the next decade and perhaps longer while saving 100’s of millions of dollars, resources better dedicated to our mission of support student success.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: California State University Office of the Chancellor
Presenters: Dr Michael Berman, Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer, California State University Office of the Chancellor

An open forum for Academic Technology community members to explore leading trends and issues in the area of teaching and learning technologies and related systems. Topics for community exploration will be generated from the group at the outset and may include one or more of:
–  Open Education initiatives – supporting technologies and services
– Student centered learning strategies
– Active learning – spaces, technologies, support; VR/AR in learning scenarios
– other community suggested topic(s)  

Continuing the conversation on:

– Learning Management Systems and integrated solutions, on-premise to cloud transition
– Academic Video- recording and distribution of instructional video including learning spaces, podcasts, micro-lectures and student assignments
– Policy, practice, and technology challenges addressing publisher online learning resources 

The session will introduce/re-introduce the for continuing the discussion online.

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Presenters: Cameron Alexson

Containers pose a new methodology for the deployment and management of services. Technologies like Kubernetes and OpenShift provide orchestration in the realm of containers but are complicated tools and there are many choices to be made in the adoption of these services. Across academic institutions, many of us are deploying the same software and developing similar services so being able to share our experiences in moving to containerized deployment can be extremely beneficial to us. People with other container orchestration tools like Docker Swarm and Mesos or even just experience in using containers (Docker, RKT, LXC) are encouraged to attend as well.

Format: Birds of a Feather
Institution: Compute Canada
Presenters: Darren Boss, team lead for Compute Canada’s middleware infrastructure team

Patrick will describe the original CANARIE research grant he was awarded (as a staff member) in 2017 using Machine Learning to detect ‘anomalies’ as part of Intrusion Detection. 

Patrick will describe and show the cybersecurity system he built, and how he extended the work with additional Machine Learning techniques. 

Current networks are IPv4 based, IPv6 networks have as many IPs (hosts/networks) as all atoms in solar system. Old intrusion detection systems are ‘rule based’.. Patrick’s system is Machine Learning based (using unsupervised learning) and detects ‘anomalies’ as it learns .. it crafts its own rules.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: University of Waterloo
Presenters: Patrick Matlock

York University is putting student success at the centre of a new initiative that leverages Artificial Intelligence technologies to provide a virtual peer mentor for students. The automated solution text-chats with students at any time of the day or night and guides them on topics including; academic advising, career coaching, events and student life.  It helps students know answers to questions about the university, as well as directing them to the right University service to help them specifically. We partnered with IBM to gather the student’s needs and wants, trained the solution and launched a pilot with students to deepen the training and gain feedback from the students. 

We will share our story of how we designed the personality of the virtual peer mentor, provide a demo, talk about student adoption, share some of the results of what we found was really important to students during the pilot, and share our vision of where we plan to take this next.

By interacting directly with students, we are hearing in their own words what they need and want.  The virtual peer mentor is accessed within Moodle, where students are already present and active. Having the virtual peer mentor easily accessible makes it easier for students to reach out for any type of help.  It includes mental health flows to guide students to existing mental health services, workshops and resources.

While the focus is on helping students and getting them to the right service on the first try, this also supports our staff by answering the easier self-service questions, and giving staff more time to focus on the students with more complex scenarios (especially during peak times of year). 

What we heard from students on the pilot:

· “it gave me the correct information I was looking for, had a quick response time,  and accurately zeroed in on my concerns”

· “Very helpful resource”

· “Easy and informative”

· “It answered all my questions”

· “good that it mentions mental health resources”

· “I told it I was bored… and it referred me to today’s events on campus”

· “helpful good information for someone that is under tremendous distress” · “very intuitive”

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: IBM
Presenters: Prof Donald Ipperciel, Chief Information Officer and Jen Nolan, IBM

The need for ubiquitous mobile connectivity is greater than ever before. This is especially true in the research and education community, where students, researchers, and faculty frequently roam across campuses and other institutions across the country and around the world.

eduroam, the secure, global Wi-Fi roaming service for the international research and education community, is currently accessible to 86% of students, staff, and faculty at Canadian higher education institutions.  To manage Wi-Fi access for campus visitors, IT departments often roll out additional networks that may broadcast unsecure, open SSIDs or use costly third party solutions.

CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation (CAF) is happy to introduce eduroam Visitor Access (eVA), a guest W-Fi service that leverages the secure eduroam infrastructure that many institutions already have in place. Expected to launch this summer, this hosted service will allow CAF participants to easily provide the same secure and reliable eduroam access to their campus visitors! 

Julie will explain the details of this exciting new offering and will discuss the experience of institutions that have rolled out eVA across their campus as part of a pilot program.


Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: CANARIE Inc.
Presenters: Julie Menzies, Program Manager, CANARIE Canadian Access Federation

Terraform is an “infrastructure as code” toolset that provides for the management of servers, devices, and networking via a declarative language. Terraform is open source and well supported by HashiCorp and the community with plugins for OpenStack, cloud providers, network devices, and other infrastructure components and software.  In this presentation we will present some of the ways we’re using Terraform in the Compute Canada Federation to solve a variety of problems and hopefully help you find ways to leverage this flexible tool at your institution to promote collaboration, reproducibility, and automation and reduce the need for extensive documentation and operations.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Compute Canada
Presenters: Drew Leske, Senior Programmer/Analyst, Compute Canada and Félix-Antoine Fortin, Calcul Québec

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University has been running virtual desktops for engineering education for over seven years. Now we’re transitioning to virtual app delivery to better support (and take advantage of) end-user devices, improve ease of use, and reduce physical space devoted to computer labs. We have to do all that without compromising performance of demanding engineering software, supporting both Windows and Mac OS, and with an eye to scaleability and future technologies.

At the University of Ottawa, the Faculty of Engineering has teamed up with central IT to create a hybrid model for virtual desktops and application delivery.

 At this panel discussion you will hear from IT leaders at these institutions and others about our progress and lessons learned, see some technology demonstrations, discuss licensing issues, and talk pros and cons of getting your software off hard drive images and into an app-store model.

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Queen’s University
Presenters: Stephen Hunt

With many UBC units choosing external service providers for their website hosting, which may impose high risk of security issues, data privacy issues, internal system integration malfunctions, inconsistent UBC brand delivery, and support issues.   We took a journey to find an affordable UBC in-house option by engaging, cloud based Platform as a Service (PaaS) architecture to host our websites.    This PaaS service mitigate the risks mentioned above by hosting the data storage in Canada.  Its fully managed infrastructure looks after security.  By providing adequate in-house support, expertise is there to address internal system integrations, and allows consistent UBC brand delivery.   We would like to share our experiences so far with other universities as other may also benefit from our experience. 

Format: Poster Session
Institution: UBC IT – Office of the CIO
Presenters: Belinda Zhu, Manager, Comms &. Collaboration Services

Canada’s National Design Network® (CNDN) is one of the national research facilities supported through CFI’s Major Science Initiatives Fund. It is a Canada-wide collaboration between 63 Universities/Colleges to connect 9400 academic participants with 950 companies to design, make and test microsystem prototypes. CMC Microsystems defines, develops and manages Canada’s National Design Network.

Companies in Canada annually collaborate with CNDN academic users while injecting $20M into projects and hiring more than 700 graduates of postgraduate programs—these new hires are extraordinarily well-trained having used industrially robust CAD tools and related design techniques during their projects, often leading to experimental hardware prototypes.

These research efforts are increasingly hosted in a private cloud configured purposefully to assist micro-nano project activity, enabling users to focus on advancing the state-of-the art while largely eliminating productivity detractors such as configuring IT or re-inventing design methods.

The CNDN Cloud is a secure, generally accessible, Canada-wide facility providing access to computing cores, operating systems, industrial-grade design tools, manufacturing data, and design flows. This presentation will introduce the CNDN platform and users and describe challenges related to identity management, security, WAN delivery of VDI and the agreements needed to provide commercial tools in this environment. It will highlight recent collaboration with Compute Canada to host a cluster specialized for the acceleration of industrial grade Compute Aided Design (CAD) tools. A short demonstration will illustrate client experiences where in a few clicks a researcher is using advanced, industry-grade 3D design software via any connected device. A case study from a research group at the University of Waterloo for advanced RF design will illustrate the outcomes that this infrastructure enabled (Note: a representative from the group may or may not co-present – to be confirmed). The total number of users overall is in the thousands annually and a growing proportion are using the CNDN cloud and the presentation will highlight a few operational learnings:

  • How do manage change in an “always on” VDI environment.
  • How to improve end-user experience while maintaining a secure environment
  • Provide seamless transition from “desktop” cloud for design to HPC cloud for simulation
  • Emphasizing value-add features without compromising system integrity
  • Integrating identity management procedures
  • Importance of collaboration with stakeholders for successful operation

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: CMC Microsystems
Presenters: Owain Jones, CMC Microsystems

Each year, Compute Canada technical staff train hundreds of new users across Canada on using high performance computing (HPC) clusters through hands-on workshops. High demand for Compute Canada HPC resources lead us to a simple question : do we need an HPC cluster to teach HPC? While there are still a few skeptics among our ranks, we do have a simple answer: yes.

During this talk, we will present the technical challenges that emerge when one wants to teach HPC without access to an HPC cluster and how we were able to overcome them by leveraging cloud infrastructure. We will present how HashiCorp Terraform “infrastructure-as-code” toolset was instrumental in the success of building a scalable and cloud-vendor agnostic solution and why it should be considered for your next cloud project. During the talk, an HPC cluster will be created live in the cloud, and the audience will be invited to experiment with it

Format: Presentation (Individual or Joint)
Institution: Calcul Québec – Université Laval
Presenters: Félix-Antoine, Calcul Québec