CBRAIN connects neuroimaging researchers to the tools and processing power required to handle the large datasets that have become the norm in the field. It does so while at the same time reducing the technical expertise required to use these resources. CBRAIN brings together data management, the advanced networking capabilities of CANARIE’s CAnet, analysis tools from around the world, the processing power of 8 HPCs across Canada and Europe, and cutting-edge 2D and 3D real-time, distributed visualization. CBRAIN manages all this in a way that is completely transparent to the end user. Unless they choose to do so, they don’t need to know where their data is or where it is processed. All that is required of them is a modern web browser of the sort available on any computer.
Increasingly, in recent years, collaborative research has become the norm. The integrated nature of CBRAIN allows for collaboration among researchers in ways that were previously impossible. All resources within CBRAIN are by default private to their owners, but with a few simple clicks, researchers can share their analysis tools, processing resources or data with other researchers from around the globe.
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CBRAIN is currently connected to 6 Compute Canada HPC clusters, one German HPC cluster and 3 clusters local to McGill University Campus, totaling more than 80,000 potential CPU cores. Launching jobs and tracking their status can be done through an intuitive web interface. CBRAIN handles all data transfer to and from the clusters as well as any setup of the cluster environment required for processing. Once processing is complete, CBRAIN automatically handles the transfer of data back to the user’s account.
CBRAIN allows users to manage data over vastly disparate geographical locations as if it was all in a single data store. The user simply selects a number of files, wherever they may be, and then chooses the operation to be performed though and intuitive web interface, be it a file transfer, a visualization or massive processing job on a remote HPC. CBRAIN ensures that all data is where it need to be for the operation and then transferred it back to the user once the operation is complete.
In order to make the user adoption of our platform easy in any kind of environment, we focus on the most common client of all: the web-browser. Whether users perform file & project organization, launching and monitoring of HPC jobs, simple results visualisation or even 3D brain model exploration, everything is done within their web-browser. Privileges and rights management are applied through the concept of Virtual Organizations. All system resources, from file to compute tools, file storage to cluster access is managed in such a way that users only see what they have the right to. CBRAIN allows scientists from around the World to share data, tools and compute resources.