McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

General Computing: Computing and Data Storage

Workstations, Computing and Data Storage

More data. More computing resources. More results. We offer core services to all BIC users for data storage and accessing distributed computing resources.

Our IT management team supports over 350 active user accounts and 140 individual computers (workstations and rack-mounted servers) on our local network.


We configure and support high-end BIC Neuroimaging workstations for our users. Service includes expert consulting for workstation or data server specification, purchase, installation and maintenance (Linux). All workstation installations comprise a series of specialized software applications for neuroimaging research (MINC, SPM, FSL, AFNI, Brainstorm, etc.). Installation of additional software packages can be accommodated upon request.


  • Grid-computing cluster with more than 550 CPU cores in varying memory configurations (48 to 512 GB per server)
  • Dual-GPU adapter with 24 GB of memory yielding 4,992 NVIDIA CUDA cores
  • 3 Tesla C2070 adapters with 6 GB of memory each yielding 1,344 NVIDIA CUDA cores 
  • 40-core server for Virtual Machine provisioning, in order to provide researchers with compute and analytic tools for specific tasks and workflows that cannot be easily met with the existing core infrastructure.


  • Now exceeding 750 TB and building up to 1.5 PB of networked space (in situ and in the cloud)
  • Dell/EMC/Isilon cluster hosted in the BIC server room, composed at the moment of 5 Isilon storage nodes for a effective usable capacity of 500TB.
  • Can be seamlessly scaled up to 15PB in storage capacity
  • Access by the compute cluster nodes through a dedicated 10Gigabit/s fibre optic network.
  • Access from workstations through a 1Gigabit network provided by McGill IT services.
  1. Please consult the rates for our services.
  2. Then fill out the BIC neuroinformatics application form

Registration and payment are required to access the BIC's networked data storage resources and BIC Neuroimaging Workstation program.

Note that we may not be able to accommodate your request in its entirety in order to best respond to everyone's demand.

Payment for service is for 12 months and required at the time of registration. Trainees and staff need to coordinate with their Principal Investigator. For users on the McGill campus, please indicate a FOAPAL number for payment. For other users (including at the Douglas, RI-MUHC, JGH, etc.) please produce a purchase order and indicate the PO# in the form. 

For any questions and special requests, please data [at] (subject: BIC%20data) (contact us).

Please send IT support requests to the bicadminrt [at] (BIC Admins) email. You will immediately receive an automatic reply indicating the creation of a support ticket.

To obtain a BIC user account, the request must be made by your supervisor.

Help and How To information is also available on the BIC Forum. Please join and contribute to the community.

You can also subscribe to BIC announce mailing list. All new BIC users are automatically subscribed. You may unsubscribe by following the instructions at the bottom of each message sent to the list.

To search the list archive, you can use Google, adding site: to your search query.

In addition, many software and tools listed under Neuroinformatics have their own mailing list, forum or online documentation to help users. 

Connection to BIC Servers & Workstations

You can login to the BIC by using a secure, encrypted ssh session and connecting to host This host acts as a login gateway. No other hosts at the BIC permit external logins.

While logged inside the BIC, all workstations and some of the core servers can be accessed using a ssh connection. Note that all data servers have restricted access.

As for workstations, SSH connections from McGill subnets at large, McGill wireless and of course the BIC DHCP subnet are allowed. Security is enforced via PAM and fail2ban, so if you fail to type in a valid password, after the 3rd attempt within 10 minutes, the IP address from your incoming connection will be blackholed for 10 minutes. This is also true for

If you would like to connect to your personal workstation remotely, we support the use of x2go, using as a proxy server. Note that you cannot connect to directly while using x2go.


  • Use secure shell (SSH).

For these platforms, ssh should be installed by default, so just start up a shell and type:


As noted above, we support the use of x2go (for workstations only).


  • Use PuTTY.
  • One can also use Cygwin. Read Dale’s HowTo.
  • x2go as well (for workstations only) - see links above.

Web browser (Google Chrome only)

  • One can also run a ssh client inside a web browser - one is available for the Google Chrome website.
  • Type SSH in the search box and it should show up as the first item.
  • The client provides an xterm-compatible terminal emulator and stand-alone SSH client. It uses Native-Client to connect directly to ssh servers without the need for external proxies.





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