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Compute Canada is dedicated to providing an Advanced Research Computing (ARC) platform that meets the needs of our diverse user community. In addition to existing support for large-scale research projects, Canada’s national ARC platform is capable of sustaining robust research for mid- and smaller-scale data-intensive projects, in any discipline.

Each year, Compute Canada allocates on average 80% of our compute and storage resources through the Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) and leaves roughly 20% for non-competitive requests. Users can access these non-competitive resources via our Rapid Access Service. (These percentages may change according to the demand.)

Please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary if you have questions about any of the terminology below. General questions can be emailed to support@computecanada.ca.

How to access Compute Canada resources

1. Create an account: To access any of our ARC resources, you must first obtain a Compute Canada account.

  • Access to cloud resources, via RAS or RAC, also requires access to a cloud project.  For more details on gaining access to a cloud project, see the cloud documentation on our technical wiki.

2. Default access: All users get access to a basic amount of resources upon the activation of their Compute Canada account. This allows users to experiment and start working right away.

  • Storage: see default storage quotas available.
  • Compute: CPU and GPU resources are available for opportunistic use (no priority).

3. Rapid Access Service (RAS): Principal Investigators can request additional storage and cloud resources without having to apply to the Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC), but compute priority can only be increased through RAC.

Many research groups can meet their needs through RAS alone. For more information, please visit our Rapid Access Service page.

4. Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC): These are peer-reviewed competitions for projects that need resources beyond what is available via RAS. There are two main competitions:

Due to the high demand for HPC resources created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be accepting out-of-round applications for the RAC until further notice.
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