New User Access Guide

The Compute Canada Federation 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.


If you are a new user, this page will guide you through the access options we offer.

Please consult our Technical Glossary if you have questions about any of the terminology below. General questions can be emailed to our support team

Get started

First, we strongly recommend you go through the Getting started page on our technical wiki. It gives you a lot of useful information and links to technical documentation you’ll need to start using our resources.

How to access resources

1. Create an account: To access any of our ARC resources, you must first obtain an 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 account. This allows users to experiment and start working right away.

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:

More details on the RAC are available on this page.