Getting Access to SciNet Systems and Services

Any qualified researcher at a Canadian University are eligible to use SciNet’s Niagara supercomputer and related systems like HPSS and the Mist GPU Cluster, for free.

The students, post-docs, other group members, and external collaborators of qualified researchers can then also get an account, also, for free. Note that there are no ‘group’ login accounts, each individual should have their own login account.

To get access, one must first obtain a Alliance (formerly Compute Canada) account. The PI (Principle Investigator, a faculty member) of a group first applies for their Compute Canada account, after which group members can request accounts sponsored by that PI.

Here is a synopsis of the account application process:

  1. STEP 1: If you do not have an Alliance (formerly Compute Canada) account yet, get one as explained “Apply for an Account page on the Alliance website;
  2. STEP 2: Request access to Niagara and Mist: To enable your access to the Niagara supercomputer and the Mist GPU Cluster, click the “join” button on the CCDB opt-in page; you should receive an email within a day or two confirming your access to Niagara and Mist. Use of these systems is subject to the SciNet Acceptable Usage Policy.
  3. STEP 3: Create an SSH key pair: Upload the public key to CCDB and use the private key to login. Details of setting up SSH key authentication on Niagara are described on the SSH Keys page on the Alliance documentation site.

Note that accounts have default limits but those users with especially large resource requirements may apply for more resources in the annual national Resource Allocation Competition (RAC).