Getting Access to SciNet Systems and Services

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

To get access, one must first obtain a 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. Click on the “Register” button on Compute Canada Database (CCDB) site; agree to the Compute Canada policies and Terms of Use; then fill out and submit a Compute Canada account application.
    • If registering as a PI, you’ll receive a Compute Canada account confirmation email with a Compute Canada Role Identifier (CCRI).
    • If registering as a group member sponsored by a PI, you should indicate on the application form that you are a “Sponsored User”, and enter the PI’s CCRI. The PI will receive a request by email to approve the account application.
  2. 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.

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).

Finally, if you are part of a SOSCIP project (see, that needs to get access to legacy SOSCIP resources, such as the Legacy SOSCIP GPU Cluster hosted at SciNet, you need to apply for an additional local SciNet account. Log into the CCDB, go to the “Apply for a Consortium Account” item under the “My Account” menu, and click on the “Access to Legacy SOSCIP” button next to SciNet. After a few days, you will be notified by e-mail when the local account has been set up. This method of access will be phased out in the near future as the legacy systems are decommissioned.