What storage is available?

Compute Canada account holders have access to a variety of storage resources across the available systems ranging from the 50GB of Dropbox-like storage via OwnCloud (see Cloud section for details) to petabytes of storage for large research projects. The exact amount of storage available depends on the system being used and whether the account holder has been allocated storage resources beyond the basic amounts available to all users.

To see what storage is available within each consortia visit:

Compute Ontario:


What security / FOIP protocols are followed?

All systems run firewalls with maximum restrictions set. Access through the firewall on open ports requires password and/or key-based authentication by default. The University of Alberta, WestGrid, and Compute Canada each have their own FOIP protocols that further control access to and use of the data on these systems.


How do I get access to storage resources?

The first step is to sign-up for a Compute Canada account. You can find the instructions to get both Compute Canada and WestGrid accounts here. Once this account is in place you will be able to access many of the HPC machines within the WestGrid and Compute Canada networks using a protocol called SSH (Secure Shell), a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. Having a WestGrid and Compute Canada account will get you access to a basic amount of available resources. If you require larger access to the available resources then you will need to submit an application to Compute Canada as part of a process known as the RAC (Resources Allocation Competition) or contact your local site rep to see if other options are available.


What back-up and archival storage options are available?

Back-up options for research data and other digital resources currently in use are available within current allocations. Archival (in perpetuity) storage is not something that Compute Canada, the consortia, or the members thereof typically offer at this time, although supporting this need in the future is being considered by all levels. Anyone interested in archival storage should contact the library of their local institution. Here at the University of Alberta a digital preservation program is in place and more information is available at


What support is available for storage?

Storage, like other services, is supported at the level of the consortia. Direct support is available via the email addresses for the appropriate consortium listed below: (Note that Calcul Québec offers email support by system while the other consortia use a single email to support all systems):

Calcul Québec:


What costs are associated with storage?

Use of the storage systems within the Compute Canada network is free for faculty and librarians at Canadian research institutions although use beyond basic amounts is subject to the RAC review process noted above. Find out more about RAC (Resources Allocation Competition).