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Rapid Access Service

Our Rapid Access Service (RAS) allows Principal Investigators (PIs) to request a modest amount of storage and cloud resources without having to apply to the Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC). Many research groups can meet their needs by using the Rapid Access Service only.

Compute resources are available only for opportunistic use (no priority) to anyone with an active CCDB account. If you need a CPU or GPU allocation (priority), or require larger quantities of storage and cloud resources than what is available via RAS, you must apply to one of our Resource Allocation Competitions. (See additional information about Allocations and compute scheduling).

PIs with a current RAC allocation are still able to request resources via RAS.

Please consult the Technical Glossary if you have questions about any of the terminology used in the page below.

General questions can be emailed at any time to

Storage resources available via RAS

CCDB users have access to different storage resources on most national systems without a RAC application. Visit this page for details about quotas available via RAS.

Please note:

  • Storage resources are only accessible with an active CCDB account.
  • /HOME and /SCRATCH storage are not allocated through RAC.
  • For details about cloud storage available via RAS, visit this page.
How to request RAS storage resources

PIs can request storage resources available via RAS by sending an email to

Cloud resources available via RAS

PIs may request access to modest amounts of cloud resources at any time and allow others with CCDB accounts to access these resources. To see resource limits that can be requested through RAS see the cloud RAS documentation on our technical wiki. For details on how to make a request for new, or access to, existing resources see the cloud documentation on our technical wiki.

If you have questions or need help, please contact


The following policy will be in effect starting April 1, 2024.


HPC resources available



PIs can request a maximum of 40 TB of project storage and 100 TB of nearline storage in any General Purpose cluster without submitting a RAC application. The storage resources can be requested all in one cluster or split across multiple clusters, but the total amount across all clusters must not exceed 40 TB of project storage or 100 TB of nearline storage. Resources allocated via RAS will be available in the Default Resource Allocation Project (RAP).

After certain amount, a justification for the requested storage resources must be provided:


No justification required

Justification required





Project storage: 

10 TB or less 


Nearline storage: 

25 TB or less

Project storage: 

Between 11 and 40 TB 


Nearline storage: 

Between 26 and 100 TB 

Niagara and HPSS

RAS storage not available

RAS storage not available


How to request storage resources

Only PIs can request storage resources via RAS. To do so, please send an email to with the appropriate justification when required.

Please note: Some storage resources are made available in the Default RAP to PIs immediately after creating an Alliance account on CCDB. These resources are also available to all the users sponsored by that PI. Visit this page for details about the storage resources available by default.



CPU resources are available for opportunistic use to all research groups with an active Alliance account. The great majority of jobs submitted this way get executed, albeit with sometimes a lower priority than jobs submitted with a RAC allocation. 

Starting on April 1, 2024, research groups with an Alliance account needing CPU resources may be able to use, on average, up to 200 core years on each cluster with their Default RAP. Note that 200 core years is a variable target: it is not a reservation nor a cap, which means that research groups could utilize more or less than that amount depending on the shape and size of the jobs and on the overall utilization of the cluster. 

Most research groups are able to meet their need for CPU resources by submitting jobs opportunistically with their Default RAP and without having to apply for the RAC. Jobs with large memory requirements may take longer to run: in those cases, applying for RAC may be the best option if the amount of CPU resources needed exceeds the minimum required to apply.

Please read about Allocations and compute scheduling. This information can help you better understand how jobs are scheduled in our clusters and how CPU usage is charged.


GPU resources are available for opportunistic use to all research groups with an active Alliance account. 

The demand for GPUs is increasing quickly with the advances in Artificial Intelligence. The availability of GPU resources varies greatly over the year, becoming more limited in periods preceding major conferences. 

We cannot therefore guarantee any amount of resources available to each group for opportunistic use, especially during times of high demand. Users with a RAC award should be able to consistently use their allocated amount. 


Cloud resources available

PIs may request access to modest amounts of cloud resources at any time and allow others with an Alliance account to access these resources within the limits detailed in the cloud RAS documentation. You may request RAS cloud resources using this form.

If you have questions or need help, please contact