Using a resource allocation

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Introduction to RAC[edit]

This page is a guide for Principal Investigators (PIs) who have applied to Compute Canada's Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC), a peer-reviewed process to grant priority access to storage and compute resources beyond what can be obtained via the Rapid Access Service.

For 2019, your award may have come from one of these competitions:

  • Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition
  • Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition
  • CFI Challenge 1 Competition

You will be notified shortly before the new RAC year of the results of your application. The RAC year typically begins the first week of April, so you should expect notification sometime in March. You and your sponsored users can begin to use the awarded resources at the beginning of the RAC year.

Projects, group names, and allocations[edit]

Compute Canada resources are made available to PIs through Resource Allocation Projects (RAP). Each RAP has a RAPI and an associated groupename.

In general, there are two main types to RAPs:

  • Default RAP: A default RAP is automatically created when a PI role is activated. Default and Rapid Access Service quotas for storage and cloud resources are managed via this default RAP. The Default RAP allows PIs and sponsored users to make opportunistic user of compute resources with the default (that is, the lowest) priority. The default RAPI typically takes the form abc-123-aa and has an associated group name that follows the convention def-profname.
  • RAC RAP: This RAP is created when the PI receives an award through the Resource Allocation Competitions. The RAC RAPI typically takes the form abc-123-ab, with an associated group name that follows the convention rrg-profname or rpp-profname for HPC resources, or cpp-profname or crg-profname for Cloud resources.

A RAC award consists of one or more allocations. Each allocation consists of a resource (such as "graham-cpu", "graham-gpu", "ndc-waterloo") and an amount, and has a designation like abc-123-aa-001.

You can find RAPIs and their corresponding group names and allocations by visiting the Account Details page of the CCDB site. See Running jobs: Accounts and projects for an illustration.

For more details about RAP and RAP memberships, visit the CCDB FAQ page

[edit]

Compute Canada accounts are per person: Account sharing is strictly forbidden. Each of your students, employees, or collaborators who will use the resources should therefore obtain their own account under your sponsorship. They should go to the Compute Canada database to register in their own name, using your CCRI to indicate your sponsorship when filling out the web form. You (the sponsor) will receive an e-mail with a link to click on to confirm the sponsorship of this individual. There is no limit on the number of sponsored accounts that a PI can have, but such sponsorship should only be in the context of a genuine and sustained research collaboration. More details on the process of obtaining a Compute Canada account are available here.

Information on each resource[edit]

For more information, please click on the tab below corresponding to where you have been granted resources. "General-purpose clusters" are Béluga, Cedar, and Graham. More than one tab may apply if, for example, you have been granted an allocation on both Niagara and a general-purpose cluster.

Who can use the allocation?[edit]

By default, every role that you have sponsored through your Compute Canada Database (CCDB) registration has access to your RAC award. Any co-PIs that were listed on your RAC application will also have access.

If desired, you can select which users may use your allocation. To do so:

1) Log in at https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/

2) From the "My Account" menu, select "Manage RAP Memberships." This will take you to https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/resource_allocation_projects/members. In the Resource Allocation Project (RAP) drop-down list on this page, select the RAP to which you want to add members.

3) To add a new member, go to "Add Members" and enter the CCRI of the user you want to add. Once added, you will see the new member highlighted in yellow.

4) If you add a new PI as a member, you can add any of their sponsored users or co-PIs at the same time. Go to "Add Members" and click on the "In bulk" link: this will take you to a new page where you can add all or several of the roles associated with that PI at once. If you do not see the name of the user that you are looking for in that list, then click on "Cancel" to go back to the RAP membership page and follow step 3.

RAP membership is represented as a group in LDAP. It defines a group of users that are authorized to submit jobs against the RAPI (which is the ID of the RAP) and share files within the same Unix group.

Using a compute allocation[edit]

When submitting jobs to the scheduler, users will need to specify a group name as the value of the --account option. Jobs pertaining to the research described in the RAC application should be submitted with the group name corresponding to the RAC award, e.g. --account=rrg-profname-ab. Jobs pertaining to other research should be submitted with the default group name, e.g. --account=def-profname.

See Running jobs: Accounts and projects for more details.

Using allocated storage[edit]

If you have substantial amounts of data to transfer to a Compute Canada cluster in order to use your storage allocation, we strongly recommend the use of Globus for this transfer.

/project[edit]

A /project storage allocation on a general-purpose cluster is created as a directory of the form /project/<group-name>, e.g. /project/rrg-profname-ab, and an associated quota defining the amount of data that can be stored in the directory. Files pertaining to the research described in the RAC application should be stored there by all sponsored users. More guidance on the use of /project space can be found at Project layout and Sharing data.

Note that you will also have default project space of the form /project/def-profname. You may wish to move data from that default project space to the RRG or RPP /project directory, if the data pertains to the research described in the RAC application.

/nearline[edit]

Please see Using nearline storage.

Who can use the allocation?[edit]

By default, every role that you have sponsored through your Compute Canada Database (CCDB) registration has access to your RAC award. Any co-PIs that were listed on your RAC application will also have access.

If desired, you can select which users may use your allocation. To do so:

1) Log in at https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/

2) From the "My Account" menu, select "Manage RAP Memberships". This will take you to https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/resource_allocation_projects/members. In the Resource Allocation Project (RAP) drop-down list on this page, select the RAP to which you want to add members.

3) To add a new member, go to "Add Members" and enter the CCRI of the user you want to add. Once added, you will see the new member highlighted in yellow.

4) If you add a new PI as a member, you can add any of their sponsored users or co-PIs at the same time. Go to "Add Members" and click on the "In bulk" link: this will take you to a new page where you can add all or several of the roles associated with that PI at once. If you do not see the name of the user that you are looking for in that list, then click on "Cancel" to go back to the RAP membership page and follow step 3.

RAP membership is represented as a group in LDAP. It defines a group of users that are authorized to submit jobs against the RAPI (which is the Id of the RAP) and share files within the same Unix group.

Using a compute allocation[edit]

When a user submits a job to the scheduler, the job will be assigned to the current allocation of the user's PI. If the user has more than one PI, i.e. more than one group, they must specify a group name as the value of the --account option.

See Running jobs: Accounts and projects for more details.

Using allocated storage[edit]

If you have substantial amounts of data to transfer to the cluster in order to use your storage allocation, we strongly recommend the use of Globus for this transfer.

/project[edit]

The location of a /project storage allocation on Niagara should be found by using the environment variable $PROJECT. This variable will point to a user-specific directory in the research group's project space.

/nearline[edit]

A /nearline allocation on Niagara means space in HPSS. Please see Using nearline storage.

Cloud resources allocated via the Rapid Access Service (RAS) use the default RAP.

Cloud resources allocated via the Resource Allocation Competitions are awarded through a RAC RAP which follows a different naming convention than default projects. The group name of RAC RAPs with cloud allocations typically takes the form of crg-profname (for cloud resources allocated via the RRG competition) or cpp-profname (for cloud resources allocated via the RPP competition).

Who can use the allocation?[edit]

If you have an active cloud resource allocation, you should already have a RAP and therefore access to the particular cloud on which you have an allocation.

  • Default RAP: Cloud resources granted to you via RAS are allocated through your default RAP. All your activated sponsored user roles are always members of your default RAP. That is, confirming sponsorship of a user confers on them membership in your default RAP. However, you can at any time deactivate any role you sponsor.
  • RAC RAP: By default, only the PI is added as a member of a RAP associated with cloud resources allocated via the Resource Allocation Competitions. If desired, you can add sponsored users and/or other active Compute Canada users as members to the RAP. Only members added to your RAP can use your cloud allocation.

If desired, you can select which users may use your allocation. To do so:

1) Log in at https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/

2) From the "My Account" menu, select "Manage RAP Memberships". This will take you to https://ccdb.computecanada.ca/resource_allocation_projects/members. In the Resource Allocation Project (RAP) drop-down list on this page, select the RAP to which you want to add members.

3) Go to "Add Members", and click on the "In bulk" link: this will take you to a new page that will allow you to easily add co-PIs and any of their associated sponsored users' roles.

4) If the "In bulk" page in step 3 above does not show the name of the user that you want to add, then click on "Cancel" to go back to the RAP membership page. Once there, go to the "Add Members" section, and enter the CCRI of the member in the "One by one using a CCRI" field.

5) Following step 4 will allow you to add an associated PI that was not included as co-PI in your RAC application. Once a new PI is added as a member to your RAP using this process, you will be able to add any of their associated sponsored user' roles through the "In bulk" mechanism explained in step 3.

Important:

  • Any new member added to a RAP for your cloud project will automatically has access to your cloud allocation. If desired, at any time you can promote members to Managers, or remove members.
  • Membership in your Cloud RAP allows full access to your OpenStack tenants. For more details about OpenStack projects visit this page: https://docs.computecanada.ca/wiki/OpenStack#Projects

For information about logging in and using a particular cloud see using the cloud. If you are unsure about your cloud allocation or if you have difficulty logging into a cloud where you have an allocation, please contact technical support.


Transition to RAC 2019 for previous RAC awards[edit]

Refer to THIS PAGE for information on the transition period for continuing, increased, or reduced allocations.

Resource Allocation Competition

Canada Foundation for Innovation

Resource Allocation Project Identifier

Compute Canada Data Base

Compute Canada Role Identifier

Rapid Access Service