Rapid Access Cloud — Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the Rapid Access Cloud?
How do I sign up?
Can I have more than one user account?
How do I login to the cloud?
How do I change my password? What if I forget my password?
Who do I speak to if I have questions of a technical / non-technical nature?
Where is the Rapid Access Cloud hosted?
Can I use the Rapid Access Cloud instead of DAIR?
How do DAIR and the Rapid Access Cloud differ?

Technical Questions

How do the Rapid Access Cloud and other commercial providers, such as Amazon Web Services, differ?
What platform does the Rapid Access Cloud run on?
What are the default resources available to new users?
What if I need more resources than the default quota?
What is the network connectivity to the Rapid Access Cloud?
I would like to test the ability to scale-up on the Rapid Access Cloud — can I do that?
How long will I be granted access to the Rapid Access Cloud?
Can I use IPv6 to access the Rapid Access Cloud?
Why can't I make images public on the Rapid Access Cloud?

What is the Rapid Access Cloud?

Cybera’s Rapid Access Cloud provides free cloud computing resources for Canadian academics, researchers, non-profits and other small to medium-sized organizations that are not covered by the national DAIR program.

The Rapid Access Cloud is geared towards the research and development of products that are dependent on, or could benefit from, cloud infrastructure. It is also available for rapid prototyping of experimental procedures. This allows users to test their new implementation ideas with virtually no capital investment, to evaluate ideas or procedures they wish to implement. The Rapid Access Cloud is not for hosting of production services on an ongoing basis.

How do I sign up?

Go to rac-portal.cybera.ca to create your user account. You will need a Google ID to sign up. Your username for the Rapid Access Cloud will automatically be set as the email address that you submit.

Can I have more than one user account?

Users are limited to one account only and using multiple email addresses to obtain multiple accounts is not permitted. If you need additional resources, please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.

How do I login to the cloud?

Go to cloud.cybera.ca and log in with the username (which is your email address) you generated at the Rapid Access Cloud portal.

How do I change my password? What if I forgot my password?

You can change your password on by logging into the Rapid Access Cloud portal and clicking on your username in the top right (beside the "sign out" link). Under Settings, choose "change password".

If you forget your password, please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.

Who do I speak to if I have questions of a technical / non-technical nature?

Please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.

Where is the Rapid Access Cloud hosted?

The Rapid Access Cloud is hosted in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

Can I use the Rapid Access Cloud instead of DAIR?

SMEs can only be accommodated if they have already applied to CANARIE’s DAIR program and were not successful with their application.

How do DAIR and the Rapid Access Cloud differ?

The following is a summary of the two cloud offerings:

 

Rapid Access Cloud

DAIR

Provider

Cybera

CANARIE

Hosted in

Canada

Canada

Target audience

Researchers, not-for-profits, anyone who wants to experiment with cloud computing

SMEs, not-for-profits, select researchers*

Cloud backend

OpenStack

OpenStack

Resources

Can change dynamically

Consistent throughout usage term

Applicable activities

Pre-profit development work and rapid prototyping carried out by Albertan organizations or researchers

Pre-profit development work carried out by Canadian organizations or researchers

*researchers funded through the NEP or RPI programs

Examples of use cases that would not be eligible for DAIR, but could potentially be eligible for the Rapid Access Cloud, include :

  • Projects that directly support cloud-based infrastructure innovation; DAIR infrastructure is not available for testing cloud innovation, just the cloud services provided by the infrastructure
  • Innovations that require large numbers of resources for short periods of time
  • Projects that require the ability to reconfigure and test new leading edge cloud configurations; DAIR (and other cloud services) are more conservative production class environments designed to continuously serve users
  • Interoperability testing with other prototyping and commercial cloud infrastructures in Alberta, and elsewhere
  • Instant "what-if" technology test scenarios by Alberta researchers and innovators that cannot wait for test-bed access

How do the Rapid Access Cloud and other commercial cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, differ?

The Rapid Access Cloud is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, just like Amazon Web Services. It enables the use of images, block storage, snapshots, and exporting of images. The Rapid Access Cloud also provides Object Storage similar to AWS's S3 service.

Unlike AWS, the Rapid Access Cloud does not provide Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or PaaS tools, such as Amazon RDS and Amazon DynamoDB.

What platform does the Rapid Access Cloud run on?

The Rapid Access Cloud utilizes OpenStack (Havana) to run its infrastructure for the cloud.

What are the default resources available to new users?

The default resources on the Rapid Access Cloud are as follows:

  • 8 vcores, 8 instances, 8 GB RAM, 10 volumes, 500 GB storage, 1 public IPv4 address
  • Each instance also gets 1 public IPv6 address automatically

What if I need more resources than the default quota?

Please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.

What is the network connectivity to the Rapid Access Cloud?

The Rapid Access Cloud is connected directly to Cybera’s high speed research and education network, CyberaNet. If you access the cloud from an institution connected to CyberaNet, your bandwidth connectivity should be excellent.

I would like to test the ability to scale-up on the Rapid Access Cloud — can I do that?

Yes, users are able to scale up on the Rapid Access Cloud. To access resources beyond your quota, please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators to discuss your use-case and determine an appropriate amount of resources and the timeframe for your work.

How long will I be granted access to the Rapid Access Cloud?

In general, users are restricted to up to one year of access to the Rapid Access Cloud. Should additional resources be required, contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.

Can I use IPv6 to access the Rapid Access Cloud?

Yes, the Rapid Access Cloud is fully IPv6 compatible. However, your internet connection may not be IPv6 compatible. If you would like to use IPv6 to access your instances, you can create an IPv6 tunnel such as through Hurricane Electric. For more information, see Cybera's explainer on IPv6 and the Cloud.

Why can't I make images public on the Rapid Access Cloud?

By default, any OS image uploaded to the Rapid Access Cloud cannot be made public to other users. However, sharing images between projects is possible using the glance member-* commands. If you have an image you’d like to share with all Rapid Access Cloud users, please contact the Rapid Access Cloud administrators.