NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

1999 User Survey Results

Consulting and Account Support


Very Satisfied 7
Mostly Satisfied 6
Somewhat Satisfied 5
Neutral 4
Somewhat Dissatisfied 3
Mostly Dissatisfied 2
Very Dissatisfied 1
No. of ResponsesAvg.'98/Change
Timely response to consulting questions 134 6.64  
Quality of technical advice from consultants 134 6.52 5.88/+0.64
Followup to initial consulting questions 106 6.43 5.57/+0.86
Response to special requests 103 6.28  
Ease of obtaining account information 124 6.26  
Ease of modifying account information 96 6.15  



Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Consulting Services - 36 responses

  • 22:     Provides good service
  •   6:     Commented on other topics
      • Provide more hours and more inodes.
      • Setcub is cryptic.
      • 16-bit integer support in the Cray compilers.
      • Problems with lost HPSS data and J90 checkpoint files.
  •   5:     Service is uneven, too slow
      • Was confronted in a somewhat threatening tone about my misbehaving application.
      • Problems with accounts at the start of FY 2000.
  •   3:     Haven't used
      • Since most of the information I needed was on the web.
  •   1:     They should know BASIS

Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Account Support Services - 25 responses

  • 14:     Provides good service
  •   7:     Could be improved
      • Would like to choose my username.
      • Put dates on emails.
      • Confusion about a T3E allocation.
      • ERCAP user lists confusing.
      • Took too long to get an inode increase.
      • Don't make us change passwords so often.
  •   2:     setcub improvements
  •   1:     Commented on other topics
      • Provide script for tracking progress of batch jobs.

Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Consulting Services - 36 responses

  • Provides good service:   22 responses

    Consulting staff seems to be the best and most helpful I have come across anywhere.

    Consulting stuff is very knowledgeable and very helpful, Thank you.

    We have recently had excellent support in porting a piece of our code that was bottlenecking on the T3E. It is quite unique and pleasant to get this level of support.

    I ask a lot of questions, and get a lot of good answers. The consultants answer in a timely fashion. Occasionally, I have had problems that were not completely resolved, but these are typically very technical problems for which I have found no better source of assistance.

    The consultants are certainly the strength of NERSC. I have found them attentive, professional, and very helpful.

    I have always been very satisfied with the level of support and assistance I've received from NERSC consulting staff.

    I was very satisfied because NERSC support staff sometimes just call you and fix the problems. I would suggest that this is the most efficient way to help users.

    Excellent service.

    Consultants are very good and responsive. I would like to particularly thank Tom DeBoni, he gave us very needed and prompt help every times we ask.

    Doing a great job!! Keep it up, and thanks for all the help!

    I am more than " Very Satisfied" with NERSC , and especially the Consulting Services headed by Ms. Francesca Verdier are the "best" feature of NERSC. In particular , I would like to mention Dr. Jonathan Carter, Dr. Richard Gerber, Dr. Harsh Anand who have been most helpful in resolving problems I encountered while using the supercomputing facilities ( which are second to none!) at NERSC. I am very much indebted to Dr. Carter and Francesca Verdier for their help, advice and guidance without which I could not have achieved much.

    Prompt, timely, friendly and knowledgeable services and staff

    The NERSC consultants have always been professional and friendly when answering my questions.

    They are doing a great job. I have never had a problem reaching someone to help me out. THANKS FOR A GREAT JOB.

    Generally helpful. [...]

    I was exceptionally pleased with Frank Hale.

    Keep up the good work.

    The consulting service is to be highly commended. I have always received A+++ service

    I would especially single out the help given by Jonathan Carter, in helping myself and group members in running quantum chemistry codes and assisting to solve problems relating to software and hardware.

    Great attitude. Nice people to deal with. Very knowledgeable. Very patient.

    Their services are very helpful.

    great, and hope to keep on that.


  • Commented on other topics:   6 responses

    More hours of availability please!When

    my only real gripe is the i-node quota.

    I never really know what I'm doing with setcub, and the man page is not too helpful. I often have the feeling that units mysteriously appear and disappear.

    It would be nice if there were a 16 bit integer available in the Cray compiler, but apparently that is not possible.

    I lost several times some data stored on HPSS. I also encountered some problems to run jobs on J90 for saving checkpoint files.

    I don't think the PC-Mac support group falls into this category, but the only thing I'm displeased with regarding NERSC services has been the support I've received from that group. I think they may be understaffed, but I've had really slow response times to my requests. I'm not saying that they are not qualified for the job, but just that they take too long to attend requests.


  • Service is uneven, too slow:  5 responses

    very uneven response quality, depending on who you talk to.

    Service is very dependent on who it is that answers the phone.

    Some consultants are VERY good, others are not quite into the big league yet

    My initial encounter with consulting services was unfortunate. I was having difficulty managing a complicated application, and was called by a consulting services member who confronted me with a challenging and somewhat threatening tone. (My application, in failing, was wasting CPU cycles [though not many, as I was frequently monitoring its progress]. This was noted by the consultant.) Following this incident, however, I received helpful and respectful advice from another consultant, and was able to improve the application.

    We have some difficulties at the beginning of FY2000 which non-PIs of continuing accounts getting their setcub ceiling reset to zero. Then they were prohibited from running batch. It took several calls and days to get this resolved.


  • Haven't used:  3 responses

    I haven't used the consulting services to any significant degree.

    I am a very new user, and have not yet had the opportunity to call upon your services.

    I have not used NERSC consulting services for technical questions since most of the information I needed was available on the web.


  • they should know BASIS:  1 response

    Generally helpful. Wisded staff had more knowledge of BASIS

Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Account Support Services - 24 responses

  • Provides good service:  14 responses

    When our proposal was late (due to jury duty), NERSC called and was able to accommodate us. This flexibility and courtesy is terrific.

    Your doing a great job from my perspective.

    Same as above. [I was very satisfied because NERSC support staff sometimes just call you and fix the problems...]

    The account support personnel are straightforward, professional, friendly, available ... what more could a user want?

    Same as consulting. [Doing a great job!! Keep it up, and thanks for all the help!]

    excellent service.

    They are real professionals and iron out problems very fairly and quickly. Congratulations for a work well done!

    Prompt, timely, friendly, approachable and extremely helpful services and staff

    They have always responded quickly when I needed account help.

    I've always been 100% satisfied by their help.

    ibid [They are doing a great job....]


    Keep up the good work.

    Their services are very helpful.


  • Could be improved:  7 responses

    I was told I couldn't change my account name from "xxxxx",
    which I find awkward, to "xxxxa", which is what I use everywhere
    else. I use ssh for good security, and having different usernames
    makes this a real hassle for me.

    When you send out multiple form letters with superseding account information, please put the DATES on them so users can look back and figure out what changed when

    Responses from account services are typically rather slow. I spent an afternoon trying to assess the state of our account, having spoken with a member who did not understand the details of T3E allocation. Information of the NERSC webpage was at odds both with his misunderstanding and with the true details.

    The web pages for new allocations this year were somewhat confusing, in terms of listing old/new people and old/new repo accounts.

    for most issues, support has been very forthcoming. But for one issue in particular, everyone in our group cannot seem to get response. The inode limit on one machine (the T3E) is far too stringint for us to get much work done. Support services claims to be looking into alternatives, but our groups waits and waits....

    It would be nice if we did not have to change passwords so often. Fortunately consulting seems to know.

    Improve the above.


  • setcub improvements:  2 responses

    It would be nice if the setcub view command showed the units by default so that I don't have to remember if they are minutes or seconds.

    I'd like to have a command within SETCUB that gives me the usage of all members of my repo within a given period of time. Something like: usage repo=xxx since=xxx end=xxx members


  • Commented on other topics:  1 responses

    I would like to see a simple to use script that would track the jobs of a given user on the SV1 cluster, instead of having to go looking for them with qstat and other commands that require remembering a number of flags or checking pages of documentation every time. Something like "Show jobs" or "whereare myjobs"