NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2002 User Survey Results

Visualization and Grid Computing

  • Are you a current user of visualization services at NERSC?
  • If not, what are your reasons for not using visualization services at NERSC?
  • On which of the following platforms do you prefer to use viz tools?
  • Do you plan to use any Grid applications this year? Which ones?   55 responses
  • Other reasons given for not using NERSC visualization services   40 responses
  • Which Grid applications do you plan to use this year?   14 responses
  • What services, features, or functionality would you like to see available on the DOE Science Grid?   16 responses

 

 

Are you a current user of visualization services at NERSC?

Answer No. of Responses
No 238
Yes 10

 

 

If not, what are your reasons for not using visualization services at NERSC?

Reason No. of Responses
I don't need visualization for my project 127
Don't know about services or can't find information 87
Network is too slow 35
Other 32
Software not applicable to my domain or software doesn't do what I want it to do 10

Other reasons given for not using NERSC visualization services:   40 responses

27   I do visualization at my local institution / remote user
7   Project isn't yet ready to do visualizations
3   Network is too slow
3   I don't know what is available at NERSC
2   Software not available at NERSC
2   NERSC software is too hard to us
2   I don't do visualizations

 

 

On which of the following platforms do you prefer to use viz tools?

Platform No. of Responses
Your desktop 88
Seaborg 50
Newton 10
Escher 9
Other 4

 

 

Do you plan to use any Grid applications this year? Which ones?   55 responses

Use Grid?  No. of Responses
No 36
Maybe 11
Yes 8

 

 

7   Globus Toolkit
7   Data services
4   Processor / queuing services
4   General interest in the Grid
2   Network support and open ports

 

 

What services, features, or functionality would you like to see available on the DOE Science Grid?   16 responses

4   Data services
4   Processor / queuing services
4   Network support
2   Globus Toolkit
1   Ease of use

 

 


Other reasons given for not using NERSC visualization services:   40 responses

 

I do visualization at my local institution / remote user:

I usually use the visualization tools on my desktop

I do visualization on local computers

... Easeier to transfer numbers and use local workstation to plot. ...

We use the visualization tools in our own laboratory systems.

Remote user (BNL)

Just used to use my PC for visualization

We have our own home grown viz tools

I did visualization on my local computer.

I have all my own visualization software on my local machine

Prefer storing, visualizing data locally. (Typical dataset sizes < 25 MB).

We have pretty adequate visualization capabilities on our local cluster.

My viz needs will be handled elsewhere

I use local visualization tools at pppl.

We use our specific visualization program for investigation of cardiac processes

have my own visualization, albeit not great...

Simply used to my own tools I use on other machines

Whatever visualization we need to do for our project, we do on our local resources.

We use our own program for viusualization and I was not aware of the visualization services at NERSC.

I use locally developed visual and post-processing tools. ...

... Currently I use perl/gnuplot scripts that I've written rathen than NERSC visulization services. ...

My visualization needs are largely met from other sources.

We have excellent visualization software on our local LINUX workstations. No need for visualization at NERSC (we transfer visualization output files back to local workstations).

Have own facilities available

I rely on our own team's local expertise.

As a member of a large computational project, I have access to that project's visualization resources outside of NERSC. ...

prefer local visualization

I do visualization locally.

 

Project isn't yet ready to do visualizations:

Project is just developing need for visualization

So far I did not look for visualization services at NERSC, but I am planning to do so soon....

I began to use the computer less than a year. But I still have many problems to run my programs. Most my programs are running at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory but I am having problem even to make an executable file.

We are just not at the stage of our research were we need it. but when we do, we may use them, if our local resources do not suffice

Just haven't gotten to that point. We'll try to use.

I don't have time to investigate what softwares at NERSC may be useful to my projects.

Haven't felt the need yet for my project. But this will change soon.

 

Network is too slow:

... I do use gnuplot and sometimes xv in seaborg, for simple plotting, but I would not call that visualization, and the network/soft is too slow when the plot involves above of few hundred thousand points to do things interactively.

The network connection is too slow to allow for remote X connections. In the future I would like to try running the OpenDX server on seaborg and the client on my laptop. ...

I am interested in visualization, but in my experience rendering over the network is too slow.

 

I don't know what is available at NERSC:

Don't know what's available. ... I should take some time to investigate the services available.

Didn't know NERSC had any

... For other, smaller projects in which I am involved, it would be very useful to be able to use NERSC services and packages, since our group is too small to maintain our own computer for this kind of work. Quick and simple plotting packages on Seaborg are needed. NCAR graphics is a start. Packages should not be changed frequently as they have been in past years, since there are substantial learning curves and conversion costs.

 

Software not available at NERSC:

I may ask for an account in escher to do some vis of my atomistic simulations in the near future, but one of the main packages I use, rasmol, is not available there. ...

... However, for remote visualization it would be more useful to use gridftp to access the data on seaborg directly from my desktop. We didn't have the technology to do this during our last simulations but I would like to try it for the next one.

 

NERSC software is too hard to use:

Encountered difficulties getting graphics to display on local PC workstation. Easeier to transfer numbers and use local workstation to plot. On line documentation difficult to read and understand; hard to make high level decisions about which to use when there is so much minutia to wade through.

... Using viz at NERSC would be more attractive if the viz platforms mounted the Seaborg disks (home and scratch).

 

I don't do visualizations:

Others in my group do use the vis servers - I've concentrated on other matters.

My colleague does the visualization for our project.

 

 


Which Grid applications do you plan to use this year?   14 responses

 

Globus Toolkit:

Yes. Globus, GDMP, Condor, and tools from the SRM group.

Globus

gridftp, condor-g, globus

We are making increasing use of Grid technologies in our production physics code, and would like to be able to use - interactive monitoring and steering (requires open ports to the client tools) - real time visualization (requires open ports to client tools and GridFTP) - simulation compilation, management, tracking, etc through our Cactus grid portal (requires Globus GRAM, GSISSH, GSIFTP, open ports to portal, standard queues available to globus etc). - access to machine though Globus GSI tools (GSISSH, GSIFTP). - network monitoring using Network Weather Service (NWS)

I will probably use globus for a MHD code I have developed.

I use MDS+ which is part of the fusion grid. [MDS - Monitoring & Discovery Service - is a part of Globus]

Yes. Globus, EUDataGrid (WP1-JSS, WP2-Replica Service, GDMP,etc) GRAPPA, GANGA, Pacman, Netlogger

 

Data services:

Distributed data analysis seems to be what we're moving towards, but I haven't seen it happen yet. ...

I would like to access data for visualization on my desktop via gridftp.

... GDMP ... tools from the SRM group [GDMP: Grid Data Mirroring Package; the SRM group is the Storage Resource Management Middleware Project at LBNL; their tools are used to transfer files from Brookhaven to NERSC]

Maybe - use for transferring bulk data volumes to RCF [RCF: RHIC Computing Facilty at Brookhaven]

gridftp ...

If my data analysis benefits more, why not give it a try.

... EUDataGrid

 

Processor / queuing services:

... I would like to see examples of how the Grid might free up the analysis being tied to a given linux farm, of course the hope is to save time, but I haven't seen actual implementations.

... Condor ...

... condor-g ...

... GRAPPA, GANGA ... [GRAPPA: Grid Access Portal for Physics Applications - a portal for ATLAS physicists to easily submit jobs; part of GriPhyN - the Grid Physics Network Project; GANGA is another interface for managing jobs]

 

General interest in the Grid:

No definite plans at this point, but I'll try to follow what is available and see if it is relevant to my work.

We are interested in working on grid computing applications, but we are not sure if they will be suitable for our application.

Probably at some point for ALICE computing.

No. But I professionally want to get Grid applications enabled at NERSC. In the future, I plan to use SciDAC collabortory tools (CMCS) which is a grid application. [CMCS: Collaboratory for the Multi-scale Chemical Sciences]

 

Network support and open ports:

... interactive monitoring and steering (requires open ports to the client tools) - real time visualization (requires open ports to client tools and GridFTP) ... network monitoring using Network Weather Service (NWS)

... Netlogger

 

 

What services, features, or functionality would you like to see available on the DOE Science Grid?   16 responses

 

Data services:

 

My impression of the grid is that it's mostly for large collaborative projects. At this point, I, probably like many NERSC users work more in the mode as an inidividual researcher, only ocassionally accessing data from larger groups. If the grid allows me to more easily access this data, it would be of use. Also, there is the potential in the future that I may become more involved in larger collaborative code efforts (e.g., ISOFS, SCIDAC) and would be more involved in grid computing.

Mostly gridftp as we could use it to access data for visualization

VDT ... [Griphyn Virtual Data Toolkit]

Minimal security interferance with file and data movement.

 

Processor / queuing services:

Very fast interprocessor communication

Queing system, disc space, fortran77, perl

I would like to have access to a linux (intel) based cluster of reasonable size as NERSC resource. The prospect of having only an IBM cluster is somewhat dissatisfactory.

... Finally, if the grid gave me access to a wider range of parallel computing resources for my physics projects that would be quite useful.

 

Network support:

... Network support is also important and has been good.

... and a contact for dealing with any firewall issues which arise.

Direct, fast access to NERSC HPSS from ORNL. Direct, fast access to ORNL HPSS from NERSC. Fast connectivity between NERSC and ORNL HPSS.

... connectivity

 

Globus Toolkit:

metadata catalog, replica catalog, virtual organization (collaboration) membership servers, gram interface to PDSF, SRB

We would like to have the Globus toolkit and the NWS installed and supported,

 

Ease of use:

Ease of use, connectivity

 

Don't know / no need:

No comment

No requests at this time.

I do not know.

no need up to now

 

Other:

would like to see use of xmgr (xmgrace) on NERSC machines [xmgr is a plotting program; this response might have been intended for the Vis section]