NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2013 User Survey Text

Section 1: Overall Satisfaction with NERSC

For each item you use, please indicate both your satisfaction and its importance to you.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?How important is this to you?
Overall satisfaction with NERSC
NERSC services
NERSC computing resources
NERSC data resources
HPC software
How long have you used NERSC?
Less than 1 year 1 year - 3 years More than 3 years

Section 2: HPC Resources

Please rate the NERSC systems or resources you have used.

Cray XE6: Hopper
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Batch wait time
Batch queue structure
Ability to run interactively
Scratch configuration and I/O performance
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Cray XC30: Edison
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Batch wait time
Batch queue structure
Ability to run interactively
Scratch configuration and I/O performance
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IBM iDataPlex Linux Cluster: Carver
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Batch wait time
Batch queue structure
Ability to run interactively
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Parallel Distributed Systems Facility: PDSF
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Batch queue structure
Ability to run interactively
Disk configuration and I/O performance
Connection to external data repositories
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JGI Cluster: Genepool
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Batch wait time
Batch queue structure
Ability to run interactively (gpints, genepool login nodes, qlogin)
File system configuration and I/O performance
Data storage, archiving, and retrieval
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GPU Testbed: Dirac
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Ability to run interactively
Disk configuration and I/O performance
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High Performance Storage System: HPSS
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Reliability (data integrity)
Data transfer rates
Data access time
User interface (hsi, pftp, ftp)
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Global Homes File System
In 2009 NERSC implemented Global Homes, where all NERSC computers (except PDSF) share a common home directory. Previously, each system had a separate, local home file space.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Reliability (data integrity)
File and directory (metadata) operations
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NERSC /project File System
The NERSC "Project" file system is globally accessible from all NERSC computers. Space in /project is allocated upon request for the purpose of sharing data among members of a research group.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Reliability (data integrity)
I/O bandwidth
File and directory (metadata) operations
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NERSC Global /projectb File System
The NERSC "Projectb" file system is accessible from all NERSC systems except PDSF. Space in /projectb is dedicated to serve the JGI Bioinformatics community.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Reliability (data integrity)
I/O bandwidth
File and directory (metadata) operations
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Global Scratch File System
Carver and Dirac use the Global Scratch file system as their only $SCRATCH file system. Global scratch is also accessible from Hopper and Edison as $GSCRATCH.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall satisfaction
Uptime (Availability)
Reliability (data integrity)
I/O bandwidth
File and directory (metadata) operations
 [Back to list of systems]
If you use global scratch from Hopper and/or Edison, why do you find it useful?
NERSC Network
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Network performance within NERSC (e.g. Hopper to HPSS)
Remote network performance to/from NERSC (e.g. Hopper to your home institution)
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NX Server (X-Accelerator)
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Overall Satisfaction
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Section 3: Software

Please rate software on NERSC systems. For each of the software categories below, consider availability, usability, and robustness of the software.

NERSC Software
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Programming environment
Applications software
Programming libraries
Performance and debugging tools
Visualization software
Data analysis software

Section 4: Services

HPC Consulting
For each item you use, please indicate both your satisfaction and its importance to you.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Consulting overall
Quality of technical advice
Response time
Time to solution
Special requests (e.g. disk quota increases, etc.)
On-Line Help Desk
Accounts and Allocations
For each item you use, please indicate both your satisfaction and its importance to you.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
Account support and passwords
NIM web accounting interface
Allocations process
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Communications
The following questions relate to how you keep informed of NERSC changes and current issues.
Please rate:How useful is this to you?
MOTD (Message of the Day) on the computers
E-mail announcements
Live Status
Do you feel you are adequately informed about NERSC changes?
Yes No
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Training
For each item you use, please indicate both your satisfaction and how useful it is to you.
Please rate:How satisfied are you?How useful is this to you?
Web tutorials
Getting Started Guide
Training Events
Video Tutorials
Archived Presentation Slides
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NERSC Web Site
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
NERSC web site overall
Ease of navigation
Timeliness of information
Accuracy of information
Live Status
My NERSC
Searching
Ease of use with mobile devices
Mobile Web Site (m.nersc.gov)
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What additional services or information would you like to have on the NERSC web site?

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Security
Please rate:How satisfied are you?
NERSC Security
Data Analytics and Visualization
Please rate:How satisfied are you?How important is this to you?
Data analytics and visualization assistance (one-on-one)
Ability to perform data analysis
NERSC Science Gateways
NERSC databases
Where do you analyze data produced by your NERSC jobs?
All at NERSC Most at NERSC
Half at NERSC, half elsewhere Most elsewhere
All elsewhere I don't need data analysis or visualization
Comments
What additional data analysis or visualization services would you like NERSC to provide?

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Section 5: Future Systems and Data

 
HPC architectures in the coming years are expected to rely heavily on processors that contain many, light-weight, low-power compute cores. This shift away from traditional "heavy-weight" processing units may require a fundamental change in the way you write your programs and run your jobs. Another trend in HPC is the growing importance of data. In this section, we are gathering information that we hope will help us help you transition to the many-core era and make sure we meet your data needs.
Accelerators and Many-Core
Do your codes use any of the following (anywhere, not just at NERSC)? Check all that apply.
Technologies
GPUs Intel Xeon Phi (MIC) IBM Cell FPGAs Hardware Multi-Threading
Programming Models
OpenMP CUDA CUDA Fortran OpenCL OpenACC CAPS HMPP
Coarray Fortran UPC Intel TBB Intel Cilk pthreads thrust
other
What are your plans for transitioning to a many-core archicture like GPUs or Intel Phi? How much of your code can use vector units or processors?

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How can NERSC help you make the transition to many-core?

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Job Workloads
How important is it to you to be able to run the following types of jobs?
Please rate:How important is this to you?
Massively parallel jobs
Ensembles of low to medium concurrency parallel jobs
Serial jobs
Interactive jobs
Data
How important are each of the following to you?
Please rate:How important is this to you?
I/O bandwidth to local disk
Ability to checkpoint your jobs
Live storage space (real-time access, e.g. disk)
Archival storage space (e.g. long-term tape storage)
Metadata performance (changing or reading information about files)
Science Data Gateways (see portal.nersc.gov)
Data management tools
Access to databases at NERSC
Access to a large shared-memory system for data analysis & visualization
Analytics and visualization assistance from NERSC
Long-term data retention
Access to your data over the web
NERSC assistance defining or implementing a data management plan

Section 6: Comments

What does NERSC do well?
Does NERSC provide the full range of systems and services you need to meet your scientific goals? If not, what else do you need?
If there is anything important to you that is not covered in this survey, please tell us about it here.