NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2000 User Survey Results

Consulting and Account Support


SatisfactionAverage ScoreSignificance of Change
Very Satisfied 6.5 - 7   not significant
Mostly Satisfied 5.5 - 6.4

Consulting Services / Account Support Satisfaction Frequency Histogram Plots

QuestionResponsesAvg. (1-7)Std. Dev.Change from '99
Timely response to consulting questions 100 6.63 0.73 -0.01
Quality of technical advice from consultants 99 6.49 0.80 -0.03
Followup to initial consulting questions 84 6.42 0.96 -0.01
Ease of obtaining account information 83 6.34 0.95 0.08
Response to special requests 74 6.16 1.19 -0.12
Ease of modifying account information 68 5.93 1.27 -0.22

Summary of Comments

Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Consulting Services: 23 responses

15 good service
4 improve follow-up
4 improve quality of response

Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Account Support Services: 16 responses

8 good service
4 suggested enhancements
3 needs improvement


Individual Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Consulting Services: 23 responses

good service

Your web pages on how to do things are great. [...]

I am especially pleased with NERSC consulting services. Every technical problem I have encountered has been remedied rather quickly and in a professional manner.

excellent jobs, even better than my Lab.

You guys have always been a pleasure to deal with.

good people, good attitude, responsive

I receive lots of very helpful information from the consultants.

The consulting people are always available and very helpful. Thank you for your effort.

Keep up the good work!

Keep up the excellent and knowledgeable work

Consulting services are good.

very good services

keep up the good work

I have been most satisfied with the help (but this category is not in the questionaire) I got from NERSC consulting , as without the help and advice of David Turner,Harsh Anand, Tom DeBoni ,Majdi ,Drs. Jonathan Carter and Richard Gerber , I would not have been able to perform the "the most gargantuan" calculations I have ever performed. These calculations would have been unthinkable on any supercomputer facility anywhere in the world, as it required about 70-80 Gb disk, 256-512 RAM and about 200 CPU hrs per run on a Cray J90! My sincerest thanks to all in the Consulting , and especially Ms. Francesca Verdier for her excellent guidance and advice throughout my usage of NERSC facilities for over 5 years.

improve follow-up

Generally excellent although I had to call twice for the same question and nobody got back to me with an answer or even saying that they were still working on it.

[...] Response times could be better.

Would be nice to have a list of consultant's email addresses available. Will be helpful especially for follow-up question(s).

As a result of last year's survey, I was contacted by a consultant to help port a PVP code to the T3E. She was very friendly but over the months that past, nothing was ever done. I contacted her every few weeks, and she said she would soon get to it, then the SP came, and she was overwhelmed. Eventually, I learned that she no longer had a valid email address at NERSC/LBL, and thus I assume she left the company. I do not expect that NERSC carry the load for me of learning to work with the T3E, but once the contact was made, help offered, etc, it seems poor form not to carry out what was offered. Through out last year I delayed investigating certain aspects of porting my code because of the continued assumption of help from her. Once again, I do not assume that NERSC is responsible for helping me, but the way in which the promised help never materialized contributed negatively to my needed migration of codes to the mpp environment.

improve quality of response

In general, 90% of my questions are answered quickly and accurately. My only "complaint" is it would be nice to have every single consultant versed in every possible oddity and detail of F90 and debuggers on every single platform (unfortunately, there seem to C/C++ users requiring support too!).

[...] Your consultants often don't have answers to my questions and seem unable to get them.

Consultants had the tendency to blame problems on the code, and not help with problems that lie in the NERSC hardware and software. For example, we had trouble porting a code to the NERSC SP3 that ran successfully on the NIST SP3.

As always, it depends on who answers the phone. [...]


It would be nice to have after hours consulting available, especially for those in other time zones

Please give more default disk space

I have not used the consulting services in a long time.


Individual Comments and suggestions regarding NERSC Account Support Services: 16 responses

good service

Also of very high quality.

I have had the best possible help if I ran into problems, and I am grateful to the personnel in the Account Support Services.

keep up the excellent and timely work

I am very satisfied with the NERSC Account Support Services

very good.

keep up the good work

Account support people are always there for us too. Thanks.

suggested enhancements

The robustness of the allocation process could be enhanced by allowing for the submission of non-native documents (PDF,Word Doc,txt) files to the allocations committee. With the current web-only interface one faces the difficult task of discussing the theoretical framework of the calculations with no equations to support the text. It would seem reasonable to expect that PDF files be used as an alternative standard to the web-only interface.

The new web site seems to be a good idea. Why not give summary information on default repo on login that way you immediately see your repo status.

More aggressively notify abnormally rapid decrease of resources. I used up IBMSP resources in very short time using wrong priority by mistake. If some warning can be made, this may not have occurred.

I have not yet learned how to use the full functionality of the replacement to setcub

needs improvement

Getting an account set up used to take 24 hours. Lately, it has been taking much longer and has always required us calling NERSC to get the account information. We also have to deal with multiple people at NERSC when asking for both T3E and SP accounts.

Try not to forget to get back to your users even if you cannot find the answer to their initial question.

Account support services are poor.