NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2004 User Survey Results

HPC Consulting


SatisfactionAverage Score
Very Satisfied 6.50 - 7.00
Mostly Satisfied 5.50 - 6.49
Significance of Change
significant increase
not significant

Satisfaction with HPC Consulting

7=Very satisfied, 6=Mostly satisfied, 5=Somewhat satisfied, 4=Neutral, 3=Somewhat dissatisfied, 2=Mostly dissatisfied, 1=Very dissatisfied


ItemNum who rated this item as:Total ResponsesAverage ScoreStd. Dev.Change from 2003
Timely initial response to consulting questions       1 5 38 125 169 6.70 0.55 0.15
HPC Consulting overall       3 4 38 132 177 6.69 0.60 0.35
Followup to initial consulting questions       4 5 34 122 165 6.66 0.66 0.17
Amount of time to resolve your issue     1 5 6 36 118 166 6.60 0.75 0.24
Quality of technical advice       4 7 42 112 165 6.59 0.69 0.05
Software bug resolution     2 11 7 33 47 100 6.12 1.08 0.48


Comments about Consulting:   46 responses

35   Good service
4   Mixed evaluation
3   Unhappy
3   Didn't use
Good service:   35 responses

Everyone I have ever spoken with has been great.

Outstanding quality. There is very little I could add to this.

We have had nothing but good experiences. Keep up the good work!

The quality of NERSC's consulting service is what puts it at the top of the supercomputing centers.

Don't use very much since I have local experts, but generally have favorable impression.

NERSC consulting is the strength of the facility

Generally consultants do a very good job and are of great help.

David Skinner's help has been essential to the progress of our INCITE project. He really has been extremely supportive and responsive, and has helped us look at our code in detail, has implemented parts of it, and has fixed bugs and improve performance.

I have only good things to say about NERSC consulting. They are prompt, anticipate problems and bend over backwards even when I've done stupid things.

I'm very pleased with the pdsf team. Iwona is great.

Good job!

The NERSC consulting team has done everything I could ask of it. From a user standpoint, I can't think of a way it needs to be improved.

I have nothing but praises for the PDSF support staff. Great job!

The quality and timeliness of PDSF and NERSC support in general have been a critical factor in making our investment in NERSC worthwhile.

I have been uniformly impressed by the consulting services at NERSC for over 25 years.

When I first applied to NERSC to create my new group (EUSO) I had never really worked with NERSC before. Iwona Sakrejda explained to me what all the procedures were, helped me complete the right forms and came back and sat with me once the group was created to get my user environment set up correctly. She put in a lot of effort to make this all happen fast and smoothly and I really appreciate everything she did. Thank you Iwona. [PDSF user]

always a pleasure to work with [PDSF user]

was extremely happy with the quickness and effectiveness of NERSC's response to my requests for help. Keep up the good work.

These guys have been great. I'd be lost without them.

They're great.

Every time I've had to contact someone for help, they always came through, and in a very short period of time. [PDSF user]

Support is always timely and professionally handled. It's a pleasure to work with NERSC consulting. This is part of what makes NERSC a valuable resource.

Good Job!

Things DON'T fall through the cracks. Good followup, and pro-activity.

First rate service - please keep up the good work...

I think you have a wonderful system of consulting, I have always found the help I need for any problem I have ever had. I would like to specially comment on the work done by David Skinner, he has been of invaluable help for our project, he has always been in great disposition of helping us. He has always helped us and even pointed out new improvements we may do to our code that we were not even aware of. I think interacting with him has been of great use for us. He has always been very fast and precise in responding to our needs.

David Skinner has devoted a substantial amount of his time to helping us optimize our code for Seaborg. David constructed the zori module (which makes compiling and using Zori on Seaborg much more convenient), added parallel I/O using the HDF library and helped steer our development with extensive profiling.

David Skinner and Christina have been providing very useful help with the INCITE project. They facilitated the enhancement of the mpi parallelization of our group's code, and the visualization of our results.

The only person I have consulted thus far is Francesca Verdier, who has been very responsive and helpful.

My use of consulting has generally been routed to PDSF people, and has been good.

Great, especially compared to places like NPACI.

For as long as I have been associated with NERSC the quality of its consulting staff has been one of its strongest virtues, even more so than its hardware. Based on my most recent experiences this continues to be the case.

NERSC consulting has very good, very responsive consistently over time.

The staff are very competent and friendly, and generally a credit to NERSC. [PDSF user]

We have been very much satisfied with the assistance that we have received from the user services group. It has been prompt and quite helpful.

Mixed evaluation:   4 responses

The email responses to consulting questions are prompt. But the overall resolution is not prompt. It takes so long that some times the issues are resolved by other means.

Questions concerning passwords were handled very promptly. One question concerning software could have been addressed better by simply referring me to the developers of the package.

While the consultants try to be helpful, and they are for smaller problems, the major software bugs in the past couple years for the M3D code were resolved only by eventual upgrades to the operating system. They involved interaction of MPI or PETSc with C or Fortran code. The consultants were unable to debug them, in part because of the large size of the code, which they had trouble running. Also, the available debug tools are not very effective for very large and complicated codes.

Sometimes, NERSC consultants provide very valuable advice. But they have dropped the ball and don't followup especially after a few e-mail exchanges. There is too much readiness to assume the problem has been solved or abandoned.

Unhappy:   3 responses

The NERSC consulting stuff should be augmented by a C++ expert!

NERSC consulting staff often to not take me seriously enough at first. In the last year, I needed more disk space to run jobs for the IPCC initiative that our group is working on. I applied for more disk space, and the consultant was incredulous. I asked him to forward it anyway, and when he did, the request was approved. I met a similar response when I encountered a bad node. I saw a serious slow down on one of my runs, and reported the bad node. The consultants didn't believe me at first, but systems did in fact locate a bad node.

They have resolved (not resolved) about 50% of the questions/problems I have reported.

Didn't use:   3 responses

I never sought advice at HPC, so I cannot comment. However everything worked fine from the beginning.

There is a HPC consulting???????? Glad to hear about this, I will give you my feeling about this next year. [new user]

Have not used any consulting services this year