2015 NERSC User Survey Results
User satisfaction remained high in 2015 according to the 606 users who responded to the annual NERSC user survey. The survey was conducted from December 2, 2015 through January 14, 2016 and all active NERSC users were invited to participate.
The survey asks users to rate NERSC on a number of different topics, using a scale of 1 to 7, where 7 indicates "Extremely Satisfied" and 1 represents "Extremely Dissatisfied."
On the single most comprehensive category "Overall Satisfaction with NERSC," the rating of 6.53 tied the highest score achieved in the 13 years the survey has been in its current form.
In the five overall categories asked in the survey, the 2015 scores were again amongst the highest recorded.
Areas of Highest Satisfaction
NERSC account support and consulting services always receive high marks from users, and 2015 was no exception. Account support and consulting scored highly this year . The consulting experience scored above 6.5 in all categories, including quality of technical advice and time to solution. The reliability of the HPSS and project file systems was highly rated as well.
|Survey Item||2015 Score|
|HPSS: Uptime (Availability)||6.74|
|SERVICES: Account support and passwords||6.72|
|OVERALL: NERSC Security||6.70|
|HPSS: Reliability (data integrity)||6.69|
|CONSULT: Consulting Overall||6.64|
|WEB: System Status Info||6.64|
|OVERALL: NERSC Services||6.63|
|CONSULT: On-line help desk||6.62|
Areas of Improved Satisfaction
|Survey Area||Score||Improvement over 2014|
|NERSC SW: Applications software||6.43||+0.11|
|HOPPER: Batch queue structure||6.17||+0.20|
|DATA: Long-term data retention||6.15||+0.18|
|HOPPER: Batch wait time||5.92||+0.75|
|DATA: Scratch purge policy||5.86||+0.30|
|EDISON: Batch wait time||5.12||+0.24|
Areas of Lowest Satisfaction
|Survey Area||2015 Score|
|EDISON: Batch Wait Time||5.12|
|EDISON: Batch Queue Structure||5.84|
|DATA: Scratch Purge Policy||5.85|
|SOFTWARE: Workflow Software||5.86|
|SOFTWARE: Visualization Software||5.89|
Application Readiness for Cori KNL
In 2014 NERSC started preparing its users for the upcoming Cori system that features energy-efficient many-core Intel Xeon Phi "KNL" processors. While the individual cores on KNL are less powerful that those in Hopper and Edison, various architectural features of KNL allow improved performance, but codes may have to modified to take advantage of them. In 2014 and 2015 we asked users if they were ready for KNL overall, using on on-package high-speed MCDRAM, vectorization and fine-grained treading using OpenMP. The 2015 survey results indicate that NERSC's NESAP and user training programs are having an effect.
The first plot below show the change in how users rate their code's readiness for KNL, with users transitioning from "Don't Know" and "Not at all" towards "Somewhat" and "Ready". The second plot shows the absolute numbers for 2015.