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May 12, 2015 XSEDE New User Tutorials and User Support: Lessons Learned Marcela Madrid.

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Presentation on theme: "May 12, 2015 XSEDE New User Tutorials and User Support: Lessons Learned Marcela Madrid."— Presentation transcript:

1 May 12, 2015 XSEDE New User Tutorials and User Support: Lessons Learned Marcela Madrid

2 Teaching New User Tutorials remotely every few months and at XSEDE conferences. Supporting MD and Chemistry software. What are the lessons learned: Feedback received. What are the roadblocks to begin using HPC. What can we do better. XSEDE New User Tutorials and User Support: Lessons Learned

3 Tutorial presented at the XSEDE conference: Consists of four parts: Writing and Submitting a Successful Allocation (Ken Hackworth) Information Security Training for XSEDE Researchers (Jim Marsteller) Using XSEDE Resources (Marcela Madrid) Using Globus Online (Steve Tuecke)

4 After attending the tutorial… XSEDE participants know how to: Submit an allocation for XSEDE resources. How to protect resources and your own work and choose a secure password. Login in to XSEDE resources, transfer files, submit jobs.

5 Allocations Ken usually describes the Allocation process, show Portal screenshots, review criteria. Questions: Q: Underestimated service units: can I ask for a supplement? A: Depends on the amount of the supplement. Q: Imaging processing for a private company. A: Everything needs to be public. Some of the Q solved by the new interface. Ex. How come I cannot ask for new users to be added to my allocation when I submit my proposal?

6 Using XSEDE Resources How do I get started using XSEDE resources? Where to find the Available Resources-- Extended Collaborative Support, NIP, Campus Champions. The XSEDE Portal Getting Started User Guide Login into the Resources: Single Sign On File Transfers Running: file systems, batch jobs Why has my job not run? Managing Your Software Environment Batch schedulers. Improving your job turnaround Packing jobs Getting Help Exercise: Actually running on a supercomputer

7 XSEDE Exercise Exercise: Actually running on a supercomputer Provided generic training accounts (train01-train30) on two different supercomputers. Exercise consisted in writing a job script to run Amber (we provide the example). Submit and monitor the status of the submitted job. Find and look at the output files.

8 Starting to see people who are not proficient in UNIX and even who have never used UNIX before. Logging in to the hub for PC users: was a problem for people who needed to download putty. Need to allow extra time for that. Need to tell workshop participants in advance if they need to download putty. Link on the Portal says that the GSI-SSH applet is no longer the recommended way to access XSEDE systems. (Temporary). Biggest Hurdle during the Exercises at XSEDE14:

9 Experience at XSEDE14 Most participants wanted more hands-on exercises. But a few could not even log in. Raises the question of a “one size fits all” training. Possible Solutions: Courses being offered in UNIX for HPC should be a great help. Science Gateways? Need to plan for more TAs to accommodate diverse needs. Need to let participants know in advance that they will need putty installed or set aside a time to do it together.

10 Ideas for future improvement of XSEDE New User Tutorials Training Accounts attached to Portal ID (to a real allocation). No gap between what they do on-line and what they see in the portal. Will need to allocate extra time for this. Could extend the tutorial to full day rather than half a day. Teach in the morning Allocations and Security. Participants can submit a starter grant directly during the workshop. In the afternoon Getting Started and Globus On-line. Can have Globus online exercise.

11 New User Training Webinar taught every few months. During the New User Training Webinar we teach basically the same as at the conference but without the exercises. Tom Maiden answers questions via chat.

12 Other questions received during Web Training and XSEDE: How to choose resources? What software is available at different sites? If I have a question on Blacklight, do I send the ticket to Blacklight or XSEDE? Packing: can I run many serial codes? Can I run R on XSEDE?

13 New User Training Webinar We could let users watch the videos and assign exercises. Then hold “office hours” so people can contact us with their problems.

14 Minorities Professors in minority institutions have huge teaching loads and have limited time for research. They do not have grad students to help with the research. Possible remedies: When talking to them, mention that XSEDE not only provides resources for research, but also education. Can use for classes, can help with curriculum. Put them in touch with the Education group.

15 Experience from Software Support: Frequent Problems: Cannot find output files. Confused about directories. Cannot/will not create subdirectories. Overwrite output files. (Relates to Unix inexperience). “It used to work” but have not saved previous output files. Need to have example of how to run each software: The whole script for a job to submit and input files. (Rather than many links to different pages from which the user has to put together his/her own job script). Difficult for new users. Module help.

16 Improvements/Suggestions A good Improvement: Getting Started Guide prominent at the front of the Portal and XSEDE web pages. User Guide is now a more attractive, easier, interface. Also very useful prominent role of Campus Champion and Domain Champions. To get started using XSEDE a researcher needs to: Apply for an XSEDE allocation Request to be added to an existing one. Or Contact your local campus champion. Need info on what Gateways are and how to use. Start from the very basic of what is a gateway and how do we use it. Software: Need job script with example input files for each supported software, or include the job script in the module help. FAQ

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