PDC Survey Results 2018
Henric Zazzi, PDC
PDC serves as an infrastructure providing computational and storage facilities for academic researchers in Sweden, and is funded by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC). As such, it is vital that we take the needs of PDC’s users into consideration in our acquisition processes when determining what type of hardware is necessary and also what level of support is needed. Although we do receive a number of requests from researchers relating to different aspects of using our resources, it is difficult to fathom what those users and other researchers think will be necessary (in terms of computational/storage resources) to continue their lines of research in the future.
Therefore, during the spring of 2018, we sent out a survey to all researchers using PDC’s services, and also attached the same survey to recently resolved tickets in our system. (Tickets are how we track queries and requests for help from our users, so resolved tickets refer to problems that have been solved for specific PDC users, who would thus each receive an email containing the survey.) The aim was to have short and concise questions, so as to make it easy for people to fill in the questionnaire quickly and hence enable us to acquire as much useful input from our users as possible.
We were pleased to receive responses to our questionnaire from about 135 researchers, most of whom have been using PDC’s resources for several years and were well acquainted with the system. Thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute and help us improve our services in the future!
We were glad to see that overall our users are quite happy with the level of support they receive at PDC, and that we are capable of solving their issues and they feel that communication is achieved in a timely and clear manner.
Over the last year we have invested many hours in refurbishing our support pages, so they are more structured and easier to use. It is clear that the majority of our users think that our support pages contain information that is valuable for their research, however, we are also taking various suggestions for improvements on board and will continue to work on improving the support pages in the coming year.
Users were also asked for comments on what they think PDC should provide, besides the current infrastructure and support. Several users commented that they would need more GPU-capable nodes, and more resources for their research in general. Rest assured that PDC is always working to acquire more infrastructure (in hardware terms) to meet the ever-increasing demands of research in the area of HPC! While we are pleased with the results from the survey, we continue to strive to improve our support and welcome feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org .