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CSAR Support Structure


We endeavour to configure our machines to be easy to use and be an efficient HPC resource for all codes. We know that this will not always be the case so one of the key roles of the CSAR service is the provision of support at all levels for all of our machines.

This support ranges from simple queries like gaining more information about running on the systems to optimising codes for particular architectures or aiding with visualisation of the complex data that can be generated.

We classify our support in 5 areas:

  • Frontline support
  • Applications support
  • Optimisation support
  • Visualization support
  • Specialised training

Some tasks are more indepth than others taking many days to complete. For these tasks (usually optimisation, complex debugging or visualization) we may need to charge for the work provided.

If it is known when the project application is made that such support will be required, this should be included in the application. Then when the generic tokens are traded, tokens for applications/optimisation support should be obtained. Subsequently the capacity planning process allows you to indicate that you will require such support in the future and other tokens may be exchanged for support tokens.

If you require immediate support in any of these 5 areas, then contact the CSAR helpdesk (see Frontline Support paragraph below).

Frontline Support

Problems must be initially submitted to the CSAR helpdesk. Queries are automatically logged into a problem management system. The helpdesk staff will then investigate the issue. The majority of queries can be dealt with by the helpdesk. Those that cannot be answered by the frontline team are passed to the applications and optimisation team.

Applications Support

Broadly speaking 'applications' involves the installation or porting of either third party or CSAR users' codes to one (or more) of the CSAR systems. Some items of third party software are provided and maintained as part of the normal service and as agreed with EPSRC. However if you would like us to install another item of software, or if you have a code running on green that you would like us to port to newton, or any of the new systems, this would be regarded as applications support. For examples of the type of application support work carried out, please see the applications support example page.

Optimisation Support

'Optimisation' is regarded as improving the performance of a code, either by single node optimisation techniques, or in the parallelisation of a serial code. By optimising your code you can get a more efficient code which can run more effectively on larger numbers of processors, thus allowing more work to be performed with your allocation. For examples of the type of optimisation support work carried out, please see the optimisation support example page.

Visualization Support

CSAR offers its users visualization services which are accessed and charged for in the same way as all CSAR application support. There are several types of support that users can apply for in addition to those that are included with the service:

  • Training and reports
  • User consultation and advice
  • Production of images or animations for a user
  • Visualization projects

Further information on our visualization service is available, as well as example of visualization work we have done in the past.

Specialised Training

CSAR, as well as providing a number of standard training courses (see the courses web page), can also provide more in-depth training or specialised training to suit the needs of certain groups. Examples of such clients include the UK Met Office and a number of CSAR projects. Please contact the helpdesk to discuss your training needs.

The benefits of this are that:

  • If there are a large number of people in your group or University interested in the training we can come to you.
  • The training is designed and produced to meet your needs.
  • We can combine many courses together to give fuller training on a wider set of topics.

Page maintained by This page last updated: Wednesday, 11-Jan-2006 17:56:17 GMT