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The HPCx Helpdesk
The HPCx Helpdesk is the main entry point to HPCx's support teams for users. Here you can get help in using the service, find out more about HPCx or send us your comments and criticisms.
You can submit a query:
Please include an e-mail address which works. It is a great help to us if you send only one discrete problem per query. This is because different problems may be handled by different people.
Please also try to provide some background information if you are experiencing a technical problem, for example, your user id, the command you are running and the error message you are getting. It will allow us to look into the problem immediately and respond to you faster.
Requests for help or information (usually called queries) arrive by e-mail, through a web form, by fax or by letter; or, during working hours, by telephone or personal contact. The work of the Helpdesk is based on a software system, SAFE, which banks queries and tracks their progress; e-mail and web queries are entered into this system automatically. Queries which arrive by other routes are entered into the system by hand.
SAFE uses a three-queue model to manage the queries. When you send a query to us by e-mail or through the web, you will normally get an automatic response within minutes. This tells you that the query has arrived at the Helpdesk, and has been put in the Pending queue. It will also give you the query's tracking number. Please help us by mentioning this number when you communicate with us about the query.
Shortly after this, your query will be inspected by the current operator of the Helpdesk, who will move your query into the Current queue. If they cannot themselves immediately answer the query, they will select an expert to deal with it.
The expert may get in touch with you to discuss the query. Copies of the various e-mails are filed along with the query. Finally, the expert will send you an answer. When this happens, the Helpdesk operator will close your query, that is, move it into the Resolved queue. You will receive another message from the Helpdesk at this point, telling you that this has happened.
Experts are usually members of the science support teams or of the systems and networking team. Occasionally, if special expertise is required, other members of the staff of EPCC or DL are consulted. Queries may also be passed back to IBM or third-party software suppliers if this is required.
Queries are retained in the Resolved queue indefinitely. HPCx staff members will consult them in order to build the FAQ pages and other parts of this website, to plan course material and in general to identify topics which are of interest and concern to users.
Certain minimum standards of performance have been set for the Helpdesk by HPCx's funding bodies. They include:
Excluded from these measurements are queries classified as in-depth. These include:
Details of how we measure up to these standards are posted on the website.
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