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Consulting services are available free of cost to all HPC users and we welcome you to reach out to us!

We are available during standard working hours (9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday) and will respond to any user requests as promptly as we are able. Note: our consulting staff is generally unavailable on weekends and staff holidays.

Before contacting our consultants, please take a look at some tips on writing effective support requests below:


How to Effectively Write Support Requests

Do Not Send Emails Directly to Staff Members

Support requests should always go to hpc-consult@list.arizona.edu. Our support staff continuously monitor this listserv so directing your questions there will give you the fastest response times and the best service. Anything that goes to a private inbox may experience significant delays or may go unanswered.

Do Not Reply to HPC Announcements

Support requests that respond to announcements often get lost and do not go to our consultants. These may experience significant delays or may go unanswered.

Use "Reply All" in Help Ticket Chains

When responding to help ticket chains, cc'ing hpc-consult@list.arizona.edu will allow all of our consultants to see the conversation. This will keep them updated on the status of your request and allow them to contribute.

Double-Check Our FAQ Section

If you are experiencing an issue, it's likely other users have experienced it as well. We keep track of common questions and provide steps to resolve them in our Frequently Asked Questions documentation. Please double-check that your question hasn't been answered before sending a ticket.

Include Your NetID

If you are sending a request from a third-party email service (i.e., not "@arizona.edu"), please include your NetID so our consultants can better assist you.

Detail Detail Detail!

More detail is better than less. Including specifics will greatly improve our ability to help you, such as:

  1. The cluster you're using
  2. Modules you have loaded (including version)
  3. Screenshots
  4. The exact commands you're running
  5. How you're connecting to the system
  6. Your batch submission script

Two example help requests are provided below to illustrate the importance of detail:

The Importance of Specifics
 Question Without Specifics

This user is struggling to transfer files to their home directory. Because they have not included details on how they are attempting to transfer their files, multiple emails must be exchanged to determine the root of the problem.

User: Is HPC down? My file transfers are failing.

Consultant: HPC is up and should be accessible. How are you trying to transfer files and what errors are you getting?

User: I'm using WinSCP and I'm getting "Permission Denied."

Consultant: Where are you trying to transfer your files? What are you using as your Username, your Hostname, and your file protocol?

User: I'm using my NetID as my Username, hpc.arizona.edu as my Hostname, and SCP as my file protocol. I'm trying to transfer my files to my home directory

Consultant: To make an SCP file transfer with WinSCP to HPC, you will need to use filexfer.hpc.arizona.edu as your Hostname instead of hpc.arizona.edu.

 Question With Specifics

This user is also trying to transfer files to their home directory. Because this user provided detail, the consultant was able to immediately diagnose the issue.

User: I'm trying to upload files to my HPC home directory but my connection attempts are failing. My local computer has a Windows OS and I'm using WinSCP to make the file transfers. I'm using SCP as the file protocol, my NetID as my Username, and hpc.arizona.edu as my Hostname. When I try to connect, I get the error: "bash: /usr/bin/scp: Permission denied".

Consultant: To make an SCP file transfer with WinSCP to HPC, you will need to use filexfer.hpc.arizona.edu as your Hostname instead of hpc.arizona.edu.

Include Full Error Logs

If you’re asking about an error, send the full log as it is much more informative than the last few lines of output (exit status 1 does not tell us anything about the failure). If the full output is long, putting it into a text file attachment is a good option. The complete error text is greatly preferred to screenshots in this case.

Provide Context

Context is critical for us to effectively resolve issues. When asking a question, tell us exactly what you're trying to do. If you have a problem and have attempted to resolve it, a help ticket that only includes information about your attempted solution can lead to unnecessary exchanges. See: The XY Problem. An example is illustrated below:

The XY Problem
 Question Without Context

This user is struggling to transfer files to their home directory. The problem is they are using the incorrect hostname to make their transfers but have incorrectly diagnosed their issue as a Linux permissions problem. By only asking about their attempted solution, multiple emails are unnecessarily exchanged before the root of the problem is found. 

User: I tried to change the permissions of one of my directories but it's not working. Why?

Consultant: What are you trying to change the permissions of and why?

User: I'm trying to change the permissions of my home directory so that I can transfer files there. I'm using "chmod 700 /home/uxx/netid"

Consultant: You have the correct permissions to move files to that location. Where are the files are you trying to transfer and what are the error messages you are getting?

User: I'm trying to transfer files from my local computer to my home directory but I'm getting the error "bash: /usr/bin/scp: Permission denied". 

Consultant: This looks like an issue with using SCP. What is your OS, what software are you using to transfer your files, and what credentials are you using to establish the connection?

User: My local computer has a Windows OS and I'm using WinSCP to make the file transfers. I'm using SCP as the file protocol, my NetID as my Username, and hpc.arizona.edu as my Hostname. 

Consultant: To make an SCP file transfer with WinSCP to HPC, you will need to use filexfer.hpc.arizona.edu as your Hostname instead of hpc.arizona.edu.

 Question With Context

This user is also trying to transfer files to their home directory. By including their original problem in their email and providing detail, the consultant was able to immediately diagnose their issue.

User: I'm trying to upload files to my HPC home directory but my connection attempts are failing. My local computer has a Windows OS and I'm using WinSCP to make the file transfers. I'm using SCP as the file protocol, my NetID as my Username, and hpc.arizona.edu as my Hostname. When I try to connect, I get the error: "bash: /usr/bin/scp: Permission denied".

Consultant: To make an SCP file transfer with WinSCP to HPC, you will need to use filexfer.hpc.arizona.edu as your Hostname instead of hpc.arizona.edu.





Contact Us

HPC Consulting

To request help with HPC or to schedule an appointment with one of our consultants, email us at: hpc-consult@list.arizona.edu. This will start a private email exchange between you and our consultants that no other users can see. 


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