ACCESS Support Tiers

The goal of ACCESS support is to make ACCESS resources and services easy to use. To achieve this goal, ACCESS Support offers multiple tiers of service designed to make everything from common usage to advanced usage simple.

This starts by providing users with (Tier 1) easy-to-use tools and services (e.g., tools and interfaces that can be learned quickly and are intuitive to use), but also includes providing users with a (Tier 2) self-help knowledge base with extensive documentation and ways to ask questions to help users quickly find answers to issues they might encounter. For projects with challenging requirements ACCESS support can become more engaged with the project, offering either (Tier 3) short-term support engagements (MatchPlus), or (Tier 4) longer-term connections to specialized expertise (MatchPremier).

ACCESS Support Tiers

Tier 1: Easy-to-Use Tools and Services

Tier 1 support takes the form of easy-to-use tools that allow researchers to quickly get started using complex computing systems. By reducing the learning curve, the Tier 1 tools and services enable users to quickly start computational jobs with minimal effort. While we plan to support a variety of tools, our initial focus has been on deploying Open-On-Demand instance for launching jobs at RPs, Pegasus for creating workflows across RP resources, Science Gateways that simplified access to certain types of workloads, and XdMod to help track jobs and possibly identify issues.

Tier 2: Self-help Knowledge Base

Tier 2 support focuses on self-help resources designed to get users to answers quickly. Tier 2 resources include extensive Documentation describing ACCESS and its associated resource providers (RPs), Question and Answer (Q&A) forums where users can post questions to the ACCESS community and search for answers, Community-generated documentation and training materials that help users learn to effectively use ACCESS, Affinity Groups where user with similar interests can exchange information and experiences, and a Ticket system where users can submit questions to ACCESS and RP staff.

Tier 3: Short-term Support Engagements (MATCHPlus)

Tier 3 support, also known as MATCHPlus, provides direct support to researchers by establishing short-term engagements that pair a student facilitator with an experienced mentor to address an immediate research need. Each mentor/student team will help a researcher move their science forward through concrete and contained computational improvements such as expanding existing code functionality, transitioning from lab computers to HPC, or introducing new technologies. Mentors are ACCESS Computational Science and Support Network (CSSN) experts with subject matter expertise and professional facilitation skills relevant to the engagement.

Tier 4: Long-term Expert Engagements (MATCHPremier)

Tier 4 support, also known as MATCHPremier, provides embedded support by pairing one or more MATCHPremier Consultants with a research team for a period of engagement typically ranging from 12 - 18 months. Engagements must be requested at least six months in advance. MATCHPremier Consultants are selected from the Computational Science and Support Network (CSSN) depending on the researcher's needs - they may be facilitators, research software engineers, or other types of appropriate support personnel.