Web Watch

Have it your way on SCD’s new portal

MySCD Portal version 2.0, released in September, is a customizable

Myra

Leif Magden and Myra Custard. (Photo by Lynda Lester.)

browser interface and port of entry to NCAR computing resources. The portal lets users submit and control jobs to supercomputers, monitor job progress, and look at their charges—all via the Web.

Version 2.0 of the portal features a new Web page that displays information on General Accounting Unit (GAU) charges in several types of visual display. “Users can now actually pull up graphs of their charging history,” says Dick Valent, assistant manager of the User Support Section at NCAR’s Scientific Computing Division (SCD). “When you look at a graph, you get a whole lot more — you can take in a lot of information at a glance, as opposed to plodding through numbers.”

The GAU page is customizable, so users can configure it to see what they want to see. “For instance,” says Leif Magden, an SCD software engineer who helped develop the portal, “if you’re a scientist who submits jobs for several different projects, you can get the information for all of them. You can look at your current charging status, how much you spent in the last 30 or 90 days, how much you were charged for each machine. You can see your charging trends and limits, your recent charging history, your lifetime GAU allocations.”

MySCD Portal is also a way to keep up on SCD itself. Users can see the latest SCD News articles, access SCD’s Daily Bulletin, and use search tools for research data sets and e-mail aliases.

SCD’s goal in developing the portal has been to integrate and simplify the tools scientists need to do their research. “We’re trying to make it so that users can concentrate on their science,” Magden says. “They won’t have to memorize UNIX commands, pull up a shell, and use a command-line interface to access computing resources. They can just point and click.”

“Our long-term goal is to provide a Web interface that gives users a single sign-on to SCD services,” adds Lana Stillwell, head of the Infrastructure Applications Group that is charged with developing the portal. “We’re not quite there yet—we’ll be providing periodic upgrades over the next couple of years—but we’re on the way.”

MySCD

Log in using your gatekeeper login and password. The SCD Portal functions best in Netscape 6.x or higher and Internet Explorer 5.x or higher.