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Adding Workstation Nodes to a Windows HPC Cluster

Updated: January 13, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 R2, Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

With Microsoft® HPC Pack, you can add workstation computers that are running the Windows operating system to your high performance computing (HPC) cluster. These computers are added as workstation nodes, and you can use them to run cluster jobs. Workstation nodes added to an HPC cluster are also referred to as cycle harvesting computers.

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In a cluster that is running at least HPC Pack 2008 R2 with Service Pack 3 (SP3), you can also add unmanaged servers that run the Windows Server operating system as cycle harvesting computers. These are server computers such as file servers that run network workloads but are not dedicated nodes in your HPC cluster. For more information and considerations for using unmanaged server computers for running cluster jobs, see Adding Unmanaged Servers to a Windows HPC Cluster.

Because workstation nodes are not dedicated cluster computers, they can be used for other tasks. They can automatically become available to run cluster jobs according to a weekly availability policy that you configure (for example, every night on weekdays and all day on weekends), or they can be brought online manually, depending on the configuration that you choose. If your cluster is running at least HPC Pack 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can also configure user activity detection settings on the workstation nodes to help ensure that the cluster jobs do not interrupt other processes on the workstations.

This guide provides step-by-step procedures for adding workstation nodes to your HPC cluster.