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Configuring the Runtime Data Share

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

Starting with HPC Pack 2008 R2 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), a runtime data share is configured during the installation of HPC Pack on the head node. This can be used by Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) workloads that need to access common data that is required by all calculation requests within one or more sessions.. This topic provides guidance on configuring the location of the runtime data share, either before or after the installation of HPC Pack. For example, after the installation you might want to move the share from a default path on the head node to a separate file server with greater capacity.

noteNote
  • If you install HPC Pack on the head node, as a step in the installation wizard you specify either a UNC path to a network file share (recommended), or a local path to storage on the head node. If you plan to specify a UNC path, you must prepare the share before the installation as described in in this topic. If you will specify a local path, the share is automatically created. After the installation, at any time, you can configure a different share as the runtime data share.

  • If you upgrade HPC Pack 2008 R2 with SP1 on the head node to SP2, the hidden runtime data share Runtime$ is created automatically in a default local path. If the head node is not configured for high availability, the share is created on the head node in %SystemDrive%\HPCRuntimeDirectory. If the head node is configured for high availability, the share is created on the first shared disk in the clustered storage. After the installation, at any time, you can configure a different share as the runtime data share.

This topic contains the following sections with considerations and typical scenarios for configuring the runtime data share:

Considerations for configuring the runtime data share

The following are considerations for configuring the runtime data share:

  • Share location   Configuring the runtime data share on the head node could affect the performance and the resources of the HPC cluster, but may be easier to set up initially for testing purposes. For example, if you are evaluating the SOA common data features, or if you are setting up a small cluster, configuring the runtime data share on the head node might be appropriate. Configuring the share on a remote server gives you greater control and flexibility for a production cluster, but requires additional steps.

  • Storage requirements   Consider the profile of the jobs running on the cluster and their need to access shared data. You should configure a file share on a volume that has sufficient storage for the runtime data. If you anticipate the amount of data growing over time, consider configuring a quota on the share, for example, using the File Server Resource Manager role service of the File Services role in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Permissions and security   To work properly, the runtime data share must be configured with appropriate NTFS and share permissions for the users and the administrators of the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 cluster, and in some cases also for the computer accounts of the head node or nodes. The necessary settings are described in the remaining sections of this topic. For general information about NTFS and share permissions, see Share and NTFS Permissions on a File Server.

    noteNote
    To make it easier to set the permissions, and as a security best practice, create two designated domain security groups, one for HPC users and one for HPC administrators. You can then set the appropriate permissions for the security groups, and then add or remove members from the groups as needed. You should also use these security groups to add users and administrators to the cluster, instead of adding individual users or administrators.

    An additional consideration is whether to configure the runtime data share as a hidden share (with a name ending in the $ character). By default, during the upgrade of HPC Pack 2008 R2 with SP1 to SP2, the runtime data share is configured as a hidden share. Although this does not provide additional security for the share, it can prevent inadvertent use since the share is not displayed to users who look through the shares using Windows Explorer or use the net view command.

    For general security considerations about HPC Pack, see the following topics:

  • SMB settings   When you provision a new share (for example, using the Provision a Shared Folder Wizard in Share and Storage Management), you can generally use default settings. However, we recommend that you configure the following SMB settings to improve performance:

    • Disable access-based enumeration

    • Enable offline caching of files

  • Job scheduler configuration   After you configure a new share, You must run the cluscfg command to update the value of the HPC_RUNTIMESHARE cluster environment variable, which is set during the installation of HPC Pack. After you do this, the HPC Job Scheduler Service uses the new share as the runtime data share.

Prepare a file share on a network file server that will be set up as the runtime data share

Perform the following general steps to prepare a network file share that you will specify as the runtime data share using a UNC path when you run the HPC Pack installation wizard. You do not need to perform these preparation steps if you plan to specify a local path for the runtime data share on the head node (or on the first shared disk in the clustered storage for a head node configured for high availability), or if you are upgrading from HPC Pack 2008 R2 with SP1.

  1. Create a new file share on a file server that is joined to the same Active Directory domain as the head node computer. You can use a standard method available in Windows Server, such as the Provision a Shared Folder Wizard in the Share and Storage Management snap-in, or the net share command.

    noteNote
    To create a file share on a server in your Active Directory domain, the File Server role service of the File Services role must be installed.

  2. Configure the NTFS and share permissions listed in the following tables on the file share.

    noteNote
    To simplify adding permissions for HPC administrators and HPC users, you can create domain security groups for these users, and then assign the permissions to the security groups.

    NTFS permissions

     

    Name Permission

    Computer account of the head node computer (if the head node is not configured for high availability)

    -OR-

    Computer account of each head node computer, and the computer account of the clustered instance of the head node (if the head node is configured for high availability)

    -OR-

    SYSTEM object of the head node (if the file share is on the head node computer, and the head node is not configured for high availability)

    Full control

    All HPC administrators

    Full control

    All HPC users

    Read

    Create Files/Write Data

    Create Folders/Append Data

    Share permissions

     

    Name Permission

    All HPC administrators

    Full control

    All HPC users

    Change

    Read

The network file share is now ready to be specified as the location of the runtime data share during the HPC Pack 2008 R2 installation wizard.

Additional steps for head nodes configured for high availability

If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, after the installation of HPC Pack, you must perform additional steps to configure the SOA subfolder of the runtime data share. If you do not perform these steps, applications that use the SOA common data feature will fail.

  1. Configure the following NTFS permissions on the SOA subfolder of the runtime data share:

     

    Name Permission

    Computer account of each head node computer in the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 cluster

    Full control

    Computer account of the clustered instance of the head node

    Full control

  2. On the active head node in the cluster, stop and restart the hpcsession service. At an elevated command prompt, type the following commands:

    net stop hpcsession
    net start hpcsession
    Alternatively, type the following command:

    sc control hpcsession 128
    
Configure a new runtime data share on the head node

To configure a new file share as the runtime data share on the head node of the cluster, after HPC Pack is installed, perform the following general steps:

  1. Ensure that no jobs are running on the cluster.

  2. Create a new file share using storage on the head node (or, if the head node is configured for high availability, using the shared storage of the failover cluster). You can use a standard method available in Windows Server, such as the Provision a Shared Folder Wizard in the Share and Storage Management snap-in, or the net share command.

    noteNote
    You should specify a local path on the head node (for example, (D:\NewRuntimeShare). If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, specify a path on the first shared disk in the clustered file server within the failover cluster.

  3. Move the files and subfolders from the existing runtime data share to the new file share.

  4. Configure the NTFS and share permissions listed in the following tables on the file share.

    NTFS permissions

     

    Name Permission

    SYSTEM object

    Full control

    Administrators

    Full control

    HPCUsers

    Read

    Create Files/Write Data

    Create Folders/Append Data

    Share permissions

     

    Name Permission

    HPCUsers

    Change

    Read

    HPCAdminMirror

    Change

    Read

  5. Update the cluster configuration so that the HPC job scheduler uses the new runtime data share. To do this, run the cluscfg command to modify the HPC_RUNTIMESHARE environment variable. For example, to update the configuration of a cluster with a head node named MyHeadNode to use the new runtime data share \\MyHeadNode\NewRuntimeShare, type the following command at an elevated command prompt:

    cluscfg setenvs /scheduler:MyHeadNode HPC_RUNTIMESHARE=\\MyHeadNode\NewRuntimeShare
    noteNote
    If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, ensure that you specify the name of the clustered instance of the head node, not the name of a head node computer.

    You can confirm that the environment variable is set properly by typing the following command at the elevated command prompt:

    cluscfg listenvs
  6. If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, you must perform the following additional steps:

    1. Fail over to the second head node in the failover cluster.

    2. On the second head node, set the following NTFS and share permissions on the file share:

      NTFS permissions

       

      Name Permission

      HPCUsers

      Read

      Create Files/Write Data

      Create Folders/Append Data

      Share permissions

       

      Name Permission

      HPCUsers

      Change

      Read

      HPCAdminMirror

      Change

      Read

Configure a new runtime data share on a network file server

To create a new runtime data share on a network file server, after the installation of HPC Pack, perform the following general steps:

  1. Make sure that no jobs are running on the cluster.

  2. Create a new file share on a file server that is joined to the same Active Directory domain as the head node computer or computers. You can use a standard method available in Windows Server, such as the Provision a Shared Folder Wizard, or the net share command.

    noteNote
    To create a file share on a server in your Active Directory domain, the File Server role service of the File Services role must be installed.

  3. Move the files and subfolders from the existing runtime data share to the new file share.

  4. Configure the NTFS and share permissions listed in the following tables on the file share.

    noteNote
    To simplify adding permissions for HPC administrators and HPC users, you can create domain security groups for these users, and then assign the permissions to the security groups.

    NTFS permissions

     

    Name Permission

    Computer account of the head node computer (if the head node is not configured for high availability)

    -OR-

    Computer account of each head node computer, and the computer account of the clustered instance of the head node (if the head node is configured for high availability)

    Full control

    All HPC administrators

    Full control

    All HPC users

    Read

    Create Files/Write Data

    Create Folders/Append Data

    Share permissions

     

    Name Permission

    All HPC administrators

    Full control

    All HPC users

    Change

    Read

    HPCAdminMirror

    Change

    Read

  5. Update the cluster configuration so that the HPC job scheduler uses the new runtime data share. To do this, run the cluscfg command on the head node to modify the HPC_RUNTIMESHARE environment variable. For example, to update the configuration of a cluster with a head node named MyHeadNode to use the new runtime data share \\MyFileServer\NewRuntimeShare, type the following command at an elevated command prompt:

    cluscfg setenvs /scheduler:MyHeadNode HPC_RUNTIMESHARE=\\MyFileServer\NewRuntimeShare
    noteNote
    If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, set the /scheduler parameter to the name of the clustered instance of the head node, not the name of a head node computer.

    You can confirm that the environment variable is set properly by typing the following command at the elevated command prompt:

    cluscfg listenvs
Additional steps for head nodes configured for high availability

If the head node is configured for high availability in the context of a failover cluster, you must perform additional steps to configure the SOA subfolder of the runtime data share. If you do not perform these steps, applications that use the SOA common data feature will fail.

  1. On the active head node in the cluster, stop and restart the hpcsession service. At an elevated command prompt, type the following commands:

    net stop hpcsession
    net start hpcsession
    
    Alternatively, type the following command:

    sc control hpcsession 128
    
  2. Configure the following NTFS permissions on the SOA subfolder of the runtime data share:

     

    Name Permission

    Computer account of each head node computer in the Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 cluster

    Full control

    Computer account of the clustered instance of the head node

    Full control

  3. On the active head node in the cluster, stop and restart the hpcsession service. At an elevated command prompt, type the following commands:

    net stop hpcsession
    net start hpcsession
    
    Alternatively, type the following command:

    sc control hpcsession 128