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What's New in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 4

Updated: June 7, 2012

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

This document lists the new features and changes that are available in Service Pack 4 (SP4) for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. For information about downloading and installing SP4, see Release Notes for Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 4.

In this topic:

Integrate with Windows Azure

The following features are new or changed in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP4 for integration with Windows Azure:

  • Use Hpcpack.exe that is installed on Windows Azure worker nodes. hpcpack is installed automatically on Windows Azure worker nodes in a “burst” scenario. This is in addition to the automatic installation of hpcpack on Windows Azure VM nodes, a feature that was introduced in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP3. You can use hpcpack to copy files from the storage account to a Windows Azure node, or from a Windows Azure node to the storage account. For example, you can run hpcpack upload or hpcpack download as part of a startup script or job. For more information, see Appendix 2: Configure a Startup Script for Windows Azure Nodes.

  • Mount a VHD to Windows Azure worker nodes directly from the storage account. You can mount a VHD to Windows Azure worker nodes in addition to VM nodes. (Previously in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 with SP3, it was only possible to mount a VHD to Windows Azure VM nodes.).

    To do this, you can upload a VHD to your Windows Azure storage account by typing hpcpack upload at a command line. (You can also use the /container parameter to specify a new container instead of using the default container that is provided by hpcsync.) Then, to mount the VHD file as a drive directly from the storage account, run hpcpack mount on your Azure worker nodes. You can use hpcpack unmount to unmount the VHD.

  • Integrate with Windows Azure SDK 1.7. To create Windows Azure VM nodes by using Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 with SP4, you must use version 1.7 of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET x64. For additional requirements for creating Windows Azure VM nodes, see Step 4: Create a VHD for VM Nodes in the Deploying Windows Azure VM Nodes in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Step-by-Step Guide.

    The Windows Azure HPC Scheduler also can now be deployed using the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK 1.7 and version 1.7 of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET x64.

    To download the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK, see Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK 1.7 in the Microsoft Download Center.

    To download the Windows Azure SDK, see the Windows Azure SDK for .NET in the .NET Developer Center.



  • Troubleshoot Windows Azure node deployments using tracing log files. To help troubleshoot issues that can occur during or after provisioning Windows Azure worker nodes, Windows Azure VM nodes, and Windows Azure proxy nodes, tracing log files are written to a folder on each node, as shown in the following table:

     

    Windows Azure nodes Log file

    Worker nodes

    C:\logs\hpcworker.log

    VM nodes

    %CCP_HOME%Bin\hpcvm.log

    Proxy nodes

    C:\logs\hpcproxy.log

    Log files on each node are limited to 60 MB and then cycled automatically.

    For more information and sample scripts to download the log files from worker nodes or VM nodes to an on-premises computer, or to upload them to a Windows Azure storage account, see Appendix 4: Use Tracing Log Files Generated on Windows Azure Nodes.

Schedule jobs

The following features are new in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP4 for job scheduling:

  • Submit jobs over HTTPS. You can submit jobs to an on-premises head node or to the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler over the HTTPS protocol on port 443. You do this by using a full URL that begins with https:// as a scheduler identifier when you specify the head node of the cluster. You can do this by using client applications that are created with the .NET job submission APIs, with job submission command-line tools such as job and job template, with HPC PowerShell cmdlets that manage the Job Scheduler, and with HPC Job Manager.

    You can specify the protocol and the URL directly, such as in a command line, or by using the CCP_SCHEDULER environment variable. This enables the development of job submission applications and tools that can be migrated easily from an on-premises HPC cluster to the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler. If you do not use a full URL that begins with https://, the .NET Remoting channel for secure job submission that is already available for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 is used by default.

    ImportantImportant
    Cluster administration interfaces (such as HPC Cluster Manager, the HPC command-line tools, and HPC PowerShell cmdlets) that are used exclusively for cluster administration cannot connect to an on-premises head node or to the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler through HTTPS. These tools only use the default .NET Remoting channel.