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Step 3: Configure the Head Node

After you have deployed the head node of your HPC cluster, you must configure the head node by following the configuration to-do list in HPC Cluster Manager.

Checklist: Configure the head node

The following checklist includes the items in the configuration to-do list in HPC Cluster Manager that you need to complete in order to configure your head node.

 

Task Description

3.1. Configure the HPC cluster network

Configure the cluster network by using the Network Configuration Wizard.

3.2. Provide installation credentials

Specify which credentials to use for system configuration and when adding new nodes to the cluster.

3.3. Configure the naming of new nodes

Specify the naming convention to use when generating names automatically for new compute nodes.

3.4. Create a node template

Create a template that defines the steps to follow when configuring a compute node.

3.5. Add drivers for the operating system images (optional)

If you will be deploying compute nodes from bare metal and those nodes require special device drivers, add drivers for the operating system images that you created for your node template on the previous task.

3.6. Add or remove users (optional)

If you will be giving access to the cluster to other members of your organization, add or remove users or administrators for your cluster.

3.1. Configure the HPC cluster network

The HPC cluster network configuration is the first step in the configuration process of your head node. The HPC cluster network is configured by following the Network Configuration Wizard in HPC Cluster Manager. When configuring the HPC cluster network, you must choose the network topology that you have selected for your cluster, as described in Step 1: Prepare for Your Deployment.

ImportantImportant
Before you start configuring the HPC cluster network in HPC Cluster Manager, ensure that the head node and the computers that you will add as compute nodes to the cluster are physically connected according to the network topology that you have chosen for your cluster. Also, ensure that you are able to identify to which network each one of the network adapters in the head node is connected.
To configure the HPC cluster network
  1. If HPC Cluster Manager is not already open on the head node, open it. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Microsoft HPC Pack, and then click HPC Cluster Manager.

  2. In the To-do List, click Configure your network.

  3. Follow the steps in the Network Configuration Wizard.

3.2. Provide installation credentials

Installation credentials must be provided in order to configure new compute nodes. These credentials will be used when installing the operating system, applications, and when adding nodes to the Active Directory domain. Also, these same credentials will be used when running diagnostic tests on the cluster nodes.

To provide installation credentials
  1. In the To-do List, click Provide installation credentials. The Installation Credentials dialog box appears.

  2. Type the user name, including the domain (DOMAIN\User), and then the password for the domain user account you will use to deploy compute nodes and to run diagnostic tests.

    ImportantImportant
    The account must be a domain account with enough privileges to create Active Directory computer accounts for the compute nodes. Alternatively, you can create the computer accounts manually or ask your domain administrator to create them for you.
    ImportantImportant
    If part of your deployment requires access to resources on the enterprise network, the account should have the necessary permissions to access those resources.
    ImportantImportant
    If you want to restart nodes remotely from the cluster administration console (HPC Cluster Manager), the account must be added as an HPC cluster administrator on the head node. This requirement is only necessary if you do not have scripted power control tools that you can use to remotely restart the compute nodes.
  3. To save the specified credentials, click OK.

3.3. Configure the naming of new nodes

If you deploy compute nodes from bare metal, and you are not using a node XML file to import nodes to the cluster, Windows HPC Server 2008 will automatically generate computer names for the new nodes that are being deployed. You need to specify how those names will be generated, by defining a naming series.

The naming series is defined by selecting a root name and the starting number that will accompany that name. The starting number is enclosed in percentage signs (%). For example: ClusterNode%1000%.

When you deploy compute nodes from bare metal, nodes will be named in sequence, as they become available. For example, if you deploy three nodes after specifying the following naming series: ClusterNode-%100%, those nodes will be assigned these names:

  • ClusterNode-100
  • ClusterNode-101
  • ClusterNode-102
ImportantImportant
Compute node names are limited to 15 characters. When specifying the compute node naming series, take into account the number of compute nodes in your deployment and ensure that the series that you specify will not generate names that exceed 15 characters. For example, if your deployment will consist of 1,000 compute nodes, and your starting number is 1, your root name cannot have more than 12 characters; otherwise, your node number 1,000 will need a name that consists of 16 characters.
To specify the compute node naming series
  1. In the To-do List, click Configure the naming of new nodes. The Specify Compute Node Naming Series dialog box appears.

  2. Type the naming series that you want to use. The preview helps you to see an example of how the naming series will be applied to the names of the compute nodes.

    noteNote
    You cannot specify a compute node naming series that consists only of numbers.
  3. To save the compute node naming series that you have specified, click OK.

3.4. Create a node template

Node templates are new in Windows HPC Server 2008. They define the necessary tasks for configuring and adding compute nodes to your cluster. With a node template, you can deploy an operating system image, add specific drivers and software to compute nodes, or simply add a preconfigured node to your cluster. Because you might have more than one type of compute node, or you may be adding compute nodes to your cluster in different ways, you can create different templates that apply to different nodes or situations.

You can create two types of node templates:

  • With an operating system image. This type of template includes a step to deploy an operating system on the compute nodes. Use this type of template when adding compute nodes from bare metal.
  • Without an operating system image. This type of template is used to add preconfigured compute nodes to the cluster, or to update existing nodes.

The type of template that you create for the initial deployment of your HPC cluster depends on how you decided to add compute nodes to your cluster.

ImportantImportant
If you will create a node template with an operating system image, you will need the installation media for Windows Server 2008 HPC Edition or another 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008, or you must have the installation files available on a network location that is accessible from the head node computer.
To create a node template
  1. In the To-do List, click Create a node template.

  2. Follow the steps in the Create Node Template Wizard.

noteNote
The node templates that you create with the Create Node Template Wizard include the most common deployment and configuration tasks. You can add more tasks to the node templates that you create by using the Node Template Editor. For more information, on the Specify Template Name page of the Create Node Template Wizard, click Understanding Node Templates.

3.5. Add drivers for the operating system images (optional)

If you will be deploying compute nodes from bare metal and those nodes require special device drivers, you will need to add those drivers during the configuration process of your head node. Drivers must be in the .inf format, and must be available to all operating system images in the image store.

noteNote
It is recommended that you obtain the latest device drivers for your compute nodes from the Web site of your hardware vendors.
To add drivers for the operating system images
  1. In the To-do List, click Manage drivers. The Manage Drivers dialog box appears.

  2. To add a driver, click Add.

  3. Type or browse to the location of the setup information file for the driver that you want to add (.inf format), and then click Open.

  4. Repeat the two previous steps for all the drivers that you want to add.

  5. After you are done adding drivers, click Close.

3.6. Add or remove users (optional)

If you will be giving access to the cluster to other members of your organization, you need to add them as HPC cluster users or HPC cluster administrators. Also, you can remove users or administrators that were added by default during installation.

ImportantImportant
The Domain Users group is added as an HPC cluster user during installation. If you do not want all users in the domain to have access to your cluster, you can remove the Domain Users group from the list of HPC cluster users, and add a different domain group specifically created for users of your HPC cluster, or you can add individual domain users.
To add or remove users for the cluster
  1. In the To-do List, click Add or remove users.

  2. To add a user to the cluster:

    1. In the Actions pane, click Add User. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.
    2. Type the user name of the user that you want to add, and then click Check Names. For more information, on the Select Users or Groups window, click examples.
    3. Repeat the previous step for all users that you want to add.
    4. After you are done adding users, click OK.
  3. To add an administrator to the cluster:

    1. In the Actions pane, click Add Administrator. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.
    2. Type the user name of the administrator that you want to add, and then click Check Names. For more information, on the Select Users or Groups window, click examples.
    3. Repeat the previous step for all administrators that you want to add.
    4. After you are done adding administrators, click OK.
  4. To remove a user or administrator, select it on the Users list, and then click Remove.

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