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What is Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003?

Updated: June 6, 2006

Applies To: Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003

Microsoft® Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003 is an integrated platform for running, managing, and developing high performance computing applications.

Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 consists of two components:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003, Compute Cluster Edition. This disk contains Windows Server 2003, Compute Cluster Edition. This operating system is based on the Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003, Standard x64 Edition, modified for high performance computing.

  • Microsoft® Compute Cluster Pack. This disk contains the services, interfaces, and supporting software needed to create and configure the cluster nodes, as well as utilities and management infrastructure.

Compute cluster components

Each Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 cluster consists of a head node and one or more compute nodes. The head node mediates all access to the cluster resources and acts as a single point for cluster deployment, management, and job scheduling. At a minimum, for testing or development purposes, a cluster can consist of only a head node, which also can accept jobs in a compute node role.

Head node

The head node provides user interface and management services to the cluster. The user interface consists of the Compute Cluster Administrator, which is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, the Compute Cluster Job Manager, which is a Win32 graphic user interface, and a Command Line Interface (CLI). Management services include job scheduling, job and resource management, node management, and Remote Installation Services (RIS). The head node can also serve as a network address translation gateway (part of Internet Connection Services) between the public network and the private network that make up the cluster.

A head node has the following services installed:

  • Compute Cluster Management Service — Provides overall cluster management, node discovery, and configuration management.

  • Compute Cluster Scheduler Service — Provides job queuing, scheduling, resource allocation, and job execution.

  • Compute Cluster SDM Store Service — Maintains the integrity of System Definition Model (SDM) write and read data from the SDM store.

  • Compute Cluster MPI Service — Microsoft implementation of Message Passing Interface (MPI).

  • Compute Cluster Node Manager Service — Provides the head node with the ability to run jobs as a compute node. The Node Manager Service is also installed on compute nodes.

Compute node

A compute node is a computer configured as part of a high performance cluster to provide computational resources for the end user. Compute nodes on a Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 cluster must have a supported operating system installed, but nodes within the same cluster can have different operating systems and different hardware configurations.

Compute nodes have the following services installed:

  • Compute Cluster Management Service — Communicates with same service on head node.

  • Compute Cluster MPI Service — Microsoft implementation of Message Passing Interface (MPI).

  • Compute Cluster Node Manager Service — Communicates with Job Scheduler Service on the head node.

Job Scheduler

The Job Scheduler Service runs on the head node and is responsible for job admission and queue management, resource allocation, and job execution. This service communicates with the Node Manager Service that runs on all compute nodes.

Management infrastructure

The Microsoft® Compute Cluster Pack offers a complete management infrastructure which allows the cluster administrator to deploy and manage compute nodes. This infrastructure consists of the cluster services running on the head node and all compute nodes, providing the administrative, user, and command-line interfaces used to administer the cluster, submit jobs, and manage the job queue.

Compute Cluster Administrator and Job Manager

Cluster administrators and users utilize these interfaces for cluster operations, job submissions, and to manage the cluster. The Compute Cluster Administrator is used to configure the cluster, manage nodes, and monitor cluster activity and health. The Compute Cluster Job Manager is used for job creation, submission, and monitoring.

Command Line Interface

The Compute Cluster Pack provides a Command Line Interface (CLI) for node and job management. These operations can also be scripted. Administrators can use the CLI to automate job, job queue, and node operations.

See Also

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