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Understanding Node Templates

Updated: January 13, 2009

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008

Node templates are a new feature in Windows HPC Server 2008. They define the necessary tasks for adding, configuring, and maintaining compute nodes in your cluster. For more information, see Adding Nodes to a Cluster and Maintaining Nodes.

You can create new node templates by using the Create Node Template Wizard in Configuration. For more information, see Create a Node Template.

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, or you can modify the existing tasks by using the Node Template Editor. For more information, see Edit a Node Template.

Available node template tasks and their properties

There are four types of node template tasks:

Provisioning

Provisioning tasks are performed on the head node before the deployment process of the compute nodes takes place. The following table lists the provisioning task that you can add or modify on a node template, and the properties that are associated with it.

 

Task Name Task Description Properties

Create Computer Account

Creates a computer account in Active Directory for the compute node.

  • Domain (optional): specifies the name of the domain on which the computer account will be created. If this property is not specified, the domain of the head node is used.

  • ComputerPath (optional): specifies the path in Active Directory where the computer account will be created. The default is cn=Computers. If this property is not specified, the computer path of the head node is used.

Configuration

Configuration tasks are performed on a compute node when the compute node is booted into Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) at the beginning of the deployment process. The following table lists the configuration tasks that you can add or modify on a node template and the properties that are associated with each.

 

Task Name Task Description Properties

Run Windows PE Command

Runs a command in Windows PE.

  • ContinueOnFailure (optional): if True is selected, the configuration task will not fail if the command fails to run successfully. If False is selected, the configuration task will fail if the command fails to run successfully.

  • ErrorWhiteList (optional): specifies the return error codes that should be ignored for the command. The default return code that is expected from the command when it runs successfully is zero (0). If the command returns a success code other than zero, then you must add that return code to the list of error codes that should be ignored, or it will be interpreted as an error code and the task will fail.

  • Command (required): specifies the Windows PE command that you want to run.

Multicast Copy

Copies a file from the head node using multicast protocol.

  • UnicastFallback (optional): if True is selected and multicast fails, the file will be copied using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. If False is selected and multicast fails, the task will fail.

  • DestFile (required): specifies the absolute path to the drive of the compute node to which the file will be copied. If you have added the Partition Disk task to the node template, ensure that you specify a path that is valid for the partitions that will be created with that task.

  • SourceFile (required): specifies the name and path of the file to copy, relative to the Microsoft HPC Pack\Data\InstallShare folder.

Unicast Copy

Copies a file from the head node using Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.

  • Directory (optional): specifies if a file (False) or a folder (True) is being copied.

  • Destination (required): specifies the absolute path to the drive of the compute node to which the file will be copied. If you have added the Partition Disk task to the node template, ensure that you specify a path that is valid for the partitions that will be created with that task.

  • Source (required): specifies the name and path of the file to copy, relative to the Microsoft HPC Pack\Data\InstallShare folder.

Partition Disk

Partitions the disk on the compute node using a script for Diskpart.

  • DiskPartScript (Required): specifies the name and path of the script to use with Diskpart.

Mount Share

Shares a folder during the Windows PE phase of the operating system installation.

  • DriveLetter (optional): specifies the drive letter where the folder will be shared.

  • User (optional): specifies the user name to use when sharing the folder.

  • UserPassword (optional): specifies the password to use when sharing the folder.

  • Path (required): specifies the name and path of the folder that will be shared.

Install Windows

Installs the Windows Server operating system on the compute node.

  • Custom Unattend File (optional): specifies the absolute path to the custom unattend file to use for installation.

  • Installation Drive (optional): specifies the drive letter where the Windows Server operating system will be installed. If you have added the Partition Disk task to the node template, ensure that you specify a drive letter that is valid for the partitions that will be created with that task.

  • Local Administrator password (optional): specifies the password for the local Administrator account on the compute node.

  • Product Key (optional): specifies the product key to use with this node template for the activation of the operating system.

  • Autogenerate Local Admin Password (required): if True is selected, the password for the local Administrator account is automatically generated. After a password is automatically generated, it is secret and cannot be recovered. If False is selected, then you should specify a password using the Local Administrator password attribute.

  • Image (required): specifies the image to use for the installation of the operating system.

Apply WIM Image

Extracts the files in a WIM file to a local disk on the compute node.

  • DestinationPath (required): specifies the path on the compute node where the files in the Windows Imaging Format (WIM) file will be extracted. If you have added the Partition Disk task to the node template, ensure that you specify a path that is valid for the partitions that will be created with that task.

  • WimPath (required): specifies the path on the compute node where the WIM file that will be extracted is stored.

For more information, see Understanding Node Template Images.

Restart

Restarts the compute node.

  • None

Deployment

Deployment tasks are performed on a compute node after the operating system has been installed. The following table lists the deployment tasks that you can add or modify on a node template and the properties that are associated with each.

 

Task Name Task Description Properties

Unicast Copy

Copies a file from the head node using Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.

  • Directory (optional): specifies if a file (False) or a folder (True) is being copied.

  • Destination (required): specifies the absolute path on the drive of the compute node where the file will be copied.

  • Source (required): specifies the name and path of the file to copy, relative to the Microsoft HPC Pack\Data\InstallShare folder.

Run OS command

Runs a command as the local Administrator.

  • ContinueOnFailure (optional): if True is selected, deployment will not fail if the command fails to run successfully. If False is selected, deployment will fail if the command fails to run successfully.

  • ErrorWhiteList (optional): specifies the return error codes that should be ignored for the command. The default return code that is expected from the command when it runs successfully is zero (0). If the command returns a success code other than zero, then you must add that return code to the list of error codes that should be ignored, or it will be interpreted as an error code and the task will fail.

  • Command (required): specifies the command that you want to run as Administrator.

Install HPC Pack

Installs HPC Pack on the compute node.

  • Setup Source Directory (required): specifies the location of the installation files for the HPC Pack.

Mount Share

Shares a folder on the compute node.

  • DriveLetter (optional): specifies the drive letter where the folder will be shared.

  • User (optional): specifies the user name to use when sharing the folder.

  • UserPassword (optional): specifies the password to use when sharing the folder.

  • Path (required): specifies the name and path of the folder that will be shared.

Join Domain

Joins the compute node to an Active Directory domain.

  • Domain (optional): specifies the name of the domain to which the compute node will be joined. If this property is not specified, the domain of the head node is used.

Restart

Restarts the compute node.

  • None

Log Off

Logs off the compute node.

  • None

Maintenance

Maintenance tasks are performed on a compute node when you select a node in Node Management and then click Maintain. For more information, see Maintaining Nodes. The following table lists the maintenance tasks that you can add or modify on a node template and the properties that are associated with each.

 

Task Name Task Description Properties

Post Install Command

Runs a command on the compute node after HPC Pack has been installed.

  • ContinueOnFailure (optional): if True is selected, the maintenance task will not fail if the command fails to run successfully. If False is selected, the maintenance task will fail if the command fails to run successfully.

  • Timeout (optional): specifies the number of seconds before the command times out. If this property is not specified, the default timeout value is 60 seconds.

  • WorkingDirectory (optional): specifies the folder where the command runs.

  • Command (required): specifies the command to run. This command runs using the installation credentials that were provided during the configuration process of the head node.

Activate Operating System

Activates the operating system on the compute node.

  • None

Apply Updates

Applies updates to the compute node from Microsoft Update or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). For more information, see Apply Software Updates.

  • Patches (optional): specifies the list of updates that will be applied to the compute node.

  • Categories (required): specifies the type of updates that will be applied to the compute node.

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