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Step 3: Configure the Head Node

Updated: August 2, 2010

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

After you have deployed the head node of your HPC cluster, you must configure the head node by following the Deployment To-do List in HPC Cluster Manager.

Checklist: Configure the head node

The following checklist includes the items in the Deployment 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 nodes.

3.4. Create a node template

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

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

If you will be deploying 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 users (optional)

If you will be giving access to your cluster to other members of your organization, add them as HPC cluster users or HPC cluster administrator on the 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 the Step 1: Prepare for Your Deployment section.

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 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 R2, and then click HPC Cluster Manager.

  2. In the Deployment To-do List, click Configure your network. The Network Configuration Wizard appears.

  3. Follow the steps in the Network Configuration Wizard.

3.2. Provide installation credentials

Installation credentials must be provided in order to configure new nodes. These credentials will be used when installing the operating system, installing applications, and when adding nodes to the Active Directory® domain.

To provide installation credentials

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

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

    ImportantImportant
    • The account must be a domain account with enough privileges to create Active Directory computer accounts for the nodes and to join the nodes to the domain. If the policies of your organization restrict you from using a domain account that can add new computers to the domain, you will need to ask your domain administrator to pre-create the computer objects for you in Active Directory Domain Services before you deploy your nodes. For more information, see Deploy Nodes with Pre-created Computer Objects in Active Directory (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=194363).

    • If part of your deployment requires access to resources on the enterprise network, the account should have the necessary permissions to access those resources.

    • If you want to restart nodes remotely by using HPC Cluster Manager, the account must be a member of the local Administrators group 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 nodes.

    • Active Directory Domain Services limits the number of computers that an authenticated user can join to the domain concurrently (the default is 10 computers). If you need to increase this number to configure new nodes, you (or your domain administrator) can use the Adsiedit tool to edit the ms-DS-MachineAccountQuota property in the domain. For information about how to do this, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=217946).

  3. To save the specified credentials, click OK.

3.3. Configure the naming of new nodes

If you will deploy nodes from bare metal, and you are not using a node XML file to import nodes to the cluster, computer names can be automatically generated for the new nodes that are being deployed. You must 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, if you deploy three nodes after specifying the following naming series: Node-%100%, those nodes will be assigned these names:

  • Node-100

  • Node-101

  • Node-102

ImportantImportant
Node names are limited to 15 characters. When specifying the node naming series take into account the number of 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 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 node naming series

  1. In the Deployment To-do List, click Configure the naming of new nodes. The Specify Node Naming Series dialog box opens.

  2. Type the naming series that you want to use. The preview in the Specify Node Naming Series dialog box helps you to see an example of how the naming series will be applied to the names of the nodes.

  3. To save the node naming series that you have specified, click OK.

3.4. Create a node template

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

Depending on the type of nodes that you want to add to your cluster, you can create three types of node templates:

  • Compute node template. Use this type of template to deploy compute nodes from bare metal or to add preconfigured compute nodes.

  • Broker node template. Use this type of template to deploy broker nodes from bare metal or to add preconfigured broker nodes.

  • Workstation node template. Use this type of template to add preconfigured workstation nodes, and to specify if you want workstation nodes to be brought online and offline according to a weekly availability policy or manually.

Compute node templates and broker node templates are further divided into two types, depending on how you want to add those types of nodes to your cluster:

  • With an operating system image. This type of template includes a step to deploy an operating system on the compute nodes or broker nodes. Use this type of template when adding nodes from bare metal.

  • Without an operating system image. This type of template is used to add preconfigured compute nodes and broker nodes to the cluster.

ImportantImportant
If you will create a template with an operating system image, you will need the installation media for Windows Server® 2008 R2 HPC Edition or for another edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 (compute nodes and broker nodes), or the installation media for Windows Server® 2008 HPC Edition or another 64-bit edition of Windows Server® 2008 (compute nodes only). Alternatively, you can 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 Deployment To-do List, click Create a node template. The Create Node Template Wizard appears.

  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 Choose Node Template Type page of the Create Node Template Wizard, click the More about node templates link.

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

If you will be deploying nodes from bare metal by using a node template that includes an operating system image, and those nodes require special device drivers, you will need to add those drivers to the operating system images stored on your head node. The drivers that you add must be in the .inf format, and must be accessible from the head node.

ImportantImportant
The device drivers that you add will be available to all operating system images in the image store, including those images that were created by capturing an existing node.

noteNote
It is recommended that you obtain the latest device drivers for your nodes from the Web site of your hardware vendors.

To add drivers for the operating system images

  1. In the Deployment To-do List, under Optional deployment tasks, click Manage drivers. The Manage Drivers dialog box appears.

  2. Click Add, and then type or browse to the location of the setup information file for the driver that you want to add (.inf file format).

  3. To add the driver to the list of drivers, 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 users (optional)

If you will be giving access to your cluster to other members of your organization, you need to add their domain user accounts or domain groups to the cluster as HPC cluster users or HPC cluster administrators.

ImportantImportant
To submit jobs to the cluster, a domain user must be at least an HPC cluster user.

To add users on the cluster

  1. In the Deployment To-do List, under Optional deployment tasks, click Add or remove users.

  2. To add an HPC cluster user:

    1. In the Actions pane, click Add User. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.

    2. Type the name of the domain user or group that you want to add as an HPC cluster user, and then click Check Names. For more information, on the Select Users or Groups window, click examples.

    3. Repeat the previous step for all HPC cluster user that you want to add.

    4. After you are done adding HPC cluster users, click OK.

  3. To add an HPC cluster administrator:

    1. In the Actions pane, click Add Administrator. The Select Users or Groups dialog box appears.

    2. Type the name of the domain user or group that you want to add as an HPC cluster administrator, and then click Check Names. For more information, on the Select Users or Groups window, click examples.

    3. Repeat the previous step for all HPC cluster administrator that you want to add.

    4. After you are done adding HPC cluster administrators, click OK.

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