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Step 3: Configure the Head Node

Updated: January 13, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft HPC Pack 2012, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 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. This section provides procedures for completing the required deployment tasks and several optional tasks that are needed for adding on-premises nodes. For information about other deployment tasks, see later sections of this guide and the topics in Configuration: HPC Cluster Manager.

The following checklist includes the items in the Deployment To-do List in HPC Cluster Manager that you need to complete to configure your head node. At a minimum you must complete the required deployment tasks. Depending on how you will be adding nodes to your cluster and the types of jobs you will run, you might need to complete one or more of the optional deployment tasks.

 

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 on-premises nodes.

3.4. Create a node template

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

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

If you will be deploying on-premises 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 in the previous task.

3.6. Add users (optional)

If you will be giving cluster access to other members of your organization, add them as HPC cluster users or HPC cluster administrators on the cluster.

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, choose the network topology that you have planned for your cluster, as described in the Step 1: Prepare for Your Deployment, earlier in this guide.

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.

  1. If HPC Cluster Manager is not already open on the head node, open it.

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

  3. On the Network Topology Selection page, click the topology that you have chosen for your cluster, and then click Next.

  4. On the Enterprise Network Adapter Selection page, in the Network adapter list, click the name of the network adapter that is physically connected to your enterprise network, and then click Next.

    ImportantImportant
    To ensure that you are selecting the correct network adapter, use the information displayed on this wizard page after you select a network adapter from the list. Use the IP address, domain information, and Media Access Control (MAC) address of each adapter as a reference.

  5. If you chose topology number 5 for your cluster, skip to step 9 in this procedure. Otherwise, repeat step 4 for the private network adapter.

  6. On the Private Network Configuration page, type a static IP address and a subnet mask for the head node. Optionally, select network services for that network:

    1. To give access to resources on the enterprise network to nodes that are connected to this network, select the Enable network address translation (NAT) on the head node check box.

    2. To enable DHCP services for the nodes that are connected to this network, select the Enable DHCP and define a scope check box, and then type the starting and ending IP addresses for the DHCP scope. If the Gateway and DNS server IP addresses have not been automatically detected, type each of these addresses.

    noteNote
    For more information about enabling NAT and DHCP on your cluster network, see “HPC network services” in Appendix 1: HPC Cluster Networking.

  7. Click Next after you are done configuring the private network.

  8. Repeat steps 4, 6, and 7 for the application network adapter. Click Next after you are done configuring the application network.

  9. On the Firewall Setup page, select the firewall setting for the cluster:

    1. To apply firewall settings automatically to the nodes on each network, click ON for that network.

    2. To disable the firewall on a network, click OFF.

    3. If you do not want to change any firewall settings, click Do not manage firewall settings.

    noteNote
    For more information about firewall settings for your cluster, see “Windows Firewall configuration” in Appendix 1: HPC Cluster Networking.

  10. On the Review page, verify your settings and click Configure. If you want to change any of the settings, navigate to the appropriate wizard page by clicking it on the navigation pane or by clicking Previous.

  11. After the network configuration process is completed, on the Configuration Summary page, review the list of configuration items. If you want to save a report of the network configuration, click Save the configuration report.

  12. To close the wizard, click Finish.

Installation credentials must be provided to add new on-premises nodes to the cluster. These credentials will be used when installing the operating system, installing applications, and adding nodes to the Active Directory domain.

  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 Compute Nodes with Pre-created Computer Objects in Active Directory.

    • 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 article 24337 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

  3. To save the specified credentials, click OK.

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 are 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

noteNote
  • Node names are limited to 15 characters. When specifying the node naming series, consider 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.

  • Unlike the naming series for compute nodes that are deployed from bare metal, the naming series for Windows Azure nodes cannot be configured. Windows Azure nodes are numbered consecutively in a naming series that begins with the root name AzureCN. To avoid potential confusion, do not configure the naming series for compute nodes with the root name AzureCN.

  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.

Node templates define the necessary tasks for configuring and adding nodes to your cluster. For example, with a compute 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 four types of node templates:

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

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

  • Workstation node and unmanaged server node template. Use to add preconfigured workstation nodes or unmanaged server nodes and to specify if you want these nodes to be brought online and offline according to a weekly availability policy or manually.

  • Windows Azure node template. Use to add Windows Azure nodes to expand your cluster capacity, using accounts and features you have created or added to your Windows Azure subscription. You specify if you want these 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 a supported version of Windows Server (compute nodes and broker nodes), or of Windows (compute nodes only). Alternatively, you can have the installation files available on a network location that is accessible from the head node computer.

  1. In the Deployment To-do List, click Create a node template. The Create Node Template Wizard appears.

  2. On the Choose Node Template Type page, choose the type of node template that you want to create. The remaining steps in this procedure assume that you choose one of the following: Compute node template, Broker node template, or Workstation node or unmanaged server node template. (If you want to create a Windows Azure node template, see the topics in Configuring a Windows Azure Node Template for Microsoft HPC Pack.)

  3. On the Specify Template Name page, type a descriptive name for the template, and, optionally, a description, and then click Next.

  4. If you are creating a compute node template or a broker node template and you want to add nodes to your cluster from bare metal:

    1. On the Select Deployment Type page, click With operating system, and then click Next.

    2. On the Select Operating System Image page, if the operating system image that you want to use for your deployment is already listed in the Image Name list, click that image, and then skip to step 4.f. If you want to use a different operating system image, on the Select Operating System Image page, click Add Image.

    3. Follow the steps in the Add Image wizard to create a new operating system image or to load an existing operating system image from a WIM file. For more information, see Add an Operating System Image.

    4. After the image is added, in the Image Name list, click the image that you want to use with the template.

    5. Optionally, specify if you want to multicast the operating system image during deployment. For more information, see task “1.9. Prepare for multicast” in Step 1: Prepare for Your Deployment.

    6. Optionally, specify if you want to include a product key to activate the operating system on the nodes, and then type the product key that should be used.

    7. Click Next to continue.

    8. On the Specify Local Administrator Password for Node page, click Use a specific password, and then type and confirm the password that you want to use.

    9. Click Next.

    10. On the Specify Windows Updates page, specify if you want to add a step in the template to download and install updates by using Microsoft Update or the enterprise Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Also, you can specify specific updates to be added to the template. Click Next to continue. Go to the last step in this procedure.

  5. If you are creating a compute node template or a broker node template and you want to add preconfigured nodes to your cluster, do the following:

    1. On the Select Deployment Type page, click Without operating system, and then click Next.

    2. On the Specify Windows Updates page, specify if you want to add a step in the template to download and install updates by using Microsoft Update or the enterprise Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Also, you can specify specific updates to be added to the template. Click Next to continue. Go to the last step in this procedure.

  6. If you are creating a workstation node or unmanaged server node template, on the Configure Availability Policy page, select how you want workstation nodes to be brought online and offline:

    1. If you want workstation nodes to be brought online and offline manually, select that option, and then click Next. Go to the last step in this procedure.

    2. If you want workstation nodes to be brought online and offline automatically, select that option, and then click Configure Availability Policy. The Configure Workstation Availability Policy dialog box appears.

    3. In the Configure Workstation Availability Policy dialog box, on the Availability Policy tab, click and drag the mouse to select the days and hours at which nodes are Online (available to run cluster jobs) and Offline (not available to run cluster jobs).

    4. Optionally, specify the number of minutes before the workstation nodes are taken offline, when no new jobs will be started on the workstation nodes.

    5. Optionally, on the User Activity Detection page, configure user activity detection settings to restrict the workstation nodes and unmanaged server nodes that are brought online during an online time block.

    6. To save your settings, click OK, and then click Next.

  7. On the Review page, click Create.

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, or you can modify the template settings by using the Node Template Editor. For more information, see Appendix 3: Node Template Tasks and Properties.

ImportantImportant
If you edit a node template at the same time that nodes are being deployed with that node template, the changes that you make will be implemented immediately after you save your changes, affecting any nodes that are waiting to be deployed with that template. For that reason, before you open a node template for editing, determine if there are any nodes being deployed or waiting to be deployed, and if there are, ensure that none of those nodes use the template that you want to edit.

If you will be deploying on-premises 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 the WIM images in the image store of the cluster. The drivers are not available to VHD files or to captured images.

  • It is recommended that you obtain the latest device drivers for your nodes from the websites of your hardware vendors.

  • To add drivers to an operating system image on an HPC Pack 2012 R2 head node running on Windows Server 2012, you must first install an updated version of the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool on the head node. For more information and instructions to install the DISM tool from the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1, see Adding drivers to operating system images on an HPC Pack 2012 R2 head node running on Windows Server 2012 will fail in the Release Notes for HPC Pack 2012 R2.

  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.

If you will be giving cluster access to other members of your organization, you need to add their domain user accounts or domain groups to the cluster in a role such as HPC cluster users or HPC cluster administrators. For example, to submit jobs to the cluster or to perform diagnostic tests, a domain user must be at least an HPC cluster user. HPC cluster administrators have permissions to manage all aspects of the cluster. For information about other roles, see Managing Cluster Users.

noteNote
  • As a best practice, you can create domain groups to manage the different cluster roles. Then, add each domain group to the appropriate cluster role.

  • An HPC cluster administrator is also added as a member of the local Administrators group and the HPCAdminMirror group on the head node computer.

  • An HPC cluster user is also added as a member of the local HPCUsers group on the head node computer.

  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, in the Select Users or Groups window, click examples.

    3. Repeat the previous step for all HPC cluster users 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, in 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.

Under certain conditions, when HPC Cluster Manager is used to connect to the head node by using a CNAME alias of the computer, operations that require Active Directory authentication such as job submission may fail because the head node is not verified to be joined to the domain. A workaround is to configure a registry setting on the head node (or head nodes, if configured for high availability) to disable strict name checking. For a procedure to add the DisableStrictNameChecking registry entry, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

CautionCaution
Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer.

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