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Understanding Node Templates

Updated: January 13, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 R2, Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

Node templates define the necessary tasks for adding, configuring, and maintaining nodes in your cluster. For more information about these tasks, see Adding Nodes to a Cluster and Maintaining Nodes.

You can create new node templates by using the Create Node Template Wizard in Configuration. The wizard includes the option to create broker node, compute node, workstation node or unmanaged server node, or Windows Azure node templates. When nodes are added, the corresponding node role is enabled automatically. Workstation node and unmanaged server node templates and Windows Azure node templates also define the availability policy for the workstations (that is, how and when nodes are available for running cluster jobs). For more information, see Create a Node Template.

noteNote
Windows Azure nodes are supported starting in HPC Pack 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). Unmanaged server nodes are supported starting in HPC Pack 2008 R2 with SP3.

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.

There are four types of node template tasks:

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

 

Task Name Task Description Properties

Create Computer Account

Creates a computer account in Active Directory for the node.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Use Custom PXE Client

Provides a specific network boot program (NBP) for the node to PXE boot.

  • ClientPath (optional): specifies the path on the head node where the network boot program (NBP) file used for PXE boot is stored. The file path must be relative to the folder: %CCP_DATA%\Boot. If this property is not specified, an NBP is not provided to the node at boot time. You need to specify this property, unless the firmware of the network adapter that is installed in the node is already configured for iSCSI boot or there is a different PXE boot server on the network (not the head node) that is configured to initiate iSCSI boot.

  • DeferPXE (optional): if True is selected, PXE requests from nodes that are assigned this node template will be ignored. If this property is not specified or False is selected, the head node will respond to PXE requests from nodes that are assigned this node template.

  • UserClientDhcpString (optional): specifies the DHCP client class of the network boot program (NBP) used for PXE boot. For example, if your NBP is for gPXE, specify gPXE as the class. You need to specify this property, unless the documentation for the NBP states that it is not necessary.

Configure iSCSI Base LUN

Provisions a base LUN for iSCSI deployment.

  • BaseLunName (optional): specifies a name for the base LUN. If this property is not specified, a name for the LUN will be automatically generated.

  • IQNTemplateString (optional): specifies a template for how the IQN strings are generated for each iSCSI boot node. For example, the following IQN template string will generate a different IQN for each iSCSI boot node based on the MAC address of the network adapter that each node uses to boot from iSCSI: iqn.1991-05.com.microsoft.%MAC-COLON-DELIMITED%.iscsiboot. The available substitution strings are: %HOSTNAME%, %MAC-NO-DELIMITERS%, %MAC-COLON-DELIMITED%, %MAC-DASH-DELIMITED%, and %MAC-DOT-DELIMITED%.

  • StorageServerName (optional): specifies the name of the iSCSI storage array where the base LUN will be provisioned. If you do not specify this property, an iSCSI storage array will be selected from the list of available arrays.

Configure iSCSI Diff LUN

Provisions a differencing LUN for iSCSI deployment.

  • Image (required): specifies the image to use for the provisioning of the differencing LUN. It includes the WIM file name and the image name. For example: MyImage.wim\iSCSI Deployment Image.

  • IQNTemplateString (optional): specifies a template for how the IQN strings are generated for each iSCSI boot node. For example, the following IQN template string will generate a different IQN for each iSCSI boot node based on the MAC address of the network adapter that each node uses to boot from iSCSI: iqn.1991-05.com.microsoft.%MAC-COLON-DELIMITED%.iscsiboot. The available substitution strings are: %HOSTNAME%, %MAC-NO-DELIMITERS%, %MAC-COLON-DELIMITED%, %MAC-DASH-DELIMITED%, and %MAC-DOT-DELIMITED%.

  • StorageServerName (optional): specifies the name of the iSCSI storage array where the differencing LUN will be provisioned. If you do not specify this property, an iSCSI storage array will be selected from the list of available arrays.

Create DHCP Reservation

Creates a DHCP reservation for the node.

  • ClientIqnOptionId (optional): if DHCP will be used to dynamically assign an IQN to the node, specifies the ID of the DHCP option to use for the reservation.

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Configuration tasks are performed on a node when the node is booted into Microsoft® 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.

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

  • 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.

Multicast Copy

Copies a file from the head node using multicast protocol.

  • DestFile (required): specifies the absolute path to the drive of the 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.

  • 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.

Unicast Copy

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

  • Destination (required): specifies the absolute path to the drive of the 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.

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

Partition Disk

Partitions the disk on the 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.

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

  • 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.

Install Windows

Installs the Windows Server operating system on the node.

  • 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.

  • 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 node.

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

Apply WIM Image

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

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

For more information, see Understanding Node Template Images.

Restart

Restarts the node.

  • None

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Deployment tasks are performed on a 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.

  • Destination (required): specifies the absolute path on the drive of the 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.

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

Run OS command

Runs a command as the local Administrator.

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

Install HPC Pack

Installs HPC Pack on the node.

  • Kind of Node (required): specifies the type of node that will be created: a compute node, a broker node, or a workstation node.

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

Mount Share

Shares a folder on the node.

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

  • 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.

Join Domain

Joins the node to an Active Directory domain.

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

Restart

Restarts the node.

  • None

Log Off

Logs off the node.

  • None

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Maintenance tasks are performed on a 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

Apply Updates

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

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

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

Post Install Command

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Power Scheme Setting

noteNote
This task was added in HPC Pack 2012

Sets the power scheme (plan) of the node.

  • Power scheme (required): specifies the power scheme (power plan) to set on the node, which can affect cluster performance. Select one of three default power schemes provided in the operating system: High performance (recommended), Balanced, or Power saver. Or, select Other and supply the GUID of a power scheme that is available on the node. To view the available power schemes on the nodes, run the Active Power Scheme Report in Diagnostics.

  • 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.

For more information, see Understanding Power Settings in a Compute Node Template.

Activate Operating System

Activates the operating system on the node.

  • None

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