Understanding Node Roles

Updated: January 13, 2009

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008

When you install HPC Pack 2008, you set whether the node will act as a head node or as a compute node. You can modify node roles after nodes are added to the cluster: you can add a compute node or a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) broker node role to the head node, and you can change a compute node to a WCF broker node. Similarly, you can remove an additional role from the head node, or you can change a WCF broker node to a compute node.

Changing node roles allows you to easily scale your compute nodes and WCF broker nodes depending on your current needs. To determine how many nodes are configured for each role, you can filter your nodes by one of the three read-only node groups: HeadNodes, ComputeNodes, and WCFBrokerNodes. To determine which role a particular node has, including an additional role for the head node, you can look at the node Groups property in the Details Pane.

You can change node roles in Node Management. For more information about how to change a compute node to a WCF broker node, see Configuring WCF Broker Nodes. You can also change the role of the head node in Configuration, in the To-do List.

The following table describes Windows HPC Server 2008 node roles.


Node Role Functionality

Head node

Provides management and job scheduling services to the cluster.

A head node can have an additional role. It can also provide compute node or WCF broker node functionality.

Compute node

Accepts and runs cluster jobs.

WCF Broker nodes

Routes WCF calls from the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) client to the SOA services that are running on compute nodes.

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