Requirements for Deploying iSCSI Boot Nodes with Microsoft HPC Pack

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

To deploy iSCSI boot nodes, you need the following:

  • A head node computer on which at least HPC Pack 2008 R2 is installed and configured (that is, all the steps required in the Deployment To-do List have been completed).

    If the head node is running HPC Pack 2012, ensure the following:

    • You have installed at least HPC Pack 2012 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). iSCSI deployment is not enabled in the release to manufacturing version of HPC Pack 2012.

    • To support iSCSI booting of a Windows Server 2012 operating system image, the operating system that you will deploy on the base node and on the storage array must be updated with update KB2822241. If you are creating a new image, download and install the update from the Microsoft Download Center. If you need to apply the update to an existing image in the image store on the head node, use the expand command to expand the hotfix file and use the DISM command to update the offline Windows image. For more information, see, Add or Remove Packages Offline Using DISM.

  • One or more network-attached storage arrays. The number of storage arrays that you require depends on the number of iSCSI boot nodes that you want to deploy and the storage requirements of these nodes. For example, if you will be generating large files on the nodes or loading large files for the nodes to process, you should increase the number of storage arrays.

  • The installation software for the iSCSI provider of your storage arrays. This software might be available from the vendor of your storage arrays, or you can install a compatible iSCSI provider that is available from Microsoft.

    • If your head node is running at least HPC Pack 2012 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), download and install the corresponding iSCSI provider for your version of HPC Pack from the Microsoft Download Center, Available providers include:

    • If your head node is running HPC Pack 2008 R2 and you are using a storage appliance that is running the Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3, you can install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target HPC Provider. This provider enables provisioning of iSCSI boot nodes with HPC Pack 2008 R2. Download Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3 from the Microsoft Download Center. For installation instructions, see Installing the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target Providers.

    • You can only install one iSCSI provider on the head node of your cluster. For this reason, all your storage arrays must use the same iSCSI provider.

  • One or more computers, connected to the private HPC network, that you want to deploy as iSCSI boot nodes. During the deployment process, you must designate one computer temporarily as a base node. The base node is deployed first and is used to capture the image that is deployed to the iSCSI boot nodes. For additional system requirements for the iSCSI boot nodes, see Additional requirements for the iSCSI boot nodes, in this topic.

  • A network connection between the nodes in your cluster and your storage arrays. The storage arrays must be connected to the same private HPC network that connects the computers that you want to deploy as iSCSI boot nodes.

    • For more information about the private HPC network and the different network topologies for your HPC cluster, see Appendix 1: HPC Cluster Networking in the Windows HPC Technical Library.

    • Because a private HPC network is required for iSCSI deployment, you cannot deploy iSCSI boot nodes if your HPC cluster is connected in topology 5 (all nodes on an enterprise network).

  • One of the computers that you add to the cluster for iSCSI deployment must not have a local hard disk drive, or the hard disk drive must be disabled in the system BIOS. This computer will be used to create a base node for iSCSI deployment. However, the other computers that you add for iSCSI deployment can have one or more existing hard disk drives, or you can use diskless computers. When the iSCSI boot nodes are deployed, the iSCSI target created for each computer appears as another hard disk drive that does not affect the existing hard disk drives.

  • If the network adapters that are installed on the computers that you want to deploy as iSCSI boot nodes cannot boot directly from iSCSI, you need a network boot program (NBP) file to enable the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) in the network adapters to boot from iSCSI. If the network adapters can boot directly from iSCSI, the use of a NBP file to enable PXE is optional.

  • If the network adapters that are installed on the computers that you want to deploy as iSCSI boot nodes can boot directly from iSCSI and you will not be using an NBP file to enable PXE, you need a node XML file that includes all the computers that you want to deploy as iSCSI boot nodes. This node XML file must adhere to the following rules:

    • List for each node only the name and the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the network adapter that is connected to the HPC private network. If the nodes have additional network adapters, do not include the MAC addresses for those adapters in the node XML file.

    • Not specify IP addresses for the nodes. IP addresses are assigned dynamically during the iSCSI deployment process.

    • Not specify a node template for the nodes. You apply a node template that you create for iSCSI deployment, as explained later in this guide.

    If you do not have a node XML file, you can create one by following the steps in Creating a Node XML File Step-by-Step Guide.

See Also