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Add Compute Node VMs to an HPC Pack Cluster in Azure

Updated: November 18, 2014

This topic shows you how to use the Azure Management Portal to create HPC Pack compute node VMs from a custom image you create, and add them as dedicated compute resources to an existing HPC Pack head node in Azure.

Add compute nodes as Azure VMs

TipTip
If you used the HPC Pack IaaS deployment script to create the cluster, you can also use Azure PowerShell provided with HPC Pack to add and manage compute node VMs in the cluster. See Related Topics for more information.

In this topic:

An HPC Pack head node deployed in an Azure VM    See Deploy an HPC Pack Head Node in an Azure VM for steps to deploy the head node in an Azure VM.

noteNote
Ensure that the cluster is configured in Topology 5 (all nodes on an enterprise network), even if you plan to use A8 or A9 size for your compute nodes.

HPC Pack installation media  The free installation package for the latest version of HPC Pack (HPC Pack 2012 R2) is available from the Microsoft Download Center. You will need this package to install HPC Pack on the compute nodes.

ImportantImportant
Choose the same version of HPC Pack to run on the compute nodes that you used when deploying the head node in an Azure VM. If you plan to use the A8 or A9 size for your compute nodes, choose at least HPC Pack 2012 R2.

Ensure that you have the information in the following table before adding compute nodes in Azure VMs. This topic will help you deploy the compute nodes by using the same subscription, Active Directory domain, and virtual network used previously to deploy the head node.

 

Item Your information Description

Head node name

Host name of the Azure VM that is deployed as the HPC Pack head node

Active Directory domain

Name of the Active Directory domain to which the HPC Pack head node is joined

Virtual network

Name of the Azure virtual network and subnet used to deploy the HPC Pack head node and Active Directory domain controller

VM size

One of the available VM sizes that is appropriate for your cluster workload. If you want to use the A8 or A9 compute intensive instance size, see About the A8 and A9 Compute Intensive Instances.

Cloud service(s)

Name or names of planned cloud services to deploy compute nodes. Depending on your cluster workloads, you might want deploy one or more separate cloud services for the compute nodes, rather than use the existing cloud service for the head node.

Cluster administrator account

Domain account that has administrator permissions on the HPC Pack cluster. You can use the same account that you used to install HPC Pack on the head node, or another domain account configured as a cluster administrator.

Operating system version

Version of the Windows Server operating system that you will select to deploy on the compute node VMs. Using the information in the System Requirements for HPC Pack, decide which Windows Server image to use as the base image to deploy the compute node VMs.

If you are using the A8 or A9 VM size and plan to run MPI applications, choose either Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012.

In this step you will use the Azure Management Portal to create an Azure VM running the Windows Server operating system. (You can use other Azure tools to do this if you want.) You will install HPC Pack on the VM, as well as any applications that you want to run on the compute nodes. Then, create an image from the VM that can be used to deploy identically configured compute nodes for the cluster.

noteNote
You can also use an existing image (a .vhd file), or create an image in your on-premises environment, and then use the Add-AzureVMImage Azure PowerShell cmdlet to add the image to your subscription. For more information, see Add-AzureVMImage.

  1. In the Azure Management Portal, use the From Gallery method to create a VM running the version of Windows Server you want for your cluster compute nodes. Ensure that you configure the VM in the same virtual network and subnet used for the HPC Pack head node.

    Because you will be capturing the image of this VM for later use, you can use any supported VM size. Also, you can generally accept default values for the remaining VM configuration settings.

  2. Connect to the VM using the user name and password you configured when creating the VM.

  3. Configure the preferred DNS server address for the connection to the virtual network with the IPv4 address of the Active Directory domain controller. If you followed the recommended (default) settings to create the head node, the IPv4 address of the Active Directory domain controller is 10.0.0.4.

  4. Join the VM to the Active Directory domain.

  5. Add a domain user account to the local Administrators group on the VM. Then restart the VM and connect with those credentials.

  6. Download the HPC Pack setup files from the Microsoft Download Center and extract them to a location on the VM. Alternatively, you can find the installation package in the REMINST file share on the head node VM.

    noteNote
    To download files to the Azure VM, you might need to temporarily disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration for Administrators. Because of the size of the setup files, it can take some time to complete the download.

  7. From the setup files, run Setup.exe.

  8. On the Select Installation Type page of the HPC Pack installation wizard, select Join an existing HPC cluster by creating a new compute node.

  9. On the Join Cluster page, type or select the host name of the head node that you previously deployed in the domain.

    WarningWarning
    The head node name is recorded in the Registry and is not removed when you later create an image from the VM. The image is therefore dedicated to the cluster head node that you specify.

  10. Follow the remaining steps in the installation wizard to complete the installation of HPC Pack.

  11. Optionally, install applications or data that you want to run on the cluster compute nodes.

  12. When you are finished installing software and configuring the VM, capture the image of the compute node by following the steps in How to Capture an Image of a VM Running Windows Server. You will run the System Preparation Tool (sysprep.exe) and shutdown the VM, and then capture the image in the Management Portal.

    ImportantImportant
    When you capture an image of a VM, the VM is deleted.

  13. The new image is available under Images in the Azure Management Portal.

You can use a variety of Azure tools and procedures to create an Azure VM from the captured image and then join the compute node VM to the domain containing the HPC Pack head node. See the following sections for details on two ways to do this. Since an HPC Pack cluster typically contains several compute nodes, you may find it easiest to use an Azure PowerShell script to deploy the compute nodes.

  1. In the Azure Management Portal, create a new VM by using the From Gallery method.

  2. On the Choose an Image page, click My Images, and select the compute node image that you previously captured.

  3. Configure the settings that you want for the VM, such as the size that is needed for your applications. Ensure that you configure the VM in the same virtual network and subnet used for the HPC Pack head node.

  4. Connect to the VM using the user name and password you configured when creating the VM.

  5. Configure the preferred DNS server address for the connection to the virtual network with the IPv4 address of the Active Directory domain controller. If you followed the recommended (default) settings to create the head node, the IPv4 address of the Active Directory domain controller is 10.0.0.4.

  6. Join the VM to the Active Directory domain.

  7. Add a domain user account to the local Administrators group on the VM. If you need to complete the configuration, restart the VM and connect with those credentials.

To add additional VMs, repeat this procedure.

If your compute nodes are of size A8 or A9, and you plan to run MPI applications on the cluster, add the HpcVmDrivers extension to each VM to configure the necessary network device drivers. See HpcVmDrivers.

You can use Azure PowerShell cmdlets to create a VM for a compute node from the custom image and join it to the domain, as shown in the following script.

To get started with Azure PowerShell, see How to install and configure Azure PowerShell and Running Scripts.

$subscriptionName = 'My Azure Subscription Name'
 
# Storage account where the VHD for the custom image is located 
$storageAccountName = 'portalvhds0123456890abcdefg'
   
# Configure the same storage account location to store the newly created VHDs  
Set-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName $subscriptionName -CurrentStorageAccount $storageAccountName  
  
Select-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName $subscriptionName
 
# Name of compute node image 
$imageName = 'MYHPCCNImage' 
 
# Size of VM – choose according to your workload 
$instanceSize = 'Large'  
 
# Hosted service used for deployment of compute node VMs 
$serviceName = 'MyCNService'
 
# Compute node VM name 
$vmname1 = 'MYHPCCN01'
 
# Virtual network settings for the HPC cluster
$subnet = 'MySubnet' 
$vnetName = 'MyHpcVNet'  
 
# Domain join settings
$domainController = 'MyHpcDC' 
$domain = 'MyHpcAzure' 
$domainjoin = 'MyHpcAzure.local' 
$adminID = 'MyUser'
$adminPassword = 'p@ssw0rd'
$domainuser = 'MyDomainAdmin' 
$domainpwd = 'p@ssw0rd'  

# DNS IP address of domain controller
$myDNS = New-AzureDNS -Name $domainController -IPAddress '10.0.0.4'
 
# Configure compute node VM 
$advm1 = New-AzureVMConfig -Name $vmname1 -InstanceSize $instanceSize -ImageName $imageName | 
    Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -WindowsDomain -AdminUsername $adminID -Password $adminPassword -JoinDomain $domainjoin -Domain $domain -DomainPassword $domainpwd -DomainUserName $domainuser |  
    Set-AzureSubnet -SubnetNames $subnet  

# Optionally, for size A8 or A9, add the HpcVmDrivers extension
# $advm1 = Set-AzureVMExtension -ExtensionName "HpcVmDrivers" -Publisher "Microsoft.HpcCompute" -Version "1.*" -VM $advm1 

# Create the compute node VM
New-AzureVM -ServiceName $serviceName -VMs $advm1 -VNetName $vnetName -DnsSettings $myDNS


The compute node VMs you deployed are preconfigured compute nodes - that is, they have HPC Pack already installed. To add the preconfigured nodes to the cluster so that they can run jobs, connect to the cluster head node with cluster administrator credentials. Do the following in HPC Cluster Manager or with other HPC Pack management tools. These steps are the same as those you would perform to add preconfigured nodes to an on-premises cluster.

  1. Create a compute node template to add the preconfigured nodes. If you use the Create Node Template Wizard to do this, on the Select Deployment Type page, select Without operating system.

  2. Use the node template to add the preconfigured nodes.

  3. Bring the nodes online to run jobs.

For more information, see Add Preconfigured Nodes.

noteNote
If you add the compute nodes by using HPC Cluster Manager, you might notice that the name of VM that you used to capture the image appears along with the compute nodes you created. This additional node has a status of Unknown and can be safely deleted from the cluster.

See Also

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