Windows HPC Server 2008 Fundamentals for the IT Professional

3 Day Course
Hands On
Official Microsoft Curriculum

This course has been retired. Please view currently available Microsoft Windows 2008 Training Courses.


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Introduction to High-Performance Computing and HPC Server 2008 (6 topics)

  • Motivation for HPC
  • Brief product history of CCS and HPCS
  • Brief overview of HPC Server 2008 - components, job submission, scheduler
  • HPC resources: cores vs. sockets vs. nodes
  • Product differentiators
  • The goal of your developers - linear speedup

The HPCS Job Scheduler in Depth (8 topics)

  • Throughput vs. performance
  • Jobs vs. Tasks
  • Job and task states
  • The definition of a failed job / task, auto re-starting upon failure
  • Default scheduling policies
  • Job-level vs. task-level policies
  • The impact of job priorities and job preemption
  • Job resources and dynamic growing / shrinking

The Main Components of an HPC Server Cluster (7 topics)

  • Headnode vs. compute nodes vs. broker nodes
  • Windows Server 2008 + HPC Pack
  • SQL Server
  • Active directory and credentials management
  • Network topologies
  • Data storage options: SMB, NAS, PFS, ...
  • Job Scheduler and the job queue

Interfacing with HPC Server – From Command Prompts to Calling the HPC Server API (8 topics)

  • Cluster Manager
  • Job Manager
  • Job Description Files
  • clusrun
  • Console window
  • PowerShell
  • Scripts
  • Programmatically via HPCS API

Understanding how Clients Will Use the Cluster (8 topics)

  • What applications can run on the cluster
  • What software technologies will developers typically use
  • Sequential apps
  • Parametric sweep
  • SOA applications
  • Multi-threaded apps
  • MPI apps
  • UNIX apps

Configuring HPC Server (7 topics)

  • Node groups
  • Job templates
  • Job preemption
  • Dynamic resource allocation
  • Submission and activation filters
  • Job history, job restarting
  • Applying configurations to HPC users and groups

Basic Cluster Setup, from Hardware to Software (7 topics)

  • Hardware, physical and virtual
  • Software: Windows Server 2008 editions, HPC Pack, HPC Pack SDK
  • Active Directory integration
  • Common groups, local directories, and network shares
  • Network topologies, DNS, and DHCP
  • Runtimes, software, and tools commonly needed by developers
  • Supporting remote debugging and tracing

Advanced Setup and Integration Options (5 topics)

  • Windows Deployment Services
  • High-speed networking hardware and drivers, e.g. InfiniBand
  • Configuring headnode failover with Windows Server Failover Clustering
  • Enabling support for Open Grid Forum's basic web profile
  • Cluster integration (with other HPCS clusters, and Linux clusters)

Cluster Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning (8 topics)

  • Cluster Manager diagnostics
  • Common job and task failures - from the command-line to licensing
  • App-specific failures with MPI and SOA
  • Security issues
  • Remote desktop as a debugging technique
  • Windows HPC Server application event log
  • SOA tracing and performance tuning
  • Tuning tools: perfmon, xperf, MPI Ping-Pong, and The Lizard

Maintenance of your HPC Server 2008 Cluster (9 topics)

  • Cluster Manager charts and reports
  • Monitoring via System Center Operations Manager
  • Performance maintenance: MPI Ping-Pong, The Lizard, and uSane
  • Synchronizing software patches to the cluster
  • Headnode maintenance
  • SQL Server maintenance
  • Compute and broker node maintenance
  • Windows Update
  • Automating maintenance runs


Delegates should have existing Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 administration experience.

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