Step 5: Set Up Remote SQL Server 2008 SP1 for the HPC Cluster

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

This topic provides information about setting up SQL Server 2008 SP1 on a server or servers that are separate from the servers that will run the head node of your HPC cluster. You can set up SQL Server on a single server, or on multiple servers in a SQL Server failover cluster.


This topic describes how to set up a remote installation of SQL Server to support a head node in a failover cluster. You can use a local installation of SQL Server instead, that is, where your two-node failover cluster runs both SQL Server 2008 SP1 and Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. To create this configuration, use the same steps as for a remote SQL Server, except that in the procedure that follows, install SQL Server on the same servers that you will use for the head node failover cluster. Then, when you reach the next topic, Step 6: Install HPC Pack 2008 R2 on a Server that Will Run Head Node Services, do not specify a remote SQL Server instance, but specify your local SQL Server instance instead.

Reviewing requirements

The requirements in the following list are also included in Requirements for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 in Failover Clusters, earlier in this guide. The requirements for SQL Server 2008 SP1 are repeated here for easy reference.

  • Domain role: No server running SQL Server 2008 SP1 should be a domain controller (to maintain security levels for SQL Server). If you create a SQL Server failover cluster, all servers in the failover cluster must be in the same Active Directory domain.

  • Storage requirements: The disk where SQL Server will be installed must be uncompressed.

  • Software requirements: You can use any edition of SQL Server 2008 SP1 except SQL Server Compact 3.5, although we do not recommend SQL Server 2008 Express for HPC clusters that have more than 256 nodes. If you decide to install SQL Server 2008 Express SP1 and you are deploying a large cluster, be aware that the database size is limited to 4 GB per database.

  • Service account for SQL Server Services: You must assign a domain user account to each SQL Server service. You can use one domain account for all of the services. For more information, see Service Account (

  • Login on the SQL Server instance (for remote SQL Server only): For a remote SQL Server, on the SQL Server instance, you need to create a login for the domain security group account (in AD DS) that is used for HPC administrators. (This group account should contain the account of the person who will install the HPC cluster.)

  • Sysadmin role in SQL Server: You must be able to assign all SQL Server logins that are created for the HPC cluster to the sysadmin role in SQL Server.

  • Remote access for SQL Server instances (for remote SQL Server only): If you configure a remote SQL Server (rather than local), you must configure it for remote access.

  • Firewall exceptions for SQL Server instances (for remote SQL Server only): If you configure a remote SQL Server (rather than local), firewall exceptions must be configured. For more information, see How to: Configure a Windows Firewall for Database Engine Access (

For a full list of requirements for SQL Server 2008, see Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008 (

Setting up SQL Server 2008 SP1 as a remote database for HPC Server 2008 R2

To set up SQL Server 2008 SP1 as a remote database for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, use the following topics:

Additional references

The previous section provides links to information about setting up SQL Server 2008 SP1 as a remote database for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2. The following links provide additional information.