Requirements for Adding Workstation Nodes with Microsoft HPC Pack


Applies To: Microsoft HPC Pack 2012, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 R2

To add workstation nodes to your HPC cluster, you need the following:

  • An HPC cluster where the head node computer, other cluster nodes, and the workstation computers are connected in a topology that allows the workstations to communicate with all the resources that they need to interact with.


    • Topology 5 (all nodes on an enterprise network) is often a recommended topology for adding workstation nodes, because in that topology workstation nodes (usually already connected to the enterprise network) are able to communicate with all other types of nodes in the cluster.

    • If you use a cluster topology other than topology 5 for adding workstation nodes. you should consider the type and the scope of the jobs that you want to run. For example, if you choose topology 1 (compute nodes isolated on a private network) or topology 3 (compute nodes isolated on private and application networks), and workstation nodes are already connected to the enterprise network, communication between compute nodes and workstation nodes will not be possible.

    • For more considerations about adding workstation nodes to each cluster network topology, see Appendix 1: Cluster Network Topologies for Workstation Nodes.

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


    If you are using HPC Pack 2008 R2, you must install HPC Pack 2008 R2 Enterprise and HPC Pack 2008 R2 for Workstation (also called Cycle Harvesting) edition.

  • One or more workstation computers, each running a supported edition of the Windows operating system, that you want to add as workstation nodes to your cluster. The following table shows the versions of the Windows operating system that are supported by HPC Pack.

    Version of HPC Pack

    Operating system requirement for workstation nodes

    HPC Pack 2012

    • Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise

    • Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate

    HPC Pack 2008 R2

    Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate

  • If you are running at least HPC Pack 2008 R2 withSP2, the workstation computers and the head node computer can be joined to the same Active Directory domain, but you can also use workstation computers that are joined to any domain that has an established trust relationship with the domain to which the head node is joined. If you are running a previous version of HPC Pack, the workstation computers and the head node computer must be joined to the same Active Directory domain.

  • Compatible installation media for HPC Pack, to install on the workstation computers. Generally you should install the same version of hpcpack_gen_2 (updated with the same service pack) that is installed on the head node.

Considerations for user accounts used on the workstation computers

  • For a domain user to submit an HPC job to a workstation node, the user account must be added in HPC Cluster Manager on the head node, or by using HPC PowerShell, with a role that has permissions to submit cluster jobs. For additional information about HPC user roles, see Understanding User Roles.

  • The user account must also be a valid member of the local Users group on each workstation computer on which the job will run. By default, this requirement is met when a workstation computer is joined to the domain. Unless specific restrictions are configured, this action automatically adds all domain users to the local Users group on that workstation.

  • The administrator of workstations in your organization should determine which users in the organization are designated to submit jobs to workstation nodes, and ensure that those user accounts have the necessary permissions on the HPC cluster and on the workstation nodes.


    It is strongly recommended that you do not add workstation computers to your HPC cluster on which users have local administrative privileges. If you add these workstation computers as workstation nodes, the users who have local administrative privileges can affect the performance and the outcome of HPC jobs that are running on their computers. It might also be possible for an attacker who has local administrative privileges to create a service that can affect HPC services or jobs that are running on the computer or on other nodes in the cluster.

  • The administrator of workstations can use standard administrative tools for Windows or for Windows Server to help control the access of HPC cluster users to resources on the workstations, such as the following:

Additional considerations

  • When HPC Pack is installed on the workstation computers, inbound and outbound rules are configured in Windows Firewall on the workstation computers to enable communication with the head node of your cluster and with other nodes in the cluster. For more information about these rules, see Appendix 1: HPC Cluster Networking.

  • You must configure any additional rules that might be required by the applications that you want to run on the workstation nodes.

  • If you are planning to configure workstation computers in more than one trusted domain as workstation nodes (supported beginning with HPC Pack 2008 R2 with SP2), each computer must have a unique computer name (host name).

  • If you plan to add unmanaged servers to you cluster (supported beginning with Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 with SP3), see Adding Unmanaged Servers to a Windows HPC Cluster.