Configuring Failover Clustering in Windows HPC Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guide

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008

This guide provides procedures and guidance for deploying Windows® HPC Server 2008 in a failover cluster where the servers are running Windows Server® 2008.

If you want to provide high availability for your job scheduler service, you can configure your head node in a failover cluster. The failover cluster will contain two servers that work together, so that if there is a failure of the server that is acting as the head node, the other server in the failover cluster automatically begins acting as the head node (in a process known as failover). Even if an outage occurs on a server, existing jobs can continue to run and new jobs can be submitted.

Setting up failover clustering enhances the availability of the head node for unscheduled and scheduled outages.

  • Unscheduled outages   If there is a failure of a single-point resource, such as a hardware or software failure on the server that is acting as the head node, the result is a brief interruption during failover. After failover, you can fix the server with the problem while the head node continues running on the other server in the failover cluster.

  • Scheduled outages   You might not want to shut down the whole system for routine head node maintenance (for example, applying a service pack or hotfix, upgrading hardware, or updating an application). If your head node is configured in a failover cluster, one server in the failover cluster can run new and existing jobs while you apply software updates or upgrade hardware on the other server.

The names that are used to refer to this product and product components have changed in this version of the product. The changes are summarized as follows:

  • Windows Server® 2008 HPC Edition has replaced Windows Server 2003, Compute Cluster Edition

  • Windows HPC Server 2008 has replaced Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003

  • Microsoft® HPC Pack 2008 has replaced Microsoft Compute Cluster Pack 2003

Before you begin

This section lists other documents to take note of before beginning your deployment.


Before you begin your deployment, review the Release Notes for Windows HPC Server 2008.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the software used in the scenario described in this document by referring to related documentation in the following order:

Software to Become Familiar With Documentation to Use

Windows HPC Server 2008

We recommend that before trying to create the full configuration described in this guide, you create a Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster (head node and compute nodes) where the head node is on a single server, not in a failover cluster. By doing this, you can ensure that you understand how to set up the hardware environment and software environment for Windows HPC Server 2008.

Windows HPC Server 2008 Getting Started Guide (

Failover clustering feature in Windows Server 2008

When you have a basic understanding of Windows HPC Server 2008, we recommend that you create a two-server failover cluster without any clustered applications or services on it. This will familiarize you with the failover cluster feature.

Configuring a Two-Node File Server Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guide (

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 installation for failover clustering

We recommend that you review information about creating a SQL Server 2005 failover cluster, to familiarize yourself with the process, which is also part of configuring failover clustering with Windows HPC Server 2008.

How to: Create a New SQL Server 2005 Failover Cluster (Setup) (

Sections in this guide

This guide contains the following sections:

Overview and Requirements for Windows HPC Server 2008 in a Failover Cluster

Steps for Setting up Windows HPC Server 2008 with Failover Clustering

Managing Windows HPC Server 2008 in a Failover Cluster

Additional Resources for Windows HPC Server 2008 in a Failover Cluster