Azure CycleCloud Tutorial 1: Create and Run a Simple HPC Cluster

In this tutorial, you will start a new cluster using PBS Pro as a scheduler and submit a simple example job that calculates pi. create an alert for the cluster to notify you if it exceeds a monthly budget.

Select a Cluster Type

Click on Clusters in the main menu, which will bring up the list of available cluster types. These default cluster types expose a limited number of parameters in order to simplify and standardize cluster creation.


Azure CycleCloud ships with a limited number of supported cluster types by default, but many others are maintained in CycleCloud GitHub and can easily be imported into CycleCloud.

In this tutorial, you will create an HPC cluster configured with the PBS Pro scheduler. Click the PBS Professional OSS icon under Schedulers on the New Cluster page to bring up the cluster creation wizard.

Create New Cluster screen

Create New Cluster screen ::: moniker-en

New Cluster Settings

You will need to customize a few configuration settings. On the About page, enter a new cluster name such as "pbspro". Click Next.

Cluster Creation Wizard screen

Cluster Creation Wizard screen

Required Settings

Under Virtual Machines, use the dropdown to select your region. Master VM Type and Execute VM Type refer to the infrastructure used in your cluster, and should be automatically populated for you.

Azure CycleCloud will automatically scale your cluster if you choose to enable it on this screen. For this tutorial, ensure that Autoscale is selected, and that Max Cores has been set to 100.

Under Networking, select the subnet to use for the compute infrastructure. Use the default subnet you created in the quickstart, then click Next.

New Cluster Required Settings screen

New Cluster Required Settings screen

Advanced Settings

Your credentials were provided to CycleCloud when you deployed Azure CycleCloud into your subscription. They should be selected here for you.

The Software options allow you to select the operating system and any custom specifications you have. The default CycleCloud cluster template has selected the appropriate options for you, and do not need to be changed at this time.

The Advanced Networking options allow you to control access to and from your cluster. The default settings here are appropriate and do not need to be changed. Click Save.

New Cluster Advanced Settings screen

New Cluster Advanced Settings screen

Network Attached Storage Settings

This section allows you to configure the network attached storage options for your cluster.

New Cluster Network Attached Storage Settings screen

By default, the /shared/ directory for the cluster is an NFS share, exported from the cluster headnode (The Builtin NFS Type option). This /shared export is created on a mounted Azure Managed Disk, and the Size option allows you to change the amount of space avaiable on that disk.

Alternatively, using the NFS Type dropdown to choose "External NFS", allows you to mount a different storage, such as Azure NetApp Files or the NFS endpoint on Azure Blob Storage.

Usage Alert

Before you start your cluster, add an alert that will notify you if the accumulated usage cost has reached a specific limit. Click Create New Alert in the cluster summary window.

Cluster Summary Window

Cluster Summary Window

Set the Budget to $100.00 per month. Enable the Notifications, and add your email address in the Recipients field. This will send you an email when the cost hits $100 within the selected timeframe. Click Save to activate this alert.

Cluster Usage Alert Window

Start the Cluster

It's time to put your cluster to work. In the cluster summary window, click Start under the cluster name.

Cluster Summary - Start

Cluster Summary - Start

Confirm that you want to start the cluster. Once the cluster is started, it will take several minutes to provision and orchestrate the VM for the cluster's master node, as well as install and configure the PBS Pro scheduler. You can monitor the progress in the Cluster VM Details tab, as well as in the Event Log.

Tutorial 1 ends here. You've used the GUI to configure your CycleCloud installation, set a budget alert of $100, and started your cluster.