What's New in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

Updated: December 2010

Applies To: Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

This document lists the new features that are available in Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows® HPC Server 2008 R2.

If you want to try some of the new features listed in this document, see the New Feature Evaluation Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1.

In this topic

  • Windows Azure integration

  • Node management

  • Job scheduling and runtime

  • Development

  • Downloading and installing SP1

Windows Azure integration

The following features are new for integration with Windows Azure:

  • Deploy Azure worker nodes. Cloud platforms offer a new approach to deploying, using, and paying for computing resources. Windows Azure provides on-demand access to computational resources and storage. With HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1, you can supplement your on-premise cluster as needed by deploying additional Azure nodes. SP1 includes node templates for Azure worker nodes that you can use to specify Windows Azure subscription information. You can use the node template to deploy a set of Azure nodes from HPC Cluster Manager. You only pay for the Azure nodes when they are running. When you are finished, you can stop the Azure nodes in HPC Cluster Manager. For more information, see Deploying Worker Nodes in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 Step-by-Step Guide.

  • Deploy SOA services, XLLs and batch job assemblies to Azure worker nodes. HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1 includes hpcPack and hpcSync to help you deploy files to Azure worker nodes. You can use hpcPack to package and upload files to a Windows Azure storage account. When you provision a set of Windows Azure worker nodes from HPC Cluster Manager, any applications or files that are on the storage account are automatically deployed to the worker nodes. If you upload file packages to storage after the worker nodes are started, you can use hpcSync to manually deploy them to the worker nodes. For information about how to deploy files to Azure Worker Nodes, see Integration with Windows Azure.

  • Run some SOA services on Azure nodes with no changes to the service or the client. In HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1, services that get data through message requests can run on Azure Worker Nodes with no changes to the service or the client. Services that require access to databases or other external data sources must include code that uses the Azure APIs to access data. Azure worker nodes cannot access on-premise nodes or shares directly.

Node management

The following features are new for node management:

  • User activity detection for workstation nodes. In HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1, you can schedule workstation availability policy based on configurable user activity detection settings. You can define the days and times during which you want to try to use cycles, the number of minutes without keyboard or mouse input after which a workstation is considered idle, and the CPU usage threshold (that is, usage must be under the threshold for the workstation to be considered idle).This allows you to make use of desktop cycles during working and non-working hours without impacting the desktop user. For more information, see Configure availability of workstation nodes based on detected user activity.

  • New diagnostics to help validate your node deployment environment. The Deployment Environment Validator test suite helps you to find common problems that can affect node deployment. HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1 adds four new diagnostics in this suite. The Firewall Test verifies that the firewall is configured correctly. The Ports Open Test verifies that required ports are open and accessible. The Binding Order Test verifies that the binding order is correctly configured. The HA Virtual Network Resources Test verifies that a head node that is running as a failover cluster is using virtual IP addresses.

Job scheduling and runtime

The following features are new for job scheduling and runtime:

  • Mark tasks as critical. In HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1, you can mark a specific task in a job as critical. If that task fails, then the whole job should fail. You can mark a task as critical by setting the task property failJobOnFailure to true. This property can be set using the API, the command line, or HPC PowerShell. For more information, see Mark a task as critical.

  • Submit new jobs from a running job. In HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1, you can configure and submit new jobs from running tasks without having to supply your password again for each new job. A job owner can run cluscfg setcreds on the client computer to specify that the credentials can be reused for later job submission. Cluster administrators can disable this behavior across the cluster by setting the cluster property DisableCredentialReuse to true. For more information, see Submit new jobs from a running job.


The following features are new for developers:

  • Software development kit with Service Pack 1. The HPC Pack 2008 R2 SDK with Service Pack 1 is available here on the download center (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=198809). You can also download the HPC2008R2SP1.SampleCode.zip file which includes codes samples.

  • C# Cluster-SOA debugger add-in for Visual Studio 2010. The SOA debugger is now available as an add-in to the Visual Studio 2010 C# project system. It extends the remote debugger functionality and it simplifies the process of debugging cluster SOA services on a HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1cluster. This version of the cluster debugger includes the option to debug a SOA service locally before deploying to the cluster. You can download SOADebugger_VS2010.msihere on the download center (https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d3993532-bdf8-4024-b164-db2ee8a851f5).

Downloading and installing SP1

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft® HPC Pack 2008 R2 is available here on the download center (https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=aa86c849-15c0-4f97-a7b4-a23a2ba37890\&displaylang=en).

The installer for Microsoft® HPC Pack 2008 R2 SP1 does not support uninstallation back to Microsoft® HPC Pack 2008 R2. Before installing SP1, we recommend that you create a backup of your head node and databases.

For installation instructions and information, see Release Notes for Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.

See Also

Windows HPC Server 2008 R2