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http://www.microsoft.com/hpc/en/us/product/cluster-computing.aspx

By the look of the basic HPC cluster set up, is the head node a server, like a rack of server blade?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 15 '11 at 8:29

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1 Answer 1

Yep.

Basically the head node is just another server, only one that doesn't do any computationally intense programming, doesn't need high-speed interconnects to the other compute nodes or storage nodes.

You could use either another blade, or a 1U rack server, or probably even a powerful workstation, but only if you had server-grade disks and other components in it.

Using a server is probably the recommended method.

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i agree with most of what you say, but the part about it not needing high speed network connection to the rest of the nodes is not 100% accurate... Depending on what you are doing, your head node may need to be able to send and receive data between nodes... So, it having the same interconnect, if not faster, than the rest of the nodes, again, depending on application, could be a requirement... especially with something like MPI or Share memory... –  TiernanO Jun 14 '12 at 13:47
    
@TiernanO I wouldn't worry. I doubt the OP is coming back for the answer. You should be able to edit my answer if you want to. –  Tom O'Connor Jun 14 '12 at 17:49
    
yea, I'm just being pedantic here... I found the answer on Google while looking for something else... and I was being lazy about updating the answer too... Joe is MIA, so your right about that... –  TiernanO Jun 15 '12 at 15:26

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