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                         :         CHAPTER 7         :

Setting Up a Local Area VAXcluster Environment

This chapter discusses how to set up a small local area VAXcluster
configuration.  For the purposes of this manual, a small local area
VAXcluster configuration consists of one processor called a boot server that
serves as the hub of the cluster, and one or more MircroVAX or VAXstation
processors that are connected to the boot node.  If you want to learn how to
set up this type of VAXcluster configuration, then you should read the rest
of this chapter.  If you manage a VAXcluster environment other than the type
described in this chapter, then you should refer to the VMS VAXcluster

7.1  What Is a Cluster?

A cluster is a group of two or more processors that share some or all of
their resources.  When a group of VAX processors shares resources in a
VAXcluster environment, the storage and computing resources of all of the
processors are combined, which can increase the processing capability,
communications, and availability of your computer system.

7.1.1 VAXcluster Types

Three types of VAXcluster configurations are possible:

Local Area VAXcluster configuration
CI-only VAXcluster configuration
Mixed-interconnect VAXcluster configuration

Local Area VAXcluster Configuration

A Local Area VAXcluster configuration is made up of a single VAX processor
that serves as the management center of the cluster, plus one or more VAX
processors that are connected to ths hub.  A local area VAXcluster
configuration always includes the following parts:

: A Boot Server

A boot server is a VAX or MicroVAX processor, and it serves as the
management center of a local area VAXcluster environment.  The system disk
of the boot server contains management files for the entire cluster,
including startup files, the boot server's system disk, user authorization
information, and the capability of letting other processors join the
cluster.  The boot server must be available and running for the cluster to

Boot servers should be the most powerful machines in the cluster.  They
should also use the highest bandwidth Ethernet adapters available.  You can
use any VAX or MicroVAX system except VAX-11/725, VAX-11/730 or MicroVAX I
as a boot server.

( Note that if your boot server is a MircoVAX II class system with an RD54
system disk, you can have a maximum of three satellite nodes in your
VAXcluster configuration.  In either of these cases, DIGITAL rtecommends
that the satellites use local RD series disks for paging and swapping.
Refer to the VAXcluster Software Product Description for complete
information about supported configurations. )

: Satellite Nodes

A satellite node is a MicroVAX processor that is a member of the cluster.  A
processor becomes a satellite node when the CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM procedure is
ececuted from the boot server to add the processor to the cluster.

You can use any of the following as satellite nodes:

: MicroVAX II or MicroVAX 2000 systems
: VAXstation II or VAXstation 2000 systems
: MicroVAX 3000 series systems

CI-only VAXcluster Configuration

A CI-only VAXcluster configuration is a cluster in qhich only the computer
interconnect is used for communications between the processors in the
cluster.  In a CI-only VAXcluster configuration, the star coupler is used as
the common connection point for all nodes in the cluster, including both VAX
processors and Hierarchical Storage Controllers ( HSCs ).

Nodes in a CI-only VAXcluster configuration can be either

: VAX processors listed in the VAXcluster SPD, or
: HSCs

Mixed-Interconnect VAXcluster Configuration

A mixed-interconnect cluster may include both CI-connectdc VAX processors
and Micro-VAX systems.

This chapter concentrates on setting up a Local Area VAXcluster
configuration with a single boot server.  Although some of the management
tasks for other VAXcluster types are similar, you should refer to the
VAXcluster documentation that is avaiable in the full VMS documentation set
for information about managing a CI-only or mixed-interconnect cluster.

7.2 Shared Resources

A major benefit of a VAXcluster configuration is the ability to share
resources.  A shared resource is a resource ( such as a disk or a queue )
that can be accessed and used by any node in a cluster.  Data files,
application programs, printers, are just a ffew of the items that can be
accessed by users on a cluster with shared resources, without regard to the
particular node on which the files or program or printer might physically

When disks are set up as shared resources in a VAX cluster environment,
users have the same environment ( password, privileges, access to default
login disks, and so on ) regardless of the node that is used for logging in.
You can realize a more effcient use of mass storage with shared disks,
because the information on any device can be used by more than one node--the
information does not have to be rewritten in many places.

Print and batch queues can also be set up as shared resources.  In a
VAXcluster configuration with shared print and batch queues, a single jobt
controller queue file manages the queues for all nodes on the cluster.  The
job controller file makes the queues available from any node.  For example,
suppose your VAXcluster configuration has fully shared resources and
includes nodes ALBANY, BASEL, and CARIO.  A user logged in to node ALBANY
can send a file that physically resides on node BASEL to a printer that is
physically connected to node CAIRO, and the user never has to specify ( or
even know ) the nodes for either the file or the printer.  For more
information about setting up and using print and batch queus in a VAXcluster
environment, see Chapter 5.

7.3  Preparing a System for a Local ARea VAXcluster Environment

In a VAXcluster environment with a single system disk, you need to install
the VMS operating system only once, regardless of the number of nodes in the

To install the operating system, foollow the instructions in your
processor's installation guide.  Before beginning the installation
procedure, you must determine the configuation type for your cluster (
CI-only, local rea, or mixed-interconnect).  During the installation of the
operating system you will be asked a series of questions.  Table 7-1 lists
the questions and answers for Local ARea VAXcluster configurations.

NOTE:  While rebooting at the end of the installation procedure, the system
displays messages warning that you must install required licenses.  Be sure
to install these licenses, as well as the DECnet-VAX license, as soon as the
system is available.  Procedures for installing the licenses are described
in the release notes distributed with the software kit.

3Question                                                Response
3Will this node be a cluster member (Y/N)?               Enter Y
3What is the node's DECnet node name?                    Enter DECnet node name
3                                                        for example, ALBANY.
3                                                        The DECnet node name
3                                                        may be 1-6 alphanumeric
3                                                        characters in length
3                                                        and may not include $
3                                                        or _.
3What is the Node's DECnet node address?                 Enter DECnet node
3                                                        address :-> 2.2.
3Will the Ethernet be used for cluster communica-
3tions (Y/N)?                                            Enter Y.  The Ethernet
3                                                        for cluster (SCS
3                                                        internode) communica-
3                                                        tions in local area
3                                                        configurations.
3Enter this cluster's group number:                      Enter a number in the
3                                                        range from 1-4095 or
3                                                        61440-54435.
3Enter this cluster's password:                          Enter the cluster pw.
3                                                        1-31 alphanumeric
3                                                        characters in length
3                                                        and MAY include $ and _
3Reenter this cluster's password for verification:       Reenter The password
3Will ALBANY be a disk server (Y/N)?                     Enter Y.  In local
3                                                        area configurations,
3                                                        the system disk is
3                                                        always served to the
3                                                        cluster.
3Will ALBANY serve HSC disks (Y/N)?                      Enter N.
3Enter a value for ALBANY's ALLOCLASS parameter:         Enter a value of 0 for
3                                                        Local Area VAXcluster
3                                                        configurations
3                                                        convered by this manual
3Does this cluster contain a quorum disk [N]?            Enter N for Local Area
3                                                        VAXcluster configur-
3                                                        ations covered by this
3                                                        manual

7.3.1 Building a VAXcluster Configuration

Once you have installed the VMS operating system, you can start to build
your cluster.  This section describes how to build a simple Local Area
VAXcluster configuration using the command procedure
SYS$MANAGER:CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM.  If you find that your cluster configuration
is more than the type described in thismanual, be sure to consult the VMS
VAXcluster Manual.

The command procedure CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM is the primary tool that you use
for adding a node to your VAXcluster configuration, removing a node from the
cluster, or changing the characteristics of a node.  This section describes
how to use CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM to add or remove a satellite node in a Local
Area VAXcluster configuration. Using CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM

Before using CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM, log in to the SYSTEM account on the system
that will be your boot server and make sure that DECnet-VAX is up and
running be sure that your default is set to SYS$MANAGER; then enter the
following command:

$ @CLUSTER_CONFIG  Setting Up the Boot Server

The first step in setting up your Local Area cluster for the first time is
to establish the boot server.  You must establish the local system as a boot
server before you can add any satellites to the cluster.

To establish a node as a boot server, run CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM anad select the
CHANGE option from the menu.  Then, select the option to enable the local
system as a boot server.  Adding Satellite Nodes

To add satellites nodes to your Local Area VAXcluster configuration, you use
the ADD option from the CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM menu.  When you execute
CLUSTER_CONFIG.COM to add a satellite node, you will be asked a series of
questions for which the command procedure will supply most default values.
For Local Area clusters that are the subject of this manual, the default
values are sufficient.  (If your cluster has special requirements and you
want to learn more about values other than the dfaults, you should consult
the VAXcluster documentation in the extended VMS documentation set. )

There are some values that you must supply.  These include the following:

: DECnet node name and node address for each satellite--The node name has up
to 6 alphnumeric characters.  The node address should be supplied by your
network manager.

:  Satellite's Ethernet hardware address--The Ethernet hardware address has
the form xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx.  You must include the hyphens when specifying
the hardware address.

To obtain the Ethernet hardware address for MicroVAX II and VAXstation II
satellites, enter the follwoing commands at the satellite's console:

>>> B/100 XQ

Bootfile: READ_ADDR

For MicroVAX 2000 and VAXstation 2000 satellites, enter the following
commands at successive console-mode prompts:

>>> T 53
2 ?>>>  3
>>> B/100 ES
bootfile:  READ_ADDR

(In this example, if the second prompt appears as 3 ?>>>, press RETURN.)

For 3xxx series satellites, enter the following command at the satellite's


: Workstation windowing system: the windowing system ( for example, UIS ),
if your satellite is a workstation.

7.4  DECnet-VAX Connections

In any cluster configration, DECnet-VAX connections are required for all
processor nodes.  Use of DECnet-VAX facilities ensures that cluster managers
can access each node in the cluster from a single terminal, even if
terminal-switching facilities are not available.

In local area clusters, DECnet is required both for system management
functions and interprocessor communication.  For example, DECnet is used for
remote booting operations ( downline loading of satellite nodes ).

In these configurations, DECnet and System Communication Services coexist on
the same Ethernet.  They share the same data link and physical link
protocols, which are implemented by the Ethernet data link drivers, the
Ethernet adapters, and the Ethernet itself.