Best thing you can do to a Mac Mini? No, wait, certainly not the right way to start this post.
I am going prepare a Mac Mini in such a way that you will be able to install a 2 or more node HPC cluster and a head node. Once you followed the steps outlined in the videos you will be able to install a fully functional HPC cluster environment, literally a cluster-in-one-box. This post covers all aspects from reinstalling the Mac OS with fewer options, using less space on the disk to a Boot Camp installation of Windows Server 2008 and configuring Hyper-V. The final steps necessary to install the HPC cluster software are outlined in Giovanni's document on windowshpc.net.
Why this exercise? Because the small form factor of a Mac Mini makes it an easy to carry demo system and/or a sweet little cluster-in-a-box for testing and development.
Instead of writing up the process and posting screenshots, I screen-recorded all the major events of the installation and configuration. if you just try to do some of the stuff I did or have a different hardware, each individual video should make sense by itself.
Here's the hardware and software I use to record the screens and do the narration:
BTW, I will upload the videos to TechNet Edge for streaming as soon as my account has been enabled. I tried YouTube and SoapBox but both re-encode the videos making it impossible to identify anything. Way too blurry for screencasts. For now the videos are in a public folder on SkyDrive.
Being an MSDN subscriber I downloaded the ISO image for Windows Server 2008 from MSDN and burned it on a DVD using Roxio's Creator Basic which came with the HP desktop. Unfortunately that image did not boot properly on the Mac Mini. Took a while to find out that there's something wrong with the way the files are augmented on the DVD.
I found a blog post that did work like a charm for me. I followed it step by step and ended up with a perfectly bootable DVD even though the post is meant to be for Vista.
The whole prep work, software installation and cutting the video (110 minutes) into more digestible pieces took about 6 hours last night. Instead of posting one large video I cut it into four more manageable pieces. The four individual videos represent the four major steps it took to install Windows Server 2008 on the Mac hardware.
I had to reinstall the Mac OS due to the fact that I screwed up the original installation the system shipped with. I did so much disk partitioning and repartitioning that the volume was in serious conditions and required reinstall. I also wanted to keep a minimal Mac OS installation on the hard drive. Just in case.
Boot Camp is the feature that Apple provides to build a partition on a Mac hard disk to install Windows or any other OS side-by-side with the original OS.
That's the easy part. This video shows how to get Windows Server 2008 installed and working on Mac hardware. While this is the longest video, the installation is uneventful. Of course it just works.
Self-explanatory. Once you have Windows Server 2008 running, it is just a matter of a few clicks and a reboot to get Hyper-V running.
After your virtualization host running, it is just a matter of following Giovanni's guidelines to have an HPC cluster based on Windows Server 2008 running on your Mac Mini. And if you want to run Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, it will work too.
UPDATE: The videos are now also available on TechNet Edge.
Technorati Tags: Mac Mini,Hyper-V,Windows HPC Server 2008,Windows Server 2008,Virtualization