Which Excel subscription to use on HPC RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello. Another fairly basic question - I am planning to set up and use an HPC cluster consisting of up to 100 compute nodes for running my workbook offloading jobs. Am I correct in assuming that I will need 100 licenses? This won't be a very efficient use of my money as I will just need to run HPC jobs for 3 months in a year, that too for 1-2 hours a day. Further, given on the type of load, my requirement will be met most of the time by a much smaller cluster of 20-25 nodes. Can anyone suggest what's the best Excel installation (e.g. volume based license, or an Office 365 subscription) I can go for? We already have Office 365 ProPlus subscription in place for 10 users and it would be good if we can somehow utilize this on HPC.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016 10:42 AM

All replies

  • Hi KMLN,

    I would recommend volume license activation via KMS/AD-BA or MAK for HPC Pack Excel installation (See How-To). Because as far as I know, Office 365 ProPlus subscription is licesed per user and each user may only install up to 5 computers. The Excel workbook runs under the user's account on each compute node, so theoretically there cannot be more then 5 compute nodes in the cluster to run the Excel workbook for the user at the same time. For your senario, there would be 20-25 or 100 compute nodes for the Excel workload, so per machine volume licensing looks a better fit.

    Meanwhile, if your workload is kind of bursting in time, e.g. 3 months a year, 1-2 hours a day. I would recommed the Azure IaaS HPC Pack Excel solution instead of the on-premise cluster investment. (For Details.) You may deploy the cluster on Azure IaaS when needed for the hot season, and turn on the compute nodes for the busy hours each day, to save costs.


    Yutong Sun

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016 4:07 AM
  • Thanks Yutong. But even for deploying compute nodes on Azure, I'll need to provide Excel licenses separately, isn't it? Or are there compute nodes out there where license cost is included in the rent? 

    The issue is that I need to have flexibility for using up to 100 nodes, but I don't want to incur fixed cost in procuring 100 licenses, when I will be using just 20-25 nodes most of the time.

    Also, wanted to check if shared computer activation on compute nodes could be utilized to increase the number of nodes a user can launch? We are 10 users so between us we do have 50 licenses at the moment.
    • Edited by KMLN Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:49 AM Added another query
    Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:29 AM
  • Some insights on the above will be very helpful.
    Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:41 PM
  • Hi KMLN,

    Currently there is no compute nodes on Azure IaaS with valid Office/Excel license for rent. I suppose it is a good suggestion if we can provide such compute nodes on Azure. We would see how we can make it happen in the future.

    For now and your scenario, it seems purchasing the volume license for Office/Excel is a better choice. For using Office 365 license, a user can only launch on 5 compute nodes which could be the limit for Excel workload. Maybe you could contact the Office 365 sales and support to see if it is possible to go beyond this limit for a user.


    Yutong Sun

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7:28 AM