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Setting up provisioning environments for Windows, Linux, ESX, and ESXi servers

Before you can perform unattended installations of operating systems on servers, you must set up all the functional components of the BMC Server Automation provisioning system. Generally, you need to perform these tasks only once unless you are changing the configuration of your provisioning system. The following topics describe how to set up provisioning environments for Windows, Linux, ESX, and ESXi servers. 


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Set up a data store

To provision operating systems on bare metal computers using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), you create a data store directory on a Windows or Linux server. Then you share the data store directory. 
2Configure the data store for PXE provisioning

Configuring the data store sets required values for accessing the data sources for provisioning.

In particular, you define the location of the data store, which is where you store sets of installation files that are used for provisioning operating systems. Data store values are stored in the Data Store system object, which you can edit by using the Property Dictionary.

3Stock the data store

After you set up a data store server, you must stock it with operating system installation files and drivers. 

A data store holds several categories of information:

  • Operating system installers necessary for provisioning a server.
  • Files needed to support Microsoft Windows plug-and-play drivers.
  • Files and other information needed to install BMC Server Automation RSCD agents after the operating system is installed.
4Create boot image files and placeholders

To provision Microsoft Windows and Linux machines, you must create boot image files specific to BMC Server Automation. The system contains placeholders for these files.

The type of boot image file you create depends on the types of machines you plan to provision.

5Configure boot image files

For provisioning in the PXE environment, you must create boot image files specifically for use with BMC Server Automation provisioning. You can review and change configuration settings for each image file type.

When provisioning a device, the provisioning process uses an image that contains, among other things, device-specific network drivers that interact with the hardware and retrieve configuration information (such as the MAC address) for the device.

To prepare for Windows and Linux provisioning, create the appropriate WinPE or Gentoo Linux images that contain generic network drivers that work for most hardware types. 


Configure a DHCP server on Windows

Configure a DHCP server on Linux  

The BMC Server Automation provisioning process requires a DHCP server, which gives the computer being provisioned an IP address and (in a single-database environment) the location of the Application Server. 

 The instructions for configuring the DHCP server vary depending on the platform (Microsoft Windows or Linux).

7Configure the PXE and TFTP servers

You can configure or reconfigure the PXE and TFTP servers using the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool or from the BMC Server Automation console. 

  •  Configuring the PXE Server enables the BMC Server Automation system to communicate with a target server during provisioning in the PXE environment. 
  • Configuring the TFTP Server enables the BMC Server Automation system to download the bootstrap program needed to initiate the PXE provisioning process. 
8Configure system package types for Windows and Linux

The System Package Types tab lists the available system package types and lets you edit their definitions or create your own custom system package type.
9Create a system package for Windows and Linux

To perform an unattended installation of an operating system, you must create a system package for each server configuration that you want to install. 
 Linux Provisioning FlowchartThis BMC Contributor topic provides a flowchart that outlines the tasks involved in provisioning Linux servers.

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