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Reviewing requirements for provisioning

This topic describes the various requirements that must be met prior to setting up your provisioning environment.

Operating systems that support provisioning

The following lists provide details of the operating systems supported for provisioning:

OS platformVersionArchitecture /

Citrix XenServer



















Microsoft Windows

Windows Server 2003x86

Windows Server 2003 R2x64 (64-bit native)
 Windows Server 2008


x64 (64-bit native) 

Windows Server 2008 R2x64 (64-bit native)

Windows Server 2012x64 (64-bit native)
 Windows Server 2012 R2

x64 (64-bit native)

Oracle Enterprise Linux



x64 (64-bit native)



x64 (64-bit  native)

Oracle Solaris9

SPARC (sun4u)


SPARC (sun4u)

SPARC (sun4v)

SPARC (sun4us)




SPARC (sun4u)

SPARC (sun4v)


Red Hat Enterprise Linux



x64 (64-bit native)



x64 (64-bit native)



x64 (64-bit native) 

 7.xx64 (64-bit native)

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server





x64 (64-bit native)



x64 (64-bit native)

 12.xx64 (64-bit native)

VMware ESX Server



x64 with 32-bit code

VMware ESXi Server




Ubuntu Linux Server12.04 

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Supporting software components and dependencies

This table describes the software components in the provisioning infrastructure and their dependencies. 

Software Component

Provisioning platform

Description, Dependencies, and Requirements


All platforms

Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database. Stores the user and system objects and relationships. Requires significant computing resources.

For a list of supported databases, see Database support.

The database that supports the BMC Server Automation environment is typically a standalone system or a system used by other management tools. A database that is used for other applications or is otherwise heavily loaded should not contain the BMC Server Automation database.

Installation mediaAll platforms

The installation media (ISO images or contents of them) for the operating systems that you want to provision on target server.

For example, to provision a Windows 2003 system, you need the Win2003 x86 or x64 installation media, or, to provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you need appropriate Red Hat installation files; and so on.

Application Server

All platforms 

BMC Server Automation Application Server.

Requires significant computing resources.

Often includes the NSH, but not required.

Requires networked connections to the database.


All platforms 

The BMC Server Automation Console. Provides the GUI interface to end users.

Requires networked connections to the Application Server.

File server (hardware component)

All platforms 

Stores the Depot files, such as applications, BLPackages, and scripts. It often is located on the same host as the Application Server as a mounted drive to an external storage device.

The file server must have:

  • Network connectivity with the Application Server — TCP port 4750 (or your configured RSCD port) must be open from the Application Server to the file server.
  • An RSCD agent installed on it.
  • ACLs configured correctly in the RSCD exports file — The exports file is typically located in /usr/lib/rsc or C:\windows\rsc.
  • Significant available space—Starting with approximately 100GB is typical.

No further configuration is required on the file server.

Shared data store

All platforms 

Stores the operating system installation media for provisioning.

Requires an RSCD agent.

Requires significant space.

Share using Samba or Windows share


Windows and Linux only 

Provides access to the PXE server and TFTP server for provisioning purposes.

During the provisioning process, the target servers issue a PXE boot broadcast which must be received by a DHCP server and the PXE server that were specifically configured for your BMC Server Automation environment. This broadcast must not be received by or replied to by any other PXE or DHCP servers. To avoid conflicts, the DHCP server used for provisioning should not be on the same broadcast domain as any other PXE or DHCP servers.

You can use either:

  • (Typical) An existing DHCP server. Requires additional configuration.
  • A DHCP instance configured specifically for provisioning.

You can use an existing DHCP server with some specific options defined. For information, see Configuring a DHCP server on Windows or Configuring a DHCP server on Linux.

PXE server

Windows and Linux only 

Provisions servers with operating systems and boot images.

Network Shell (NSH) required on the same server with the PXE server.

Requires networked connections to the Application Server, the TFTP server, and the data store.

TFTP server

Windows and Linux only 

Transfers preboot images to servers on request from the PXE server.

Requires an RSCD agent if you are generating Windows boot images.

Typically installed on the same host as the PXE server. Otherwise, requires networked connections to the Application Server, the PXE server, and the data store.

Web server

Linux or ESX systems 

Shares the data store using web server sharing. Typically installed on the same host as the data store. Otherwise, requires networked connections to the data store.

Required to provision Linux or ESX operating systems; otherwise, not needed. The web server must be configured to permit web sharing of the operating system (OS) installers. Sharing the datastore describes how to configure the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) web server. Apache is another popular web server.

Windows AIKWindows only

Enables creation of WinPE images. Required for provisioning Windows preboot environments (and not needed otherwise). Typically installed on the same host as the PXE server.

Use WinPE 2.x and Windows AIK 2.1 for Windows 2003 or 2008. Use WinPE 3.0 and Windows AIK 3.0 for Windows 2008 R2. For more information, see Installing the Microsoft Windows AIK or ADK.

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Requirements for PXE-based provisioning

The following sections highlight the requirements for PXE-based provisioning. To set up other provisioning environments, see the following topics:

Pre-installation checklist for PXE-based provisioning

For an easy and fast configuration process, prepare your environment as described in the following checklist. 





Determine the server architecture for your BMC Server Automation installation:

  • Number of servers required.
  • Identify the specific servers.

See Supporting software components and dependencies.



Prepare all infrastructure servers:

  • Load the operating systems.
  • Ensure that all servers are accessible to other components in the network as shown on the diagram in the System Architecture section.
  • Ensure that all servers have network connectivity to the database server.


Prepare the database:

  • Ensure that the database server is ready for an administrator to create a new database.
  • Ensure that the database server is online and accessible to other components in the network as described in the Supporting software components and dependencies section.
  • Copy the contents of the db_scripts directory to the database server.

  • For information about supported database versions, see Database support.

  • The BBSA<version>-<platform>.zip file contains database configuration scripts and other files in the BBSA8x-<platform>\files\configurations\db_scripts directory.


Ensure that port 4750 is open between the BMC Server Automation infrastructure servers and all hosts that have RSCD agents. RSCD agents listen on port 4750 (default).

See BMC Server Automation ports.


  • Download all required software.
  • Copy software onto the appropriate infrastructure server.

See Installation software required for PXE-based provisioning.

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Installation software required for PXE-based provisioning

The following table lists the files that you must download from the EPD site and make available to the appropriate infrastructure servers. File downloads are time-consuming. If you download all of the files first, the installation and configuration tasks progress more quickly.


File name

Additional information

Application Server Installer

For example: BBSA87-WIN32.exe

Installs the Application Server.

RSCD Agent Installers

For example:

Installs the RSCD agent. Download all of the agent installer files that match the operating systems for all of the following:

  • File server host.
  • Data store host.
  • TFTP server host (if you plan to generate WinPE boot images).
  • Servers that you plan to manage.
  • OS to provision on bare-metal servers.

PXE/TFTP Server Installer

For example: PXE87-WIN32.exe

Installs the primary provisioning component for Windows servers. For Linux servers, the PXE/TFTP Server installation is an option in the Application Server installer.

BMC Server Automation Console Installer

For example: BBSACONSOLE87-WIN32.exe

Installs the end user client software.

db_scripts directory

BBSA8<xx>-<xxx>\files\configurations\ db_scripts in BBSA<version>-<platform>.zip

Contains database scripts and documentation.



Contains files for stocking the data store and generating boot image files.

Application Server Upgrade Installer

BBSA<version>- <SPnoHFno> -<platform>.<xxx>

Upgrades the Application Server, PXE server, and TFTP server to the latest service pack or hotfix.

Console Upgrade Installer

BBSACONSOLE<version>- <SPnoHFno> -<platform>.<xxx>

Upgrades the console to the latest service pack or hotfix.

Windows AIK version 2.1


Installs AIK 2.1 for use with WinPE 2.x. This file is obtained from Microsoft. It is approximately 1.4 GB. Expect it to take a long time to download or transfer.

Windows AIK version 3.0


Installs AIK 3.0 for use with WinPE 3.0. This file is obtained from Microsoft. It is approximately 1.7 GB. Expect it to take a long time to download or transfer.

OS Installation Media

(varies by OS) Obtain these files from the OS vendor websites.

Stocks the data store with the OS files for provisioning the target servers.

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System architecture required for PXE-based provisioning

The following diagram shows the three tiers of the BMC Server Automation infrastructure required for PXE-based provisioning.

The lines in the diagram indicate the network connectivity required between the components. Each number indicates a default port, which you can modify if necessary. 

The number of physical servers in the middle tier varies, depending on the number of infrastructure servers available to the BMC Server Automation environment.  

The components in the middle tier of the infrastructure should be installed on more than one host computer. Typical provisioning installations allocate all components among three or four hosts.  

The hosts can be virtual servers. However, using a virtual server for the Application Server or the database server can result in degraded performance. 

Although it is possible to configure all of the middle tier components on one physical server, BMC typically does not recommend this type of configuration. Unless the server is an extremely powerful one, a one-server environment can experience performance issues. The database and the Application Server compete for resources during periods of significant activity.

Hardware requirements for PXE-based provisioning

The following minimum specifications are recommended for all physical servers in the middle tier:

  • 2 vCPU/2 CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 50 GB Disk

These requirements are intended as general guidelines for planning purposes. For information about hardware requirements, see Minimum hardware requirements.

Network connectivity for PXE-based provisioning

The servers in the PXE-based provisioning environment require network connections, either among themselves in a LAN or with a shared network. For specific connection requirements, see the diagram in the System Architecture section. The following network connections are required:

  • The Application Server must have connectivity with the target devices to be provisioned.
  • To prevent interactions with other PXE based solutions, establish a separate VLAN for provisioning. The VLAN must include the PXE server, DHCP, TFTP server, and the data store server. The Application Server must have access to the provisioning VLAN.
  • The BMC Server Automation Console must have connectivity to the Application Server.
  • Although not mandatory, it is useful to have access to the devices that you are provisioning, so that you can monitor progress during the provisioning process. To gain access, you can use an out-of-band solution, such as an Integrated Lights Out (ILO) or Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) connection; direct physical console access; or some other method.
  • To provision Windows servers, the data store must be shared using Samba or a Windows share.

Recommendations for PXE servers

Recommendations for database connections for PXE servers.

For best PXE server performance, BMC recommends the following blasadmin connection pool settings.

ModuleSettingDescription and Recommendation

Minimum connections in the pool for PXE server.

BMC recommends a value that is the same as the value for Database – MinGeneralConnections.


Maximum connections in the pool for PXE server.

BMC recommends a value that is the same as the value for Database – MaxGeneralConnections.

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Where to go from here

Planning the provisioning jobs

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