How to use BMC Server Automation for PXE-based provisioning

The BMC Server Automation product can provision operating systems on bare metal computer systems using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) architecture.

The following sections provide requirements and procedures for configuring each infrastructure component, stocking the data store with operating system images, and creating system packages for the Provision Jobs. Instructions for provisioning Microsoft Windows, Linux, and ESX operating systems are included.

Understanding the provisioning process for PXE-based provisioning

To provision Microsoft Windows and Linux servers, the BMC Server Automation system uses the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) technology. This section describes the phases of provisioning with PXE. 

Designed to work in conjunction with established protocols like DHCP, TFTP, and TCP/IP, this PXE-based approach to provisioning allows Intel computers to boot from a PXE-compliant Network Interface Card (NIC) and retrieve their operating system installation instructions and files over the network, instead of relying on floppy disks and CD-ROMs.

Click the thumbnail below for a full-size image depicting the provisioning process for Windows and Linux. 

The following numbered steps correspond to numbers in the image shown above.

  1. Preparation of the target machine
    Prepare all necessary cabling and install a PXE-enabled NIC card in the machine to be provisioned. Configure the machine's BIOS so it boots to network first and reboot the target machine. Ensure that both the NIC and the BIOS firmware are up-to-date.

  2. Target machine broadcasts to network
    The target machine broadcasts a DHCP packet with its MAC address to the network requesting an IP address for itself and the IP address of the PXE Server.
  3. DHCP server replies
    The DHCP server replies, giving the target machine an IP address. If the DHCP server and the PXE server are running on the same physical device, the DHCP server tells the target server that it is also running the PXE server. If the DHCP server and the PXE server are running on separate physical devices, the PXE server replies to the initial broadcast, letting the target server know that it is the PXE server.
  4. Target machine contacts PXE server
    Using the supplied IP address, the target machine contacts the PXE server using either a multicast or a broadcast.
  5. PXE server checks database
    Using the MAC address of the machine, the PXE server checks a database that contains server configuration information. The database provides instructions for provisioning the server.
  6. PXE server delivers instructions for bootstrap program
    Based on information obtained from the database, the PXE server responds with DHCP scope options 43, 66, and 67 (pxe menu, next-server, and file name), instructing the target to boot either from its local disk or a boot image obtained from the TFTP server. The PXE server provides the TFTP server address and location of the boot image to the target server.
  7. Target machine runs bootstrap and connects to the Application Server
    The target machine boots from the boot image and contacts the BMC Server Automation Application Server for instructions.

    Note

    The application server IP address and port are configured on the DHCP server under option sets. Code 211 is used for application servers and Code 212 is used for port. For more information, see Configuring a DHCP server on Windows.

  8. Application Server checks database
    Using the MAC Address of the target machine, the Application Server checks its database to obtain instructions for the target machine.
  9. Application Server delivers provisioning instructions
    Based on information obtained from the database, the Application Server sends a set of provisioning instructions, called a system package, to the target machine.
  10. Target machine requests OS files
    Using the instructions from the Application Server, the target machine requests the full operating system files from an HTTP server for Linux or an SMB server for Windows.
  11. RSCD agent is Installed
    Optionally, the RSCD agent is installed, which is necessary for managing the server with BMC Server Automation. A registration event occurs to enter the target machine's information into the BMC Server Automation system so the server can be managed from the BMC Server Automation Console.
  12. Provisioning runs Batch Job for additional configuration
    Optionally, the provisioning process can run a job that performs additional provisioning of the target machine. For example, a Batch Job can install and configure all necessary applications on the target machine.

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Reviewing requirements for PXE-based provisioning

The following sections discuss the various requirements that must be met to implement PXE-based provisioning.

  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

Database

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 media All 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.

Console

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

DHCP

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 AIK Windows 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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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.

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Pre-installation checklist for PXE-based provisioning

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

Complete?

Action

Details

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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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.

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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.

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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.

Item

File name

Additional information

Application Server Installer

BBSA<version>-<platform>.<xxx>
For example: BBSA87-WIN32.exe

Installs the Application Server.

RSCD Agent Installers

RSCD<version-platform>.<xxx>
For example:
RSCD87-WIN32.msi

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

PXE<version>-<platform>.exe
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

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

Provision-Files.zip

8<xx>-<xxx>-provision-files.zip

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

6001.18000.080118-1840-kb3aikl_en.iso

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


KB3AIK_EN.iso


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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Configuring the environment for PXE-based provisioning

The following table lists the configuration tasks required for PXE-based provisioning, and provides links to detailed procedures.

Configuration task What to do

Configuring the database

PXE-based provisioning requires an Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database to store the user and system objects and relationships. Requires significant computing resources.For a list of supported platforms, see Supported platforms for version 8.6.  

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.

Installing agents on required components

The following components require an RSCD agent on their host computer:

  • File server
  • PXE data store
  • TFTP server (if you are generating WinPE preboot images)

See Installing an RSCD agent (Windows) and Installing only the RSCD agent (Linux and UNIX) for details.

Preparing RSCD agents for provisioning

To set up RSCD agents so that they can be installed as part of the BMC Server Automation provisioning process, you create an Agents directory. This directory holds the operating system-specific RSCD agent installers for unattended installations. When you create a system package for provisioning, if you check the Install RSCD agent option, the provisioning process:

  • Installs an RSCD agent on each server that is being provisioned.
  • Registers the agent and adds the server to the list of managed servers under Available Servers in BMC Server Automation.

In this way you can seamlessly move from provisioning servers to managing servers with BMC Server Automation and Network Shell.

See Preparing agents for provisioning for details.

Configuring 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. You configure the TFTP Server so the BMC Server Automation system can communicate with it to download the bootstrap program needed to initiate the PXE provisioning process. 

See Configuring the PXE and TFTP servers for specific details.

Configuring ports

The provisioning process explicitly uses the TCP protocol, port 9831 as the SSL port. Bare metal target servers use this port to communicate back to the Application Server (the Provisioning Server).

  1. On the Application Server, ensure that the SSL port is set to 9831.
    1. On the BMC Server Automation Console, select Configuration > Infrastructure Management.
    2. Expand the Application Servers node and select the Application Server that is your Provisioning Server.
    3. Under the Application Server, ensure that the SSL Port is set to 9831. Set it if not.

      You can also use the blasadmin utility to check and set the SSL port. Use the blasadmin option appserver SSLPort.

  2. Ensure that port 9831 is open for communication. (For example, make sure a firewall is not blocking communication.)
  3. Configure port 9831 as the SSL port in the DHCP server.
Configuring DHCP on Windows

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. 

 In addition to standard configuration of the DHCP server, which includes defining a scope, you must set some scope options. Use the following tasks to configure the DHCP server on Windows:

Adding predefined options.

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  1. Install DHCP, if it is not already installed. For more information, visit the Microsoft Windows online technical documentation.
  2. Run DHCP from the Start menu by selecting Programs > Administrative Tools > DHCP. The default server is the server on which you have installed DHCP.
  3. If a scope is not already defined, right-click the server and choose New Scope. Use the wizard to define a new scope.
  4. Add options 211 and 212.
    1. Select the default server, right-click, and choose Set Predefined Options.
    2. In the Predefined Options and Values dialog box, click Add.
    3. In the Option Type dialog box, provide the following information and click OK.

      Name

      Enter bl-server.

      Data Type

      Select IP Address.

      Code

      Enter 211.

    4. In the Predefined Options and Values dialog box, click Add again.
    5. Provide the following information and click OK.

      Name

      Enter bl-port.

      Data Type

      Select Word.

      Code

      Enter 212.

    6. Click OK again.
  5. Provide values for options 211, 212, and 3:

    Note

    If you need to direct a PXE client such as a Citrix Xen guest VM to the PXE boot file, add also options 66 and 67. Use option 66 to specify the boot server host name and option 67 to specify the boot file name. The data type for both options is String.

    1. Expand the hierarchy for the default server and then expand the hierarchy for Scope.
    2. Select Scope Options, right-click, and select Configure Options.
    3. Under Available Options, scroll down and check option 211. Then, for IP address enter the IP address of the BMC Server Automation Application Server.
    4. Check option 212. For Port, enter 9831, which is the default port that BMC Server Automation uses for SSL communication.
    5. Check option 3 (Router).
    6. For Server Name, type a valid router IP address. (The system administrator who configured the DHCP server can provide this value.) Then click Resolve. The value appears in the IP Address field.

      Tip

      If you do not have a valid router IP address — for example, if you are provisioning in a local LAN — you can use a router IP address that is not real, for example, x.x.x.1. (You should define the correct router address, which might not align with the .1 host ID.) In the case of provisioning in a local LAN, the value can be any valid IP address within the subnet (or subnet mask) that is not in the range of IP addresses to be distributed by the DHCP server.

    7. Click Add. Option 003 appears on the list of addresses. Click OK.
  6. Click OK.

Adding Option 60.

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  1. From the command line on the DHCP server, enter netsh. (This command runs the Microsoft Windows network shell.)
  2. Enter dhcp.
  3. Enter one of the following commands:
    • server
      <servername>
    • server <ip_address>
      Replace <servername> with the host name of the DHCP server or replace <ip_address> with the IP address.
      The command prompt changes to netsh dhcp server>.
  4. Enter the following command:
    add optiondef 60 PXEClient STRING 0 comment=<userDefined>
    For <userDefined>, substitute any comment that you want to add. This information appears in the list of scope options for the DHCP server. If your comment includes spaces, enclose the comment in quotation marks.
  5. Enter the following command:
    set optionvalue 60 STRING PXEClient
  6. To confirm the addition of the scope option, enter the following command:
    show optionvalue all
    The output is similar to the following example:

    General Option Values:
     OptionId: 60
     Option Value:
     Number of Option Elements = 1
     Option Element Type = STRING
     Option Element Value = PXEClient

    When finished, restart the DHCP server.

Configuring a DHCP server on Linux

The following procedure describes how to install and configure the ISC DHCP.

  1. Download ISC DHCP version 3.0p2 or later from http://www.isc.org/software/dhcp and compile the executable or use a package manager (such as YUM, YaST, or Zypper) to install the dhcpd package.
  2. Edit the dhcpd.conf file, (typically /etc/dhcpd.conf) to match the following example. The lines in red highlight entries that are required or recommended for BMC Server Automation provisioning.

    allow booting;
    allow bootp;
    allow duplicates;
    always-broadcast on;
    authoritative;
    ddns-update-style none;
    option bl-server code 211 = ip-address;
    option bl-port code 212 = unsigned integer 16;
    subnet 192.168.4.0 netmask 255.255.255.0
    \{
    range 192.168.4.200 192.168.4.220;
    option subnet-mask 255.255.255.0;
    option routers 192.168.4.1;
    option domain-name-servers 10.20.21.3;
    option netbios-name-servers 10.20.21.3;
    option domain-name "netboot.customer.com";
    default-lease-time 2592000;
    max-lease-time 5184000;
    option vendor-class-identifier "PXEClient";
    option bl-server 192.168.4.100;
    option bl-port 9831;
    \}

  3. Restart the DHCP server.

See Configuring a DHCP server on Linux for additonal information.

Installing the Microsoft Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)

The Microsoft Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) enables BMC Server Automation to create WinPE 2.x images that serve as a preboot environment during provisioning of Windows packages.

Note: If you are not creating Windows boot images, skip this step.

BMC recommends installing AIK on the same server with the PXE server; however, it is not mandatory that the PXE server and Windows AIK be on the same server. The RSCD agent must be running on the TFTP server while you are generating boot images with the BMC Server Automation image generator. However, during AIK installation, PXE server and TFTP server availability is not required.

  1. On the target server, run the Windows Automated Installation Kit version 2.1 setup file from the installation CD or ISO image.  
  2. Specify an installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\Windows AIK or C:\WAIK.
  3. You can accept other defaults for the installation.


Prepare the data store

The data store holds the OS-specific installation media required to provision servers. To use provisioning with BMC Server Automation, you must create, stock, share, and configure the data store.

See Setting up and sharing a data store and Stocking the data store for details.

Configuring System Package types

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. You can create a system package type for the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows provisioning
  • VMware ESX and ESXi provisioning
  • Red Hat Linux provisioning
  • Citrix XenServer provisioning
  • Ubuntu 12 or Ubuntu 14

See Configuring system package types for Windows and Linux for details.

Generating and configuring boot images

To provision Microsoft Windows and Linux machines, you must create boot image files specific to BMC Server Automation.  To create boot images for bare metal provisioning of Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems, see the following topics:

  • Configuring default boot images (Required) - This procedure sets default images for PXE boots. You are required to set two default boot images—one 32-bit image and one 64-bit image. (A server is provisioned with the image that you specify in the System Package; however, the provisioning process starts with these default images.) Out-of-the-box configuration lists many possible images and sets two Microsoft Windows images as defaults. If you are provisioning many Linux systems, you might want to set Linux images as the defaults to save processing resources.
  • Creating Gentoo images for Linux systems - To provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux, VMware ESX, or SUSE operating systems, you can create a Gentoo image or use the Skip Linux Pre-install Image option.
  • Creating WinPE boot images for Microsoft Windows systems - The provisioning process uses WinPE for bare metal provisioning of Microsoft Windows operating systems. The following procedure describes how to create the WinPE boot images for Windows operating systems and how to include the drivers required for your networking environment.
Creating the system package

To perform an unattended installation of an operating system, you must create a system package for each server configuration that you want to install. A system package contains the following types of information:

  • All of the instructions needed to install an operating system over the network — A system package type uses installation files for a specific operating system. Consequently, system packages for the various types of Windows, Linux, VMWare ESX and ESXi, Solaris, AIX, Citrix XenServer, and HP-UX operating systems are not interchangeable. You must create separate system packages for servers running different operating systems.
  • (Optional) Instructions for running jobs that install software and configure a machine for a particular purpose — You can create a different system package for each server configuration that you want to provision, rather than just creating one system package for each type of operating system. For example, you could create a system package for a web server running Windows 2008 and IIS, and then create another system package running Windows 2008 without the web server configuration.

The values for system package parameters depend on your environment, the site's best practices, and individual package requirements. See the following section, System package parameter examples to get started. See Creating a system package for Windows and Linux for complete details.

If you are provisioning Windows operating systems, you must have a Windows License Key.

Note: To install an evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 (or one that uses a Multiple Activation Key), leave the License Key field blank. You can activate the license key on the target server later or you can customize the Unattend.xml file by providing the activation key. By default, the system package accepts the KMS license key.

Enabling auto-discovery of devices As an alternative to manually adding or importing devices into BMC Server Automation, you can enable automatic discovery of new devices. BMC Server Automation then retrieves the MAC address of any new device from the PXE server as soon as the device is powered up, and adds the device to the list of devices in the BMC Server Automation Console. For more information, see Enabling auto-discovery of devices.
Creating jobs required for PXE-based provisioning

The next step in the provisioning process is to create Provision Jobs in the BMC BladeLogic Server Automation console. You can create Provision Jobs using either of these methods:

  • Right-click a device and select Provision. Select a system package and a data store. This method creates a new Provision Job and executes it immediately. The Provision Job can be reused to provision other targets with the same system package. To reuse the job, edit it, change the target device's MAC address and a few additional system package properties, and then re-execute the job.
  • Right-click the Job folder and select New > Provision Job. A wizard creates a new job and helps you select a system package, a device, and a data store. With this method, you explicitly execute the newly created job.

For information about creating and running Provision Jobs, see Creating a Provision Job..

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System package parameter examples

The following table lists some example parameters for specific provisioning environments.

Provisioning environment Tab name / Examples
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 

General

  • Name: Win2k3r2
  • System Package Type: Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Disk Partitions

  1. To add a new partition, click Add.
    Then specify the following settings:
    • Label: C
    • Size (MB): 20000
  2. Click OK.

Basic Configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Administrator password: bladelogic
  • Workgroup: WORKGROUP

Computer Settings

  • Name: Enter your name.
  • Organization: Enter your organization name.
  • License key: Enter your license key. (To encrypt this value, use the Add Property feature in the console to create a new property of type encrypted string, add the license key as the property value, and use the property name here.)
  • Select Per seat or Per Server and supply the number.
  • Time Zone: Set as necessary.

Post Install Configuration

  • In the Post-Install Script section, add the following lines. The second line executes the setup2.exeutility from the R2 installation media.

    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ServerOOBE\SecurityOOBE/v 
    DontLaunchSecurityOOBE /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f r:\Win2k3R2\CMPNENTS\r2\setup2 /q /a

    Note: The r: drive was created when you created the Windows 2003 R2 system package type. The system maps to r: by default.

  • Agent Install Options: To override the silent installation default values, provide the property names and desired values in this field.

Local Properties

  1. Double-click DATA_STORE
  2. Select Use this default value.
  3. Click the ellipsis (...).
  4. Select the Windows instance and click OK.

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2

General

  • Name: Win2k8r2
  • System Package Type: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Disk Partitions

  1. To add a new partition, click Add.
    Then specify the following settings:
    • Label: C
    • Size (MB): 20000
  2. Click OK.

Basic Configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Administrator password: bladelogic
  • Workgroup: WORKGROUP

Computer Settings

  • Name: Enter your name.
  • Organization: Enter your organization name.
  • License key: Enter your license key. (To encrypt this value, use the Add Property feature in the console to create a new property of type encrypted string, add the license key as the property value, and use the property name here.)
  • Select Per seat or Per Server and supply the number.
  • Time Zone: Set as necessary.

Post Install Configuration

  • In the Post-Install Script section, add the following line.

    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ServerOOBE\SecurityOOBE/v 
    DontLaunchSecurityOOBE /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f r:\Win2k3R2\CMPNENTS\r2\setup2 /q /a

    Note: The r: drive was created when you created the Windows Server 2008 R2 system package type. The system maps to r: by default. 

  • Agent Install Options: To override the silent installation default values, provide the property names and desired values in this field.

Local Properties

  1. Double-click DATA_STORE
  2. Select Use this default value.
  3. Click the ellipsis (...).
  4. Select the Windows instance and click OK.

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.Note: For provisioning Windows Server 2008 R2, ensure that you are using WinPE 3.0.

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 

General

  • Name: Win2012
  • System Package Type: Windows Server 2012 Enterprise x64 and Windows Server 2012 Standard x64.
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Disk Partitions

  1. To add a new primary partition, click Add.
    Then specify the following settings:
    • Label: C
    • Primary partition (check box)
    • Size (MB): 20000
  2. Click OK.

Basic Configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Administrator password: bladelogic
  • Workgroup: WORKGROUP

Computer Settings

  • Name: Enter your name.
  • Organization: Enter your organization name.
  • License key: Enter your license key. (To encrypt this value, use the Add Property feature in the console to create a new property of type encrypted string, add the license key as the property value, and use the property name here.)
    Note: When you are provisioning Windows 2012, you are prompted to enter the License key. Enter the CD key in the License key field. It is mandatory to provide the CD key when you are provisioning Windows 2012.
  • Select Per seat or Per Server and supply the number.
  • Time Zone: Set as necessary.

Post Install Configuration

Agent Install Options: To override the silent installation default values, provide the property names and desired values in this field.

Note: No options like reboot=Supress is required for Windows server 2012.

Local Properties

  1. Double-click DATA_STORE
  2. Select Use this default value.
  3. Click the ellipsis (...).
  4. Select the Windows instance and click OK.

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.


Note: For provisioning Windows Server 2008 R2, ensure that you are using WinPE 3.0.

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

General

  • Name: Win2012 R2
  • System Package Type: Windows Server 2012 R2 Enterprise x64 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard x64.
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Disk Partitions

  1. To add a new primary partition, click Add.
    Then specify the following settings:
    • Label: C
    • Primary partition (check box)
    • Size (MB): 20000
  2. Click OK.

Basic Configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Administrator password: bladelogic
  • Workgroup: WORKGROUP

Computer Settings

  • Name: Enter your name.
  • Organization: Enter your organization name.
  • License key: Enter your license key. (To encrypt this value, use the Add Property feature in the console to create a new property of type encrypted string, add the license key as the property value, and use the property name here.)
    Note: When you are provisioning Windows 2012, you are prompted to enter the License key. Enter the CD key in the License key field. It is mandatory to provide the CD key when you are provisioning Windows 2012.
  • Select Per seat or Per Server and supply the number.
  • Time Zone: Set as necessary.

Post Install Configuration

Agent Install Options: To override the silent installation default values, provide the property names and desired values in this field.

Note: No options like reboot=Supress is required for Windows server 2012 and Windows server 2012 R2

Local Properties

  1. Double-click DATA_STORE
  2. Select Use this default value.
  3. Click the ellipsis (...).
  4. Select theWindows instance and click OK.

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.Note: For provisioning Windows Server 2008 R2, ensure that you are using WinPE 3.0.

ESX 4.0 

General

  • Name: ESX_4
  • System Package Type: VMware ESX Server 4.0
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the following values:

Disk Partitions

  • To add a new disk partition, click Add.
  • Mount point (data store): /boot
  • Type: ext3
  • Size (MB): 500
  • Mount point (data store): /
  • Type: ext3
  • Size (MB): 2000
  • Disk/Virtual Disk: sda
  • Type: swap
  • Size (MB): 256
  • Disk/Virtual Disk: sda
  • Type: vmkcore
  • Size (MB): 100
  • Disk/Virtual Disk: sda
  • Mount point (data store): Storage1
  • Type: vmfs3
  • Size (MB): 100
  • Disk/Virtual Disk: sda
  • Fill any available space or max size

Basic configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Root password: bladelogic
  • Kickstart network device: eth0
    Note: For ESX 4.1 and later, use vmnic0 or the MAC_ADDRESS_CD Property for kickstart network device.

Computer Settings

  • Time zone: Set as necessary.

Local Properties

  • DATA_STORE:
  • Select Use this default value
  • Click the ellipsis button (...)
  • Select the Linux instance

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.

ESX 5.0 

General

  • Name: ESXi_5
  • System Package Type: VMware ESXi Server 5.0
  • Click Finish. The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Disk Partitions

  • Use First Disk for Installation is selected by default.
    Note: ESXi 5.0 does not have the Service Console partition found in ESX. The selected default option partitions the first eligible local disk found and overwrites an existing VMFS datastore on the disk before installation.

Basic configuration

  • Computer name: CHANGEME
  • Root password: bladelogic
  • Kickstart network device: eth0
    Note: For ESX 4.1 and later, use vmnic0 or the MAC_ADDRESS_CD Property for kickstart network device.

Computer Settings

  • Time zone: Set as necessary.

Local Properties

  • DATA_STORE:
  • Select Use this default value
  • Click the ellipsis button (...)
  • Select the Linux instance

To save the System Package, click Save in the upper left corner.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

or

Oracle Enterprise Linux 6

General

  • Name: RHEL_6
  • System Package Type: Red Hat AS 6.0
  • Click Finish.

The System Package opens. Specify the values in the following sections.

Basic Configuration

  • Name: CHANGEME
  • Root password: bladelogic

Disk Partition

  • To add a new disk partition, click Add.
    • Mount point: /boot
    • Type: ext4
    • Size: 300
  • Click OK
  • Add another disk partition with the following values: 
    • Type: swap
    • Size: 1024
  • Click OK
  • Add another disk partition with the following values: 
    • Mount point: /
    • Type: ext4
  • Check Fill all unused space on disk
  • Click OK
  • Kickstart network device: eth0 (or some other network device designation)

Computer Settings

  • Time Zone: Set as necessary.

OS Components

  • Select the Use script for OS component selection check box.
  • Type the following components in the script text box: 
    • @base
    • @compat-libraries

Local Properties

  • Double-click the DATA_STORE property
  • Select Use this default value
  • Click the ellipsis (...)
  • Select the Linux instance and click OK.
  • Click OK

To save the System Package, click Save.

Note:

  • OEL 6.0 does not have a system package type and so select RHEL 6.0 as the system package type.
  • If you are provisioning a 64-bit image, the @compat-libraries are required. If you omit this package, the Provisioning job will fail because the RSCD agent is not successfully installed.

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Workspace Configuration Example

As you develop a BMC Server Automation environment and the folders are populated with many objects, it quickly becomes difficult to locate specific objects. As additional users begin adding objects, the locations they choose for creating and storing those objects becomes very important. You should establish some guidelines for organizing the folders. 
The following examples illustrate some guidelines for organizing objects. 

  • The image at the left shows an expanded Depot folder. Under Provisioning, notice the use of the Validated and Unvalidated folders. To implement this idea, users create new Depot objects in the Unvalidated folder. When the objects are validated, they move the objects to the Validated folder.
  • The image at the right shows an expanded Servers folder. To organize Servers, you can define smart groups. This example shows smart groups that organize servers by OS, availability, and type. 



    The following example shows the attributes for defining a smart group of VMware Virtual Center servers. Some other examples of using smart groups to organize objects are:
  • Organize devices by type
  • Organize Provision jobs by user
  • Organize system packages by operating system type 

Troubleshooting the Server Already Exists Error

This section describes how to fix the following error situations:

  • You try to add a server to the console, but the server does not appear under the All Servers folder
  • The server is not listed in the All Servers folder and when you attempt to add it, you receive the following message: 

    One reason for these symptoms is an unfinished or partially completed Provision Job. The partial processing registered the server but was unable to make the server name appear in the console.

To solve the issue:

  1. Right-click the All Servers group and select Refresh.
  2. If the server name does not appear in the console after a refresh, use the BMC Command Line Interface (BLCLI) to decommission the server. For more information, see the next section.
  3. Add the server to the console using the normal Add Server method.

Decommissioning a Server Using BLCLI

To decommission a server using the BLCLI, follow this procedure.

Note

For more information about authenticating to and executing BLCLI commands, see the BMC CLI documentation.

  1. Launch a command prompt.
  2. Type nsh.
  3. Create an authentication profile where appserverhost name is the name of your Application Server. For example:

    MYSERVER% blcred authprofile -add -profile myServiceProfile -host *appserverhost name*:9840 -type SRP
    

    Note

    If you specify the host name as an IPv6 address, enclose the IPv6 address in square brackets. For example, [2001:db8::1:2].

    For an IPv6 address, if you run the command through the Network Shell (NSH), enclose the server:port string in double quotes. For example, "[2001:db8::1:2]:389".

  4. Supply credentials for your profile:

    MYSERVER% blcred cred -acquire -profile myServiceProfile -username *BLAdmin* -password *bladelogic*
    Authentication succeeded: acquired session credential
    
  5. To test your connection to the BLCLI command interface, execute a basic command and verify that the expected result is displayed. For example, run the listAllServer command and verify that the results show all of the servers in the All Servers group on the console.

    MYSERVER% blcli -v myServiceProfile -r *BLAdmins* Server listAllServers
    MHR-006-BMC-001
    198.18.14.24
    MHR-006-VCC-001
    198.18.64.6
    198.18.14.72
    198.18.18.39
    198.18.18.43
    198.18.18.10
    2k8ent86_san
    
  6. Use the decommissionServer command to decommission the server that you could not view or commission on the console. The expected result after issuing this command is a void serverName message. The following example shows how to decommission the server named 2k8ent86_san.

    MYSERVER% blcli -v myServiceProfile -r *BLAdmins* Server decommissionServer *2k8ent86_san*
    void MYSERVER%
    MYSERVER%
    
  7. Add the server to the console using the normal Add Server method.

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