Importing and managing devices

To provision a device, you must first import, or register, the device in BMC Server Automation. You can import one device or a list of devices, and you can assign configuration attributes during the import. You can organize devices in device smart groups and you can delete devices before or after they are provisioned.

In a PXE provisioning environment you can enable automatic discovery of devices, so that devices are imported when they boot up. In a Jumpstart, NIM, or Ignite environment, you must manually import all devices.

In the BMC Server Automation Console, devices have one of the following states:

  • Imported — Registered with BMC Server Automation, but not yet provisioned.
  • Provisioned — Provisioned with an operating system and possibly additional post-installation software.

In a PXE environment with auto-discovery enabled, devices are imported in two ways:

  • When they boot up and are connected to the network, they automatically appear as imported devices in the BMC Server Automation Console.
  • You can manually import devices before they boot up or are connected to the network.

In a JumpStart, NIM, or Ignite environment, you must manually import all devices.

There are many administrative advantages to manually importing devices in all environments. For example, if you know the MAC addresses of devices you plan to provision, you can perform a significant portion of the provisioning process even before the physical hardware arrives at your location. You can import a list of MAC addresses only, which begins the process of bringing these assets under BMC Server Automation control, or you can import the MAC addresses and one or more configuration values using properties. This can make the actual provisioning process more streamlined and efficient.

For example, suppose you placed an order with a vendor for a hundred new devices. The vendor has sent you a list of the MAC addresses, but the devices themselves are still in transit. You can use the import facility to assign values to each device, based on its MAC address. Then when the devices arrive and you use the provisioning wizard to provision them, many of the fields are automatically filled in.

To enable auto-discovery of devices in a PXE environment, follow the steps in Enabling auto-discovery of devices.

To manually import devices, use one of these procedures:

To organize devices using smart groups, see Device smart groups.

To delete devices (and decommission the servers associated with those devices, if any), see Deleting devices.

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