Walkthrough: Provisioning Microsoft Windows 2012 on a bare metal machine

BMC BladeLogic Server Automation (BSA) can provision operating systems on bare metal computer systems using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) architecture. This topic describes how to provision Microsoft Windows 2012 on a bare metal machine.This topic includes the following sections:

Introduction

BSA provisioning performs unattended installations of operating systems onto new machines ("bare metal" machines) or reprovisions existing machines. To provision higher layers of the server stack above the operating system, you can run jobs that configure server settings, deploy files, and install software. In this example, you will provision the Microsoft Windows 2012 OS onto a bare metal machine.

What do I need to do before I get started?

This example assumes that you have performed all of the provisioning configuration steps outlined in the following table:

TaskDescription
Review and meet provisioning requirements

The provisioning infrastructure includes BSA software and additional supporting software, installed on networked hosts and configured for PXE-based provisioning. See Reviewing requirements for provisioning and Implementation process for provisioning.

Install the PXE and TFTP servers

The PXE server delivers instructions to servers being provisioned so they can download a bootstrap program. The TFTP server serves boot images required for a network-based installation of the operating system. (BSA provisioning requires that the PXE server and the TFTP server reside on the same host computer.)

See Installing the PXE server on Windows.

Configure the PXE and TFTP serversConfigure the PXE and TFTP servers to communicate with the BSA database and target servers being provisioned. To configure, you can use the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool. (To configure the PXE server for a multiple database provisioning environment, you must use this tool.) See Configuring the PXE and TFTP servers.
Configure the DHCP server to support the provisioning processThe BSA provisioning process requires a DHCP server, which assigns IP addresses to the devices being provisioned and (in a one-database environment) configures the location of the Application Server. See Configuring a DHCP server on Linux and Configuring a DHCP server on Windows.
Set up and share the data store

On the host computer for the data store, set up a directory structure to store the operating system installers required for provisioning.

See Setting up and sharing a data store.

Stock the data storeCopy all required files into the data store, including operating system installers, files for Windows drivers, and files needed to install RSCD agents on target devices. See Stocking the data store.
Prepare agents for provisioning Set up RSCD agents so that they can be installed on target devices as part of the provisioning process. See Preparing agents for provisioning.
Create WinPE boot images for Microsoft Windows systemsThe provisioning process uses WinPE for bare metal provisioning of Microsoft Windows operating systems. You must create the WinPE boot images for Windows operating systems and include the drivers required for your networking environment. See Creating WinPE boot image files.

Prepare for UEFI booting

If you plan to use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), instead of BIOS, for booting hardware over the network during provisioning, perform several preparatory tasks to enable the use of UEFI. See Preparing for UEFI booting.

How to provision Microsoft Windows 2012 on a bare metal machine

  • For this walkthrough, you log on as BLAdmin, the default superuser for BSA. Note that in live deployments, BMC recommends you grant access based on roles with a narrower set of permissions. 
  • In this example you use the out-of the box configuration for the default boot image files.
 ProcedureExample screen
1

Add a DataStore.

  1. Select Configuration > Property dictionary view.
  2. Expand Built-in Property classes > Datastore and select Pxe datastore.
  3. Click the Instances tab in the right pane.
  4. Click the Add icon .
  5. Enter details for Name and Description.
  6. Enter values for the LOCATION, USERNAME, PASSWORD, FULL_PATH, and VIRTUAL_DIR properties.
  7. Click Finish.

 

Add a device.

The Add Device panel lets you specify the MAC address of the new device.

  1. In the Folder pane, select BladeLogic > Device.
  2. Right-click and select Add device.
  3. On the Add Device panel, enter a MAC Address and a short description, select the architecture and boot image, and for Provisioning Method select PXE.
  4. Click Finish.

3Configure the Provisioning Manager.
  1. Select Configuration > Provisioning Configurations > System Package Types.
  2. Select Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard x64 and click the Edit icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Set the appropriate System package type details:
    • Architecture
    • Installer location
    • RSCD Installer location
    • Initial partition size.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

4

Create a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 system package

  1. Create a folder in the Depot for system packages. You must create system packages in the Depot folder.
  2. Right-click the depot folder you created and select New > Depot Folder.
  3. Name the new folder Provisioning and click Finish.
  4. Right-click the Provisioning folder and select New > System Package.
  5. Continue the system package creation process for specific operating systems.
5

Complete the General tab:

  1. NameProvision Windows 2012 R2
  2. System package typeWindows Server 2012 DataCenter x64.
  3. Click Finish. The System Package opens in a tab at right. Specify values for the system package in the following steps.
6

Complete the Disk Partition tab:

  1. Click the Disk Partition tab (at the bottom of the window).
  2. To add a new partition, click the Add icon .
  3. Provide details in the following fields:
    • Label: C
    • Primary partition
    • Type: NTFS
    • Size (MB): 20000
  4. Click OK.
  5. If you have EFI-based hardware on the server that you are provisioning and you want to enable booting using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) during provisioning (rather than using BIOS), you must define a UEFI partition, in addition to the primary partition. Support for UEFI booting is provided in BMC Server Automation as of version 8.7. For a UEFI partition, perform the following steps:

    1. Click the Add icon .
    2. Provide the following details.
      • Label: D
      • EFI partition.
        In response to this selection, you are asked to confirm that you want to boot the target using UEFI.
      • Type : FAT32
      • Size (MB)200
        This is the default value. You can use any value between 50 and 250 megabytes.
    3. Click OK.

7

Complete the Basic Configuration tab:

  1. Click the Basic Configuration tab.
  2. Computer namewin2012r2
  3. OM server name: Enter the name for this server that is displayed in the BSA Console.
  4. Administrator password: Enter the password for the local administrator of the server being provisioned.
  5. Windows server domain: Enter the name of your Windows domain, such as production.
  6. Select Create a computer account in the domain.
  7. User name: Enter a user account that has permissions to add a computer to the domain.
  8. Password: Password for the user account just entered.
8

Complete the Computer Settings tab:

  1. Click the Computer Settings tab.
  2. Name: Enter your name.
  3. Organization: Enter your organization name.
  4. PnP driver paths: Enter the location of plug-and-play (PnP) drivers and mass storage drivers in your data store. The path is relative to the root of the data store.
  5. 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.) 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.
  6. Select Per seat or Per Server and supply the number.
  7. Time Zone: Set as necessary.
9

Complete the Local Properties tab:

  1. Click the Local Properties tab.
  2. Double-click DATA_STORE
  3. Select Use this default value.
  4. Click the browse button and select a Windows instance. Then click OK.
  5. To save and close the System Package, close the tab in the upper left corner of the pane. You are prompted to save the system package.
10

Create the Provision Job.

  1. Create a subfolder in the Jobs folder.
  2. Right-click the subfolder and select New > Provision Job > Windows Provision Job.
  3. A wizard creates a new job and helps you select a system package, a device, and a data store.
11

Complete the Provision Job - General panel:

  1. Enter a job name.
  2. Select a job folder.

Use the defaults for all other settings.

12

Complete the Provision Job - System Package Properties panel:

  1. In the Path to system package field, click the browse button to choose the system package created in earlier steps.
  2. In Property Settings, select the data store.

Use the defaults for all other settings.

13

Complete the Provision Job - Devices to provision panel:

  1. For Associated boot image, select the boot image.
  2. In the Devices to provision section, click the Add icon and select the device to provision.

Use the defaults for all other settings.

14

Complete the Provision Job - Schedules panel:

Check the Execute job now option to trigger immediate execution when you finish defining the Provision job.

15

Complete the Provision Job - Permissions panel:

  1. Add a job permission, as shown.
  2. Use the defaults for all other settings.
  3. Click Finish

The Provision job executes immediately. The job is stored in the Jobs folder.

Wrapping it up

In this walkthrough, you created a system package for a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 image and provisioned that image to a bare metal system. You can now set up post-provisioning jobs to perform additional configuration on the server and install software. 

Where to go from here

For a description of provisioning a new virtual machine onto a VMware host, see Walkthrough: Provisioning a Linux VM on VMware.

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