Implementation process for provisioning
This topic describes the workflows for installing and configuring all of the BMC Server Automation components for bare metal provisioning, and the workflow for setting up and executing a Provisioning Job.
The sections below describe the tasks involved in each workflow, and provide references to further details in BMC Server Automation technical documentation.
Overview of the integration of provisioning and server management
BMC Server Automation 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.
The BMC Server Automation system integrates provisioning with BMC Server Automation server management functions to allow for provisioning higher layers of the server stack after the operating system is installed.
When you provision a server, you can also install an RSCD agent on the server, register it, and provide information about that server, so you can manage that server in the future. When you create a Provision Job to provision a server, you can also specify a Batch Job that runs after the agent is installed on the newly provisioned server. A Batch Job can run multiple jobs sequentially. In this way you can run jobs that perform additional configuration on the server, deploy all necessary files, and install required software.
What environments are supported?
BMC Server Automation provisioning performs unattended installations of operating systems onto new machines ("bare metal" machines) or re-provisions existing machines. The provisioning process can also run Batch Jobs that configure server settings, deploy files, and install software after installing the operating system. The BMC Server Automation provisioning process uses four provisioning technologies. The phases of the provisioning process differ for each technology. The technology that you use depends on the operating system being provisioned.
- PXE environment — For provisioning Microsoft Windows and Linux servers
- JumpStart environment — For provisioning Oracle Solaris servers
- IBM Network Installation Manager (NIM) environment — For provisioning IBM AIX servers
- Ignite environment — For provisioning HP-UX servers
Solaris 11 does not support JumpStart. Instead, Automated Installer is used. However, JumpStart is supported on Solaris 10 and earlier versions.
Flowchart for bare metal provisioning
The flowchart illustrates the installation and execution tasks you perform during bare metal provisioning. Click the thumbnail below for a full-size image.
The following sections describe the individual tasks required for both provisioning installation and provisioning execution.
Checklist for setting up and enabling provisioning
This section describes the workflow for installing and configuring all of the BMC Server Automation components for bare metal provisioning. Usually, you need to perform these tasks only one time. The checklist assumes that:
- You are performing a fresh installation of the BMC Server Automation Application Server and provisioning
- You are setting up all provisioning environments (PXE, JumpStart, NIM, and Ignite).
To perform upgrades on existing BMC Server Automation components, see Upgrading using individual component installers. To see more detailed workflow descriptions for each of the provisioning environments (PXE, JumpStart, NIM, and Ignite), see Understanding the provisioning process.
You can use these steps as a checklist for performing all of the tasks required to set up the provisioning system and provision servers. To enable provisioning, you must set up the provisioning system, create components used by the provisioning process, prepare devices, and create and execute Provision Jobs that perform the unattended installation of the operating system.
The following table provides a checklist for performing all of the tasks required to set up the provisioning system and provision servers. Each step in the table also includes a link to more information.
|1||Install required components for the provisioning system.|
Specifically, you need:
For Microsoft Windows platforms, see Installing the Application Server and Network Shell on Windows
For Linux and UNIX platforms, see Installing the Application Server and components (Linux and UNIX)
|2A||Install OS-specific environments.|
A PXE environment for provisioning Microsoft Windows and Linux servers including configuring the following servers:
A JumpStart environment for provisioning Solaris servers.
|Setting up Solaris provisioning|
A NIM environment for provisioning AIX servers.
|Setting up AIX provisioning|
An Ignite environment for provisioning HP-UX servers.
|Setting up HP-UX provisioning|
|3||Set up authorizations related to the provisioning tasks.|
Grant access to roles involved in provisioning — On the Application Server, use BMC Server Automation role-based access control (RBAC) to do the following:
|4||(Windows and Linux only) Set up and share the data store.|
The data store is a file system that holds the images to install on the target servers.
On the host computer for the data store, set up a directory structure to store the operating system installers required for provisioning.
To share the data store for provisioning Windows servers, if the data store server is:
To share the data store for provisioning Linux servers, if the data store server is:
|5||(Windows and Linux only) Create boot image files and copy them into the data store.|
For the PXE provisioning technology, which is used to provision Windows and Linux operating systems, you must create the boot image files and copy them into the data store. For the other provisioning technologies, you can copy image files from outside sources directly into the data store.
|6||Configure system package types and create system packages.||System packages are a consistent, logical way to provide the path names of images and to represent the values passed to the operating system installer. You should create a system package for each operating system that you plan to provision.|
|7||(Optional) Create custom system package types.|
BMC Server Automation provides system package types you use to create system packages. You can also create your own custom system package type.
|Creating custom system package types|
|8||Enable 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.||Enabling auto-discovery of devices|
|9||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.
|Preparing for UEFI booting|
|10||Create a Provision Job.|
In a Provision Job, you select a system package and set job-specific information such as properties, execution schedules, permissions, and notifications. You can optionally override system package settings in a Provision Job. You can also select devices if the next step (preparing devices) is complete.
|Creating a Provision Job|
|11||Set up post-install jobs.|
After a system package installs an operating system and the RSCD agent, the package can also run a Batch Job to perform additional configuration on the server and install software.
Devices must be connected to the network and appear in the Devices folder in the BMC Server Automation Console.
|Importing and managing devices|
|13||Select devices to provision and run the Provision Job.|
You can rerun the same job many times, with new devices selected each time.
Note: To provision from a local data store, the tasks are similar to those in the Provisioning Execution workflow but require settings specific to the local data store. See Provisioning Windows 2003 or later servers from a local data store.
|14||Check the Provision Job results.|
After running a Provision Job, you can display results in a tab in the content editor.
The tab for the job contains a hierarchical tree that shows results for each run of the job. Each run displays results for each target server provisioned by the job run.
|Viewing the results of a Provision Job|
|15||Reboot the target devices that were successfully provisioned if they are not rebooted automatically.|
For PXE provisioning, no further actions are required. The devices boot from the network.
For JumpStart, NIM, and Ignite provisioning technologies, if the system package includes a reboot script, the target devices reboot automatically from the network. If the system package does not include a reboot script, you must arrange to reboot the target by other means.
Provisioning authorization requirements
To perform provisioning installation and execution tasks, you must have the appropriate authorizations assigned to your user role and to the relevant system objects and resources. The following table lists the minimum authorizations required by each provisioning-related task.
Install the Application Server and enable it for provisioning
Install and configure the PXE and TFTP servers
Create data store instances
Create a system package
Modify a system package
Create a Provision Job
Edit a Provision Job
Import or add a device
Provision a device and other management activities
Execute a Provision Job
Cancel a Provision Job