Important

   

Starting version 8.9.03, BMC Server Automation is renamed to TrueSight Server Automation. This space contains information about BMC Server Automation 8.9.02 and previous versions. For TrueSight Server Automation 8.9.03 and later releases, see TrueSight Server Automation 8.9.

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. 

 Click here to learn more about the TFTP server.

The TFTP server serves the required boot images for a network-based installation of a Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system. As part of the initial setup, you must create these boot images and place them on the TFTP server, as described in Creating boot image files and placeholders. For successful provisioning, you must install an RSCD agent on the same host computer as the TFTP server. This agent must be licensed for use with both NSH and BMC Server Automation.

Note

The BLAdmin role must be granted Read and Write access to the TFTP root directory and its contents, including boot image folders and all image files in the folders.

If you are provisioning Linux operating systems, you must also perform the setup tasks described in To stock the TFTP Server with Linux boot images for each operating system that you plan to provision.

The TFTP server is installed on the same host computer as the PXE server.

The BMC Server Automation installation program enters settings in tftp.conf file, including:

  • log_file: Specifies the location of the log file for the TFTP server.
  • file_path: Specifies the location that the TFTP server reads from and writes to during provisioning. To change the location that the TFTP server uses, you must change this setting in the tftp.conf. The file resides in the following locations:
    • (Windows) installDirectory\PXE\br\tftp.conf
    • (UNIX) installDirectory/NSH/br/tftp.conf 

This topic includes the following sections:

Before you begin

About the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool

With the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool, you can:

  • Set or change database connection parameters for the PXE/TFTP server.
  • Configure the PXE server.
  • Configure the TFTP server.
  • Configure the PXE server for a multiple database provisioning environment.
  • Run diagnostic tests that check the PXE/TFTP server configurations.

Note

If you configure the PXE server and TFTP server manually (by editing the pxe.conf and tftp.conf files), you must set the tftp base path to the same value in both files. The value should be the location of the tftproot directory only, not a directory further down in that hierarchy. For example, tftp_base_directory=C:\tftproot.

PXE server performance recommendations

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

ModuleSettingDescription and Recommendation
PXEMinConnections

Minimum connections in the pool for PXE server.

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

PXEMaxConnections

Maximum connections in the pool for PXE server.

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

To configure the PXE and TFTP servers using the configuration tool

  1. Start the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool by performing one of the following actions:
    • (Microsoft Windows) At the end of the PXE installation, on the PXE Server Setup panel, check Configure the PXE server.
    • From the Windows Start menu, select Programs > BMC Software > BladeLogic Server Automation Suite > PXE Configuration tool.
    • Start the tool manually. From the directory where the PXE server is installed, run the blpxeconf script:

      (Windows)

      <installDirectory>\PXE\bin\blpxeconf.exe

      (Linux and UNIX)

      <installDirectory>/NSH/bin/blpxeconf.sh

  2. On the Database panel, review the database connection parameters set during PXE server installation and edit them if necessary.

    Note

    Ensure that the database specified on this panel is the database you specified during Application Server configuration. (The database that the PXE server uses must have information about the file server. The Application Server configuration identifies the file server and the directory where data is stored.)

    To specify database connection parameters, perform one of the following actions:

    • If you are not providing a custom connection string, provide information for all fields except Advanced.
    • To provide parameters in a custom connection string, provide information for: User ID, Password, and Advanced. See PXE database configuration information for multiple databases.


      PXE database configuration information

      Field

      Description

      Database Type

      Type of database you are using in conjunction with BMC BladeLogic (Oracle or SQL)

      Database Server

      Name or IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) of the server running the database

      Database Port

      Port that the database listens on. By default, the BMC Server Automation installation uses the following database ports:

      • Oracle: 1521
      • SQL Server: 1433

      Database Name

      Name of the SQL server database or the SID of the Oracle database.

      User ID

      User name that the database needs to authenticate your connection.

      Password

      Password assigned to the User ID

      Advanced

      Select this option if you are providing a custom connection string. Then type the string in the text box. The string has the following format in the case of an Oracle database: jdbc:oracle:thin:@<descriptor>.

      For sample Oracle RAC connection strings, see Configuring an Oracle RAC database server.

  3. For PXE Options, provide the information listed in the following table:


    PXE Options

    Field

    Description

    Use Pxe.conf

    Specifies that the PXE server should use configuration settings in the pxe.conf file instead of the database. Check this option if you are configuring the PXE server for a multiple-database provisioning environment. See Setting up a multiple database provisioning environment.

    Interface to bind

    Ethernet interface that the PXE server uses to listen, for example, eth0 or eth1. Type the name of an interface. (Current active interfaces are listed above this field.) If you do not specify a valid interface, the PXE server binds to all active interfaces.

    Multicast address

    IP address of the multicast group that the PXE server listens on. By default, the BMC Server Automation PXE server listens on the multicast address of 224.1.5.1. Multicast addresses must fall in the range 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255. If you check Use broadcast, you must set the Multicast address to the PXE server's IP address. This setting prevents the PXE server from continuing to use the multicast address.

    Listening port

    Port on which the PXE server listens for connections from target machines being provisioned. By default, the PXE server listens on port 4011.

    Prompt timeout

    Length of time (in seconds) that the boot prompt is displayed before the boot process begins. If the time-out expires without interruption, the default boot option runs automatically. If you enter 0, the boot prompt is not displayed.

    Domain

    Domain of the PXE server.

    Use multicast

    Check this option if the PXE server should listen to multicast requests. Then set the Multicast address.

    Use broadcast

    Check this option if the PXE server should listen to broadcast requests. A broadcast transmits to an entire network and thus uses network bandwidth less efficiently than a multicast. If you check this option, enter the IP address of the PXE server for Multicast address.

  4. For TFTP Options, provide the information listed in the following table:


    TFTP Options

    Field

    Description

    IP Address

    IP address that the TFTP server listens on.

    Base Directory

    Base directory of the file system used to store operating system bootstrap programs to be downloaded.

  5. (optional) Configure the PXE server for a multiple-database provisioning environment. Use both the PXE MAS Options and the PXE MAS Data Source tabs. (For information, see Setting up a multiple database provisioning environment.)
  6. (optional) On the Diagnostics tab, click Run to check configuration parameters on the PXE and TFTP servers. The tests check:
    • Database connectivity.
    • PXE parameters, such as interface to bind, listening port, and TFTP server address.
    • TFTP parameters, such as tftp root. In addition, the TFTP test checks if the TFTP server can bind to its port.
    • Whether the DHCP server is already running. (A running DHCP server can be a problem because it keeps the PXE server from binding to bootp.)
    • PXE Multiple Application Server (MAS) configuration — The test checks to see if DHCP scope options are present.
      The Diagnostics Log displays test results and status messages. Test results show the status of the servers, as well as configuration problems and suggested solutions.
      The diagnostics tests also generate a log file: <installDirectory>/PXE/br/PxeDiag.log

To configure the PXE and TFTP servers from the console

To see the tab for configuring the PXE server, you must have, at minimum, the ProvisionConfig.Read authorization.

  1. Choose Configuration > Provisioning Configurations.
  2. Click the PXE tab.
  3. Provide information about the tab and click OK.

     Click here to see definitions of the fields.

    Field definitions

    Interface to bind

    The name of the Ethernet interface that the PXE server uses to listen. For example, eth0 or eth1. Type the name of an interface.

    Multicast address

    The IP address of the multicast group that the PXE server listens on. (A multicast group is a group of IP addresses that have been defined to receive a multicast.) By default, the BMC Server Automation PXE server listens on the multicast address of 224.1.5.1. Multicast addresses must fall in the range 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255.
    If you check Use broadcast, you must set the Multicast address to the PXE server's IP address. This setting prevents the PXE server from continuing to use the multicast address.

    Listening port

    The port on which the PXE server listens for connections from target machines being provisioned. By default, the PXE server listens on port 4011.

    Prompt timeout

    The amount of time the boot prompt displays before the boot process begins. If the time-out expires without interruption, the default boot option runs automatically. If you enter 0, the boot prompt is not displayed.

    Domain

    The domain of the PXE server.

    Use multicast

    Check this option if the PXE Server should listen to multicast requests. Then enter the Multicast address.

    Use broadcast

    Check this option if the PXE Server should listen to broadcast requests. A broadcast transmits to an entire network and thus uses network bandwidth less efficiently than a multicast. If you check this option, enter the IP address of the PXE server for Multicast address.

  4. Click the TFTP tab.
  5. Provide information about the TFTP tab and click OK.

     Click here to see definitions of the fields.

    Field definitions

    FieldDefinition
    TFTP Settings - IP AddressThe IP address that the TFTP server listens on.
    TFTP Settings - Base DirectoryThe base directory of the file system used to store operating system bootstrap programs to be downloaded (for example, /opt/bmc/bladelogic/install_dir/tftproot.
  6. Stop and restart the PXE server. See Starting and stopping a PXE server.
  7. Stop and restart the TFTP server. See Starting and stopping a TFTP server.

Note

You can also configure the PXE server by editing the pxe.conf file. By default, this file resides in the following location:

  • Windows: installDirectory\PXE\br\pxe.conf
  • UNIX: installDirectory/NSH/br/pxe.conf

You can also configure the TFTP server by editing the tftp.conf file directly. The file resides in the following locations:

  • (Windows) installDirectory\PXE\br\tftp.conf
  • (UNIX) installDirectory/NSH/br/tftp.conf 

To stock the TFTP Server with Linux boot images

If you are provisioning Linux operating systems, you must stock the boot image files before you can start provisioning.

Note

Provisioning is supported for the following Linux versions:

  • Red Hat 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and ESX
  • SUSE 9.x, 9.x AMD 64, 10.x, and 11.x

The TFTP server installation process creates the tftproot directory. You must copy the kernel or boot images that you want to provision into subfolders under the tftproot directory on the TFTP server. To stock the directory:

  1. On the TFTP server host, navigate to the following directory:

    <{TFTP install directory>\tftproot\X86PC\pxelinux\
    
  2. Create a subfolder for each operating system that you plan to provision. The subfolder names are not important, but use a naming convention that makes sense, such as os-arch; for example, rhas3-i386 or sles-11-i386.
  3. Copy the following files into the new sub-directory that you created in the previous step:
    1. If you plan to provision Windows operating systems, check that the bootmgr.exe and pxeboot.0 files exist in tftproot. If you follow the instructions in  Creating WinPE images using the Image Creation wizard,  the image creation wizard moves these files into the correct location in tftproot. If you obtain the WinPE image in a different way, see Creating WinPE boot image files.
    2. If you plan to provision Linux operating systems, copy the vmlinux and initrd.img files from the images\pxeboot directory on the OS media into the Linux subfolder. For example, copy the files to:

      <PXE install directory>\tftproot\X86PC\pxelinux\RHEL_5
      
    3. If you plan to provision ESX operating systems, copy the vmlinux and initrd.img files from the isolinux directory on the OS media into the ESX subfolder. For example, copy the files to:

      <PXE install directory>\tftproot\X86PC\pxelinux\ESX4
      
    4. If you plan to provision SUSE 11 operating systems, copy the initrd and linux files from the loader directory on the OS media into the SUSE subfolder.
      For example. copy Suse\SLES11_x64\DVD1\boot\x86_64\loader\initrd and Suse\SLES11_x64\DVD1\boot\x86_64\loader\linux into:

      <PXE_ install _directory>\tftproot\X86PC\pxelinux\suse11
      
  4. (Optional, Windows) To prevent warnings about missing fonts in the TFTP server logs, add the font file to the tftproot directory, as follows:
    1. Under the tftproot directory, create the following path: /boot/fonts.
    2. Copy the wg14_boot.ttf file from the <WAIK installation directory>/boot/fonts into the tftproot/boot/fonts directory.
  5. When you configure the associated system package type, specify the new file names for the Boot image file name and Boot kernel file name options, relative to the pxelinux directory.For example:
    1. For Red Hat,rhas3-i386/initrd.img and rhas3-i386/vmlinuz
    2. For SuSE,sles-11-i386/initrd and sles-11-i386/linux
  6. Verify that your tftproot directory structure under the PXE root directory is similar to the following example. The folder structure under tftproot is important and must match this example.

This example shows the data store (pxestore) under the PXE directory. The data store is not required to be under the PXE directory.

To complete the setup

  1. Set up the TFTP server.
  2. Set up data stores.
  3. Stock the data store.
    The data store holds all operating system installation files for provisioning, as well as Windows plug-and-play drivers and BMC Server Automation RSCD agents. For more information, see Stocking the data store.
  4. Set up all necessary agent installations and add them to the data store.
    The BMC Server Automation provisioning process installs an agent on all servers so that they can be managed with BMC Server Automation. For more information, see Preparing agents for provisioning.
  5. Create boot image files.
    BMC Server Automation uses Windows PE and Gentoo Linux as boot environments for bare metal provisioning. If you are provisioning:
    • Windows computers, use WinPE.
    • Linux computers, use Gentoo Linux.
      Regardless of your target environment, you must create appropriate bootable image files. For information, see Provisioning servers.
  6. 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. For information, see Preparing for UEFI booting.

  7.  (optional) Set up a multidatabase provisioning environment.
    In a large, distributed provisioning environment, you might find it more efficient to use multiple Application Servers accessing multiple databases. For information, see Setting up a multiple database provisioning environment.
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