Browse Prior Art Database

Preconfigured deployment chassis for automatic blade rollout without skilled IT staff

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012034D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Apr-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Apr-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for automated rollout of new blade servers using a preconfigured deployment chassis. Larger companies spend considerable time and resources developing standardized server software loads or images.

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  Preconfigured deployment chassis for automatic blade rollout without skilled IT staff

       Disclosed is a method for automated rollout of new blade servers using a preconfigured deployment chassis. Larger companies spend considerable time and resources developing standardized server software loads or images. Those images are then deployed to servers in one of a few methods, for example at the installation location or in a deployment lab. With the arrival of blade servers, the density of a rack location has increased, but the need to rollout software images still exists. Mass deployment either requires a man-power intensive process to configure each server, or it requires that the entire IT staff be trained on using remote deployment tools. This disclosure provides a tool that allows a single IT administrator to preconfigure images for deployment, then allows less-trained staff members to perform the actual deployments of new blades as needed simply by inserting the new bare-metal hardware into the appropriate slot in the chassis.

     This disclosure introduces the notion of providing hardware "deployment slots" in a blade chassis. This chassis could be purchased as a dedicated deployment chassis for blade servers with one blade preloaded with appropriate OS deployment software, such as IBM's Remote Deployment Manager (RDM). The remaining slots in the chassis would be empty, with appropriate space for adding a label indicating the predefined function of each particular slot. For example, a single deployment chassis could be configured with slots 1-5 assigned to automatically deploy a Windows 2000 File Server image to blades that are inserted, slots 6-10 assigned to automatically deploy a Red Hat Linux Web Server image to blades that are inserted, and each of the remaining slots assigned to more specific loads, such as SQL database, Systems Management Server, or other specific need images. This configuration is highly flexible as well, as the associated image need only be replaced with a new image or assigned to a different slot in order to accommodate changes in deployment needs. The dedicated deployment blade chassis could be configured by the administrator with the various images to be loaded onto the blades when inserted in the various slots in the chassis.

     When a blade is inserted, the chassis will automatically power on the blade, instruct the blade to boot to the network, and begin flashing the blue LED indicator on the blade to indicate a deployment in progress. In the event that an error is detected
(e.g. hardware/OS image mismatch), then blue LED will flash a particular strobe pattern indicating an error condition. Once a blade has been successfully deployed, the chassis will power the blade off so that it is ready to be rem...