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Method to pre-fetch install images in a pipeline manner to improve network installation time.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020462D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-21
Document File: 1 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Method to pre-fetch install images in a pipeline manner to improve network installation time.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Method to pre-fetch install images in a pipeline manner to improve network installation time.

The basics of NIM are as follows:

a) a SPOT is created on the nim server
b) the client machine boots from the SPOT - the SPOT can be thought of as the equivalent to a CDROM boot image. i.e. enough of the operating system to allow you to start an install
c) the client NFS mounts a network directory (with a CDROM install, the CDROM is mounted at this time)
d) the system starts a basic install via the NFS mounted source filesets.

One of the potential problems of this approach is that it generates a lot of network traffic when multiple clients are being installed. For large client farms (such as Grids), an administrator could potentially be installing hundreds of client machines at once. The cost here is that the fileset packages are "opened and installed" via an NFS mounted directory. Thus, the virtual fileset package starts streaming down the individual binaries from the NFS server to the clients for installation. For a single machine, this does not generate that much traffic. Multiply it by 100, then the tcp traffic starts to build up as well as the stress to the NFS server.

What is proposed is a method in which needed filesets are streamed to each client in a pipeline manner. As a fileset is being processed by the install program, the next fileset to be installed will be transferred over the network to the local client for installation.

Let us say that a client needs the filesets: A, B, C, and D for installation. While A is being installed (via the initial NFS mount), fileset B is being copied from NFS to a local, temporary filesystem. Once A finishes, it moves onto B (now local instead netw...