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Slot based Provisioning in the BladeCenter Environment keyed by MAC Address

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033508D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-13
Document File: 1 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In the BladeCenter environment customers frequently wish to associate a specific operating system image with a particular blade server slot in a particular chassis enclosure. When a server is powered on, it may use PXE or the BOOTP protocol to boot to the network. A deployment suite such as IBM's RDM product will respond to the PXE or BOOTP request. The image server will have a target image for the server keyed by the MAC address contained in the network boot request. When a customer replaces a blade in the enclosure with a new blade (for example due to a critical failure of the original blade), they may want to have the same image deployed to the blade. However, the new blade will not have the same MAC address as the blade it is replacing. Thus user intervention is required to associate the existing image with the new blade.

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Slot based Provisioning in the BladeCenter Environment keyed by MAC Address

     This article describes a method which makes use of NIC support for administrator assigned mac addresses. Rather than rely on the MAC addresse burned into the NIC at manufacturing time, each slot in the bladecenter enclosure has a range of MAC addresses reserved for it. When a new blade is inserted, the NICs will be programmed to use the MAC addresses reserved for the slot. The image server will be configured to associate the images with these adminstrator assigned MAC addresses rather than the burned in addresses of the NICs on a particular blade.

     The management module in the bladecenter environment will provide a user interface for associating a range of MAC addresses with a particular chassis and with slots within the chassis. The management module will store this information on the midplane of the chassis. When a blade is inserted into the chassis, the management module will send a msg to the service processor on the blade. This message will contain the set of MAC addresses that are allocated for that slot. The service processor on the blade will write these values to local VPD to store them. When the blade is powered on, BIOS will ask the service processor for the MAC addresses that are assigned to the blade. BIOS will write these values to the ACPI table. When BIOS loads the PXE ROM image, the NIC will read its assigned MAC addresses from ACPI. The NIC will then store them in its loc...