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High Availability PXE environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000193937D
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 245K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This publication proposes an extension to the PXE environment in the form of HW and SW that introduces smart redundancy to the PXE environment that can be easily managed and automatically leveraged so that when failures occur in a PXE server, the installation/boot process can seamlessly and automatically fail over to a secondary PXE server that is equipped with the same high availability technology. This minimizes the costly impact of a failed PXE server and, thus, increases the productivity of its users.

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Page 1 of 4

High Availability PXE environment

The proposed solution is comprised of a redundant PXE server (called the secondary, inactive or backup) and two software components: 1) a watchdog that monitors the health of the primary (active) PXE server and 2) a mirror component that takes all the important configuration and data files from the active PXE server and copies them into the secondary PXE server.

Figure 1 below illustrates the components more effectively.

Figure 1

The solution allows for the user to only manage the primary PXE server. That is, new images and data are downloaded there and configuration files are modified/created/removed while the secondary can be completely ignored. In the figure above, the primary PXE pushes important data to the secondary PXE. However, note that this is only one configuration and it is possible to have the secondary PXE pull the data from the primary instead.

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Page 2 of 4

When the primary PXE fails (where the definition of failure can be completely configured by the user), the watchdog in the secondary detects this and initiates a sequence of responses such as sending notification for repair, configuring its IP to be the same as that of the failed PXE, enabling DHCP, et cetera. This effectively converts the secondary into the active PXE as figures 2 and 3 below illustrate.

Figure 2

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Figure 3

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