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Method To Validate And Initialize Host For Remote Boot Configuration

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198982D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Enterprise customers are shifting away from local installs to remote boot installs, where the operating system is installed and contained on remote storage provided through different interfaces and protocols. Configuring a host system to boot an operating system in a remote boot configuration is extremely complex and prone to errors. Because there are multiple types of operating systems, HBAs, switches and storage devices, configuring a system for remote boot varies by system. And, because it varies so much, it is prone to misconfiguration by system administrators. A method is needed to ensure proper configuration of a remote boot system. That method should provide both validation of the configuration, as well as a method to initiate the install of the operating system once the configuration has been validated.

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Method To Validate And Initialize Host For Remote Boot Configuration

Disclosed is a method for checking and validating a potential configuration for a remote boot system. That configuration takes into account all the relevant component settings connecting the host system, HBA, fabric/network topology and storage device. Once the configuration has been validated, and any required changes made, the method would begin installation of the target operating system. The advantage of this method vs. the current documentation solutions is that a software-based method will allow for precise configuration validation of all the components and install initialization. This removes the guesswork required by the system administrator, which is subject to errors.

Traditionally, most servers in the enterprise environment are booted off a local hard drive. That is, the operating system is installed and contained on a hard drive disk physically located within the host system itself. Many of the larger enterprise customers, however, are shifting away from local installs to remote boot installs, where the operating system is installed and contained on remote storage provided through different interfaces and protocols. Configuring a host system to boot an operating system in a remote boot configuration is extremely complex and prone to errors. Numerous components have to be checked for proper configuration before the install will be successful. These include :

The Host Bus Adapter (HBA) must be configured to support remote boot
The Host System BIOS/EFI/uEFI must be configured to support remote boot The HBA must be able to physically see and recognize the boot LUN
The fabric or network technology must be configured to allow the host system to see the assigned storage device
The storage device must be configured to provide a LUN to the assigned host system
Multipathing or redundant paths must be in place in order to provide the boot LUN with alternative paths in the event that some paths have errors

If any of the above steps are missed, or do not complete successfully, the host system will fail to load or boot the operating system, and/or may not operate successfully if booted. Because there are multiple types of operating systems, HBAs, switches and storage device types, configuring a system for remote boot varies by system. And, because it varies so much, it is prone to misconfiguration by system administrators. A method is needed to ensure proper configuration of a remote boot system. That method should provide both validation of the configuration, as well as a method to initiate the install of the operating system once the configuration has been validated.

There are multiple potential embodiments of this disclosure. However, all embodiments share a common framework that allows for the configuration of the system and initialization of operating system install. This invention utilizes a method where the potential remote boot environment is analyzed, configur...