Browse Prior Art Database

OS provisioning via serial communications on virtual platform

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000213587D
Original Publication Date: 2011-Dec-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2011-Dec-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

Microsoft

Related People

Stephen A. Zarkos: INVENTOR [+3]

Abstract

Virtual machines based on the Microsoft Windows operating system include a build-in functionality for post-provisioning configuration using a utility called sysprep and an xml-based configuration file. Many non-Windows operating systems, however, do not have built-in customization functionality to allow this sort of post-provisioning configuration. In a virtualized environment, a provisioned VM is essentially a clone from a preconfigured “template”. The VM, once provisioned, may not be in a state suitable for use in the customer’s network. For example, it may not even have an IP address to facilitate remote logins or configuration, i.e. via Secure Shell (SSH).

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Document Author (alias)

Szark; fabiodc

Defensive Publication Title 

OS provisioning via serial communications on virtual platform

Name(s) of All Contributors

Stephen A. Zarkos

Fabio Cavalcanti da Cunha (LCA)

Gang Pan

 

 

Summary of the Defensive Publication/Abstract

Virtual machines based on the Microsoft Windows operating system include a build-in functionality for post-provisioning configuration using a utility called sysprep and an xml-based configuration file.  Many non-Windows operating systems, however, do not have built-in customization functionality to allow this sort of post-provisioning configuration.  In a virtualized environment, a provisioned VM is essentially a clone from a preconfigured “template”.  The VM, once provisioned, may not be in a state suitable for use in the customer’s network.  For example, it may not even have an IP address to facilitate remote logins or configuration, i.e. via Secure Shell (SSH).

One way to solve this problem is for the host server to connect to the serial port on the guest VM to send commands and information to facilitate additional configuration.  In Microsoft Hyper-V, a named pipe (essentially a type of file) on the host would be pre-configured within the Hyper-V settings and “attached” to the serial port on the guest.  Any I/O transferred across the named pipe would then be passed to/from the serial port on the VM.  Additionally, the virtual serial port hardware available to the guest is always emulated, meaning the guest would not require any additional drivers than what is typically available to make use of this method of communication.

Using this method, the guest would then need to be pre-configured (i.e. in the template noted above) to include an agent/service that can wait for input on the serial port and act on configuration data sent from the host.  A client on the host would send commands to the serial port on a guest VM via the named pipe on the Hyper-V server.  The agent listening on the serial port on the guest VM would then be able to receive commands, perform specific configuration tasks based on information sent from the client controller and send back status of the requested configuration tasks.

Description:  Include architectural diagrams and system level data flow diagrams if: 1) they have already been prepared or 2) they are needed to enable another developer to implement your defensive publication. Target 1-2 pages, and not more than 5 pages.  

Virtual machines based on the Microsoft Windows operating system include a build-in functionality for post-provisioning configuration using a utility called sysprep and an xml-based configuration file.  Many non-Windows operating systems, however, do not have built-in customization functionality to allow this sort of post-provisioning configuration.  In a virtualized environment, a provisioned VM is essentially a clone from a preconfigured “template”.  The VM, once provisioned, may not be in a state suitable...