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Method of bare-metal provisioning with control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248280D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-15
Document File: 7 page(s) / 163K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Existing implementations rely on DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) discovery to retrieve the network booting details. It has high dependency on DHCP server. This disclosure describes a new method for the operating system provisioning to bare-metal servers. Our method will add a new feature to the server management service processer to configure where to get bootable images directly. And in addition, the management server side has several service to manage the operating system images, the pool of management servers and the operating system provisioning state. In this way, the datacenter administrator can easily allocate servers from the server pool and assign a desired operating system image for provisioning. And this invention can co-work with existing network infrastructure services (such as DHCP) without intervention.

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Method of bare-metal provisioning with control

Nowadays, Deploying different operating systems in big data center automatically is not easy.

For the current automatic deployment system which highly depend on the collaboration of DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server and file sharing server such as TFTP(Trivial File Transfer Protocol) server and HTTP(HyperText Transfer Protocol) server, it is impossible to customize the operating system deployment under the control of same DHCP server automatically as DHCP server has no idea of the mapping between the given server's MAC(Media Access Control) address and the dedicated OS.

Imagine we have 100 bare-metal physical servers connected to the same subnet, we want 20 servers run with Linux operating system from vendor A, 20 run with Linux operation system from vendor B and the reset run with Linux operating system from vendor C. How could we satisfied this requirement easily with automatic deployment? Usually, the administrators have the following choices.

a) Configure the DHCP server to tell the bare machine where to download the Linux operating system image from vendor C and start the first 20 servers' installation and re-do the above process for the reset machines.

The shortage of this approach is administrators should do the tedious and duplicate process as different OS(Operating System) installation cannot be carried out in parallel. If we have hundreds of machine to install, the total deployment time is unacceptable.

b) Administrators configure the DHCP servers for the mapping of server's MAC address and OS before power on the machines. However two barriers should be addressed.

1. Getting the Mac address of bare machine.

Theonly way to get the servers' MAC address before OS is installed is through IPMI(Intelligent Platform Management Interface) interface or similar boot loader tools. Take IPMI interface as an example, getting the IP address of IPMI interface for the first time is not easy as administrator has no idea which IP address is assigned to this IPMI interface. For the large scale deployment, it is impossible to assign the static IP address to the IPMI interfaces (He still has to solve the problem of getting Mac address of the IPMI interface).

2. Configuration of the DHCP server

Assuming administrator have got the mac address, he still faces the problem of lacking flexibility of DHCP servers. Thought some automatic


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tools can be applied to help administrators to configure the DHCP server, but it needs administrator to look up the MAC address

pro-actively, these tools cannot sense the adding/removing of bare machines pro-actively thus updating the configuration automatically.

In conclusion, lacking of mechanism to treat customize deployment requirements differently and the deployment progress highly depend on DHCP server are the root cause of problems described above.

The core idea of the invention is to enable explicit net boot configuration which al...