[AusNOG] PXE boot with custom on the fly builds

Matt Keen matt at keentech.info
Thu Oct 28 12:32:23 EST 2010

For windows, this is exactly what MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) is aimed at, free, works along side WDS, allows you to setup templates for new installs all the way down to selecting roles, asking for an IP and machine name, join it to a domain if required.

Can even work out the drivers for you, just add the drivers in MDT and it'll slip them into the install process for you.

And as has been mentioned, puppet for Linux runs.

Matt Keen
Wi-Fi Engineer

On 28/10/2010, at 11:23 AM, Bradley Falzon <brad at teambrad.net> wrote:

> (On what Peter just said, I still prefer cfengine (C vs Python) - but
> Puppet and Chef have both had some pretty good reviews).
> The tools will most likely depend on which OS you are trying to
> install. I haven't personally used a tool that covers both Linux and
> Windows (with the exception of VMWare below), but I'm sure a
> commercial package exists that does it well.
> If you were looking at deployment strategies specifically for Red Hat
> Enterprise or its derivates (CentOS etc), you would be looking for
> Kick Start guides. As for Windows, you could deploy a RIS/WDS (Remote
> Installation Services or Windows Deployment Strategies) type install.
> But ultimately, you could shortcut a lot of this using VMWare vSphere
> Clone tools (Supports Windows and Linux). We tested it briefly with
> CentOS, and VMWare allowed us to clone an template, then during
> deployment from within VMWare, we are asked which IP to configure the
> guest with. This obviously requires VMWare and it's infrastructure
> (VirtualCentre Server and Client).
> As for configuration after deployment, you're best to either write a
> script if it's only small changes, or go ahead and deploy some
> Configuration Management software, such as cfengine (allegedly will
> support Windows as well).
> If you already have, and are looking at deploying on, a virtualised
> environment, look at those cloning / imaging solutions first. If
> you're using VMWare, your off to a good start, and a few quick
> './bringUpToScratch.pl' scripts should cover you for quick a dirty
> updates - other than that, VMWare Cloning tools (for the initial
> deployment) and cfengine (for configuration) is the path we personally
> are going down.
> If you don't have a virtualised infrastructure, then it will most
> likely depend on the OS you are installing. 'Networking Ghosting' is
> an alternative, but I never liked needing to manage so many images
> (kick start files document themselves, images often don't).
> Other points to note is that you might want to also deploy Centralised
> Authentication, off LDAP or similar to deal with your username and
> password issues (using cfengine to configure that).
> Depending on your hardware as well, the Cisco UCS Blade Server support
> Boot and SAN (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/sw/b/os/linux/install/RHEL-install.html#wp1052956)
> so I'm sure other Blades infrastructure supports similar methods.
> On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM, Karl Kloppenborg <karl at karltec.net> wrote:
>> Hi Noggers,
>> Even though this isn't exactly a network related question, I was
>> wondering...
>> Have any of you had experience with using PXE to image linux and or windows
>> servers on the fly but also including parameters like root / admin password
>> + trigger latest updates + IP assignment ?
>> I am thinking of setting up another little lab to try and test out doing a
>> PXE imaging environment for bettering the deployment of servers and what
>> not.
>> Just want to know some "best practice" stuff with it.
>> Cheers!
>> Karl Kloppenborg
>> _______________________________________________
>> AusNOG mailing list
>> AusNOG at lists.ausnog.net
>> http://lists.ausnog.net/mailman/listinfo/ausnog
> -- 
> Bradley Falzon
> brad at teambrad.net
> _______________________________________________
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> AusNOG at lists.ausnog.net
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