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Provisioning operating systems

You can simultaneously or sequentially provision operating systems on multiple bare metal servers, or overwrite operating systems on multiple servers that are already provisioned. Servers are provisioned in parallel five at a time; more than five are provisioned in batch mode. For supported operating system types for bare metal provisioning, see release notes available on https://knowledge.hds.com/Documents/Converged/UCP_Advisor.

To do this:

  • (Optional) Create a BIOS template that specifies the BIOS settings for the servers to be provisioned. You can provision a server without modifying BIOS settings. If you do not specify a BIOS template in the policy, the settings are left unchanged on the server.
  • Specify a host IP address range that defines the IP addresses assigned to the servers.
  • Create a provisioning policy that defines which OS information is installed.
  • Select the servers for provisioning.

For more advanced OS provisioning, you can use Hitachi Automation Director to build customized workflows that handle actions before and after OS provisioning, such as customizing the server, adding a server to vCenter, or modifying the network or storage settings.

For Automation Director documentation, see https://knowledge.hitachivantara.com/Documents/Management_Software/Automation_Director.

Creating a new BIOS template

Create a new BIOS template that defines server BIOS settings. The BIOS settings are: Name, Boot Mode, Boot Order, NUMA, Virtualization Technology, Legacy OpROM Support, Turbo Mode, and CPU C6 State. These settings are applied to servers during OS provisioning.

Before you begin

Onboard the servers to UCP Advisor that you want to provision with an operating system.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > BIOS Template. You can use a default CI or HC template, or you can create a new template based on a default one.Creating a new BIOS template

  2. Click the Add BIOS Template icon.

  3. Enter a unique configuration name for the new BIOS template.

    The name must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and cannot contain the following special characters: quotation (") or backslash (\).
  4. Enter any of the following optional settings for the new BIOS template. To leave a setting unchanged from its original value, select Ignored.

    • Boot Mode: Select a boot mode. See the Release Notes for supported boot modes for the supported operating system types for bare metal provisioning.
    • Boot Order 1-4: Specify the sequence in which the devices are booted.
    • NUMA: Enable or disable the setting for nonuniform memory access.
    • Virtualization Technology: Enable or disable the use of virtualization technology.
    • Legacy OpROM Support: Select a supported legacy option ROM, or disable the support.
    • Turbo Mode: Enable or disable turbo mode.
    • CPU C6 State: Enable, disable, or set on auto the power-saving CPU C6 state when the CPU is idle.
  5. Click Submit.

Next steps

Create a host IP range.

BIOS template default values

The following table shows the default settings for the CI BIOS template.

Name of setting

Default value

Name Default CI Template
Boot Mode UEFI
Boot Order 1 CD/DVD
Boot Order 2 USB
Boot Order 3 Hard Disk
Boot Order 4 Network
NUMA Enabled
Virtualization Technology Enabled
Legacy OpROM Support Select Legacy OpROM
Turbo Mode --Ignored--
CPU C6 State Select CPU C6 State

The following table shows the default settings for the HC BIOS template.

Name of setting

Default value

Name Default HC Template
Boot Mode UEFI
Boot Order 1 Hard Disk
Boot Order 2 CD/DVD
Boot Order 3 Select Boot Order
Boot Order 4 Select Boot Order
NUMA Enabled
Virtualization Technology Enabled
Legacy OpROM Support Disabled
Turbo Mode Enabled
CPU C6 State Enabled

Creating a new host IP range

Create a new host IP range that defines the IP addresses assigned to the servers selected for OS provisioning. The range must be in the management network for the respective rack.

Before you begin

  • Onboard the servers to UCP Advisor that you want to provision with an operating system.
  • (Optional) Create a BIOS template. You can create a new host IP range without modifying BIOS settings. If you don't specify a BIOS template then the settings will be left unchanged on the server.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Host IP Range.

  2. Click the Add Host IP Range icon.

  3. Enter the required settings for the new host IP range:

    • Name: Enter a unique configuration name for the host IP range. It must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and cannot contain the following special characters: quotation (") or backslash (\).
    • Network: Enter the network IP address, for example, 192.168.1.0/24.
    • Gateway IP: Enter the gateway IP address for the network.
  4. Enter any optional settings for the new host IP range:

    • Active Start IP: Specify the starting active IP address for the range. It must be lower than the active end IP address.
    • Active End IP: Specify the ending active IP address for the range. It must be equal to or higher than the active start IP address.
    • Domain Name: Enter the network domain name. It must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and can have the following special character: hyphen (-).
    • DNS Server(s): Enter the IP address for each domain name server.
    • Network Interface: Enter the network interface name, for example ens160.
  5. Click Submit.

Next steps

Create an OS provisioning policy.

Creating an OS provisioning policy

Create a reusable OS provisioning policy that defines which OS information is installed and which servers are provisioned.

Before you begin

  • Create a BIOS template.
  • Create a host IP range.
  • Create an HTTP repository for the operating system ISO files.
  • (Optional) Apply tags to servers in the compute inventory for filtering.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator pane, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Policy. Creating an OS provisioning policy

  2. Click the Add Policy icon.

  3. Enter the required settings for the new OS provisioning policy:

    • Policy Name: Enter a unique configuration name for the OS provisioning policy. The policy name must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and cannot contain the following special characters: quotation (") or backslash (\).
    • OS Type: Select the type of operating system you want to provision to the servers.
    • OS URL: Enter the HTTP URL to the ISO file in the repository for the operating system you selected.
    • BIOS Template: Select a BIOS template to apply default BIOS settings to the servers being provisioned.
    • Host Name: Enter the name of the host. The host name must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and can have the following special character: hyphen (-). The name of the host has a unique incremental ID appended to the end. This ID is a local counter and it is incremented by 1 when you register the host. For example, the host name Finance will increment to Finance-1, Finance-2, and so on. If you have another host name, such as Engineering, it would also increment to Engineering-1, Engineering-2, and so on.
    • Default Root Password: Enter a default host root password for the servers being provisioned. The password must be between 8 and 256 alphanumeric characters. There are no restrictions on special characters.
  4. Select the Provision in parallel option to provision the servers simultaneously. Clear this option to provision the servers sequentially.

  5. Select the Only use unprovisioned servers option to limit OS provisioning to servers that have not been provisioned previously. Clear this option to provision all servers, overwriting any existing operating systems on previously provisioned servers.

  6. Apply any optional filters to the compute inventory. The filter selection options are populated dynamically according to the servers available in your compute inventory.

    • Compute Model: Select a server model from the list of supported models available in the compute inventory.
    • Physical CPU Count: Select the number of physical CPUs from the number available.
    • CPU Type: Select the CPU type from the types available.
    • Memory Size: Select the range of total memory size (GB) for the specified compute model across the specified physical CPU count. For example, enter 48000 for a total memory size of 48 TB. To specify a range without a boundary, enter 0 to 0. To specify an exact memory size, enter identical values, for example, 128 GB to 128 GB.
    • Server Tags: Enter server tags, if any. Tags must be between 8 and 256 alphanumeric characters. Separate multiple tags with a comma (,). The server must contain all of the specified tags when the filtering occurs.
  7. Click Submit.

Next steps

Specify the OS provisioning details, and then start the OS provisioning task.

Provisioning servers

You can install operating systems on bare metal servers or overwrite operating systems on servers that are already provisioned.

Before you begin

  • Create a host IP range.
  • Create an OS provisioning policy.
  • (Optional) Apply tags to servers in the compute inventory for filtering.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator pane, click Bare Metal Provisioning > OS Provisioning.

  2. Select a host IP range.

  3. Select a policy.

  4. Select the servers to be provisioned. You can filter the server list by entering one or more tags in Additional Server Tags. Only servers that exactly match all the tags entered are displayed. Click the column headers in the server list to sort by column, add or remove columns, or apply text filters.

  5. Click Start OS Provisioning. Click Start OS Provisioning

  6. Click Submit.

Next steps

Monitor the OS provisioning task in the Recent Tasks pane.

OS provisioning with Hitachi Automation Director workflows

If Hitachi Automation Director is available in your environment, you can enhance OS provisioning using Automation Director workflows. For example, you can use a customized Automation Director workflow that includes additional steps before or after OS provisioning, such as customizing the server, adding a server to vCenter, or modifying the network or storage settings.

Before you begin

  • Verify that the Automation Director software is installed, and is registered with UCP Advisor.
  • Verify that custom OS provisioning workflows that can be run from UCP Advisor are available.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator pane, click Bare Metal Provisioning > OS Provisioning.

  2. Select a host IP range.

  3. Select a policy.

  4. Select the servers to be provisioned. You can filter the server list by entering one or more tags in Additional Server Tags. Only servers that exactly match all the tags entered are displayed. Click the column headers in the server list to sort by column, add or remove columns, or apply text filters.

  5. Click Other Actions. The Automation Director workflows created for UCP Advisor are displayed, along with an explanation of the function that each performs. Clear the Show only UCP Advisor workflows option to see the default workflows.

  6. Select the required workflow, and then click Submit.

Results

The selected Automation Director workflow is run. You can monitor its status in the Recent Tasks pane.

Managing BIOS templates

You can modify, remove, and clone existing BIOS templates.

Modifying a BIOS template

You can edit a default template to create a new custom template or edit the information in a custom template.. The BIOS settings that you can modify are: Name, Boot Order, NUMA, VIrtualization Technology, Legacy OpROM Support, Turbo Mode, and CPU C6 State.

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > BIOS Template.

  2. Select the BIOS template that you want to modify.

  3. Click the Edit BIOS Template icon.

  4. Modify the information, and then click Submit.

Removing a BIOS template

You can remove an existing BIOS template that is not used by an OS provisioning policy.

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > BIOS Template.

  2. Select the BIOS template that you want to remove.

  3. Click the Remove BIOS Template icon.

  4. Confirm that you want to remove the selected BIOS template, and then click OK.

Cloning a BIOS template

You can duplicate an existing BIOS template. This is helpful if you want to create a new BIOS template with similar information as an existing BIOS template.

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > BIOS Template.

  2. Select the BIOS template that you want to clone.

  3. Click the Clone BIOS Template icon.

  4. Enter a unique configuration name for the cloned BIOS template. It must be between 1 and 32 alphanumeric characters and cannot contain the following special characters: quotation (") or backslash (\).

  5. Modify any optional settings for the cloned BIOS template, and then click Submit.

Managing host IP ranges

You can modify and remove existing host IP ranges that are not in use.

Modifying a host IP range

You can modify an existing host IP range that is not allocated to any hosts.

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Host IP Range.

  2. Select the host IP range that you want to modify.

  3. Click the Edit Host IP Range icon.

  4. Modify the information, and then click Submit.

Removing a host IP range

You can remove an existing host IP range that is not allocated to any hosts.

NoteYou can unreserve a host IP range through the API. To access API documentation, go to Administration > Rest API.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator window, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Host IP Range.

  2. Select the host IP range that you want to remove.

  3. Click the Remove Host IP Range icon.

  4. Confirm that you want to remove the selected host IP range, and then click OK.

Managing OS provisioning policies

You can modify and remove existing OS provisioning policies.

Modifying an OS provisioning policy

You can modify the information for an existing OS provisioning policy.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator pane, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Policy.

  2. Select the policy that you want to modify.

  3. Click the Edit Policy icon.

  4. Modify the relevant information, and then click Submit.

Removing an OS provisioning policy

You can remove obsolete OS provisioning policies.

Procedure

  1. In the Navigator pane, click Bare Metal Provisioning > Policy.

  2. Select the policy that you want to remove.

  3. Click the Remove Policy icon.

  4. Confirm that you want to remove the selected policy, and then click OK.