Hi everyone. I'm working at a place that already has a PXE automated build setup for their wintel environment, it is all running from a Windows setup. I was wondering if it is possible to setup a PXE build for ESX from Windows so we don't have to put in a new PXE setup. I've already had a look at the UDA but really want to plug into what they already have. I have all my ks scripts in place, ISO's etc, I need to know how to provision these over the network and setup the pxe environment. Can anyone point me to a document? The RHEL documentation and ESX docs really only show how to use a Linux server to host PXE.... Many thanks!
What Windows setup is currently in use? Microsoft ADS?
As soon as the existing solution supports PXE boot and tftp-downloads you might get this to work, but you would probably need to fiddle about it for quite a long time.
Im my opinion it is much easier to just use the UDA appliance.
Hi Peetz, using tftp and SMS for staging. Looks like TFTP isn't supported so would have to setup http or NFS? This is the part I am having trouble with... in the VMware Installation Guide it says:
To run a scripted installation using a PXE server:
1. Upload your kickstart file to an NFS, HTTP, or FTP server.
2. Specify the installation method in the PXE server boot options, where is the URL to access the
uploaded installation files.
If only it where that easy???!!!
It is quite simple once you get to grips with how the unattended installation of RedHat works.
There are many ways of automating the remote installation of ESX, from a simple USB stick, boot cd to using third party tools like Altiris and even an ADS server can be used to deploy ESX.
Have read of this http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=77861&start=0&tstart=0 this will give you an idea of how the process works then you will be able to get a work around.
Steve who is a automation Guru has also setup a website dedicated to ESX automation.
Yes it is possible there are people doing this.
I am currently attempting to set this up. Having network problems with PXE at the moment.
I have this working using tftpd32 and pxelinux as a PXE server, menu system, and kernel launcher, and IIS as http server for the actual ESX file deployment.
The menu option for pxelinux is:
APPEND initrd=esx301/initrd.img text ks=http://xxxxxxx/esx/kickstart/esx1-ks.cfg ksdevice=eth0
The kickstart file starts with:
url --url http://xxxxxxx/esx/install/3.0.1/
...You'll obviously have to adjust hostnames/IPs and paths accordingly. Make sure your http server allows anonymous read access to the directories it needs. Watch the IIS logs if you have any problems, you may quickly determine why.
I personally used an IIS Remote Virtual Directory because I wanted to stage all of the ESX deployment files on my VirtualCenter server, which doesn't have IIS. It works fine.