brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

ESX deployment appliance v1.05

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https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/esx-deployment-appliance-eda

ESX Deployment Appliance (EDA) is a small and easy to use appliance

that makes deploying ESX servers a breeze. It has a very intuitive

web-interface that can configure and deploy dozens of ESX servers in

minutes. It has a script-builder that will allow any admin to create

%post-scripts that will do most anything one needs to get the ESX hosts

up and running! Even if deploying with RDP/Altiris or the UDA, this

script-builder can help setting those up very quickly.

850 Replies
Funtoosh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I would like to share my automaed ESX deployment experiance Edit

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Funtoosh,

Here is the solution to the second part of your question: The bug regarding the deletion of the numeric '0' in the hostname. This has been resolved by a patch which you can get from the following URL:

**PLEASE BEFORE APPLYING THIS PATCH ENSURE YOU BACKUP THE CONFIGURATION SETTINGS OF YOUR EDA SERVER. YOU MAY NEED TO O RESTORE THIS POST APPLICATION OF THE PATCH**

Once downloaded, please follow the instructions below to apply the patch on the EDA appliance:

  • log in to the console (of the EDA appliance/server)

  • edit /var/www/eda/fs.php

  • change the '3000' on line 32 to '1000000'

  • go to http://eda-ip-address/eda/fs.php

  • upload the file 'eda-v0.87-1.tar.gz'

  • type 'tar zxvf eda-v0.87-1.tar.gz -C /' in the exec box (be exact with the slash but don't type the quotes)

  • The click the 'run' button and this should apply the patch in a matter of a few seconds

Once applied hit F5 on your browser.

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Funtoosh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks Bol4770 for guiding me. I will follow your instruction to apply the patch.

If you get any clue about my others part of the question

funtoosh

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rock0n
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Could it be a general problem to use EDA with IBM Servers?

I got 40 Server in my VATC environment. 34HP vs. 6 IBM x3560

Its very cool to see how fast i can deploy all the HP Server but it wont work in any way for the IBM Server.

Yes i read through the whole thread.

Typically it stops at the choose language section.I tried everything several times. From crossover cabling to try the different nics in the system for PXE boot.

I think the nested BMC / RSA II on eth0 is the problem. Maybe the anaconda fails to identify the right MAC adress to get the kickstart file.

So the question is. Has anybody successfully installed an IBM Server with nested BMC / RSA II?

Regards

RM

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

Hi there,

Whilst I have not personally tried deploying on the IBM hardware mentioned, one suggestion worth putting forward is: Disabling PXE boot on all but one of the NICs on the server. Wondering if you have tried doing this yet during the troubleshooting process?

Thanks

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77seb77
Contributor
Contributor

Hi

I've got the same problem with variables, is there a way to implement this in a future release (if it's not too complicated Smiley Wink) ?

Maybe you could (or just explain how) add a column (or more) in the new host creation to specify some variables ?

By the way, you've done a great application very helpfull !

Thanks for your answer

Sébastien

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

I also support the need to have additional fields to cater for additional configuration settings like a Secondary Console address. I currently add these via a post install script section.

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brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

well the settings supplied in the kickstart file are needed for basic ESX operation. to change that doesn't make much sense to me since all other config is done in the post script anyway. you could simply add anything you want there based on the ip address or vmotion addres available by a simple algorythm..

would it help to add a simple scriptpart that would do some basic calculations?

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brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

could you describe your setup? networks, vlans, that stuff? it would also help if you post your alt-F3 and alt-F4 screenshots from the ESX server when it fails. and a dhcpd.conf and ks file would also help.. so far, when applying the instructions on http://virtualappliances.eu/eda.html#troubleshooting i have yet to encounter the first setup where the eda (or any PXE server) fails to do its job..

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

Yes it would help to insert a section in the script that would do some basic logic such like "If the hostname is xxxxx, then configure Secondary console IP address etc....". This would make the EDA a lot more flexible and to a large extent more generic.

Thanks

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Brugh!

Just wondering if any body out there has had the chance to have a look at the recently released ESX 4.0 otherwise known as Vsphere 4. Just in case, I have been spending come considerable time on this product both in a development/test and production environment and the following are my observations:

  • It does not and will not work with EDA v.87 or below. I presume this is by design as a lot of the kickstart auotmation command line syntax have since been deprecated or rendered obsolete in ESX 4.

  • Secondly, there is a little bit of good news though! There is a wider support for hardware devices then 3.5. For instance, a lot of the desktop SATA controllers not supported since the introduction of ESX 3.5 Update 2 are now fully supported. The same goes for Network Interface cards. Indeed there is long awaited functionality which is presented during installation time when one can now load custom device drivers! A bit like on Windows where you are prompted to press a specific function key to load additional drivers. This new functionality alone will undoubtedly lead to a wider adoption of the production in the coming months as I have known colleagues of mine to jump ship to Microsoft Hyper V because of this restriction. You can also no create VMFS partition of your SATA (desktop) drives.

  • Note that you can also remotely upgrade the ESX server from your VCserver - though you must ensure that you have a local VMFS partition to be able to do this. I didnt as my disk controller was not supported and all I had was ISCSI based storage! I effectively had to do a manual and fresh installation from scratch.

  • Hopefully the EDA will step up the mark and have beta version of the deployment appliance ready soon so that ESX 4 can be deployed in the same breezy way as its predecessors.

Though, one must point out that ESX 4 is a totally new and dare I say better beast; A ton of new features...all good and for the better! Certainly got Microsoft on the rack here!

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brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

actually i have 0.88 ready which does support ESX4. i installed virtual and physical hosts with it. it works but at the moment it's slow. i'm not sure if it's the appliance or the installer, installing 3.5 is still very very fast. i'm waiting on some documents from vmware that describe the new installer and some basic scripting rules so i can figure out what's going on. i should thank mike laverick and carl thijssen (who wrote the UDA) who did some reverse enginering that helped a lot getting things to work. they're cool guys (we should have dinner more often Smiley Wink) and i wish i had more time to spend on the eda and also carl's uda project. ohwell, i shouldnt' complain. we're still hiring because we're overloaded in work which in these times is pretty good i guess ;).

anyway, i also got some docs from vmware about using a pxe server to host stateless ESXi (v3 and v4) servers. i'm currently building that into the appliance so it can also function as a bootdevice for ESXi hosts. that will be a very cool feature Smiley Wink makes eda more business critical but with all the BC option in esx nowadays, that shouldn't pose any problems..

in short, if anybody wants to testrun the 0.88 (which actually is a 0.9 beta) drop me a PM and i'll send you a download link. just send me some feedback so i can get 0.9 out as soon as possible.

also, if you got specific ESX4 scriptparts, PM those to me too or post them here and i'll incorporate them into the next version.

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Arrow1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

At my side (without EDA!), both CD-rom based and PXE installation are very slow (also).

I guess this is not an issue with the appliance itself.

Regards

Bernard

Regards Bernard
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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

My installation experiience using the DVD based ESX 4 Enterprise version was NOT that slow. In fact the speed is comparable to a CD based installation of ESX 3.5 Update 4. Note that starting with ESX 4, the source files are now DVD based as opposed to CD! The Vserver source code alone is nearly 2GB in size! So gents, unless you have a kickstart PXE install Or an Update Manager upgrade method, you certainly will require to replace your existing CD rom drives with DVD drives!

Thanks

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bol4770
Contributor
Contributor

Hi there,

As I have currently set up a lab of five ESX host servers (running a mix of ESX 4 and ESX 3.5 U4), please would you mind sending us the link to the beta version of the EDA that is compatible with ESX 4. I will certainly have a look at this and provide you with the appropriate feedback. My email address is o_oke AT hotmail.com

Thanks.

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77seb77
Contributor
Contributor

I've done a config file where I can find required values, the only problem I get is that variables are not kept, here is how I do my variables :

VMkernelIP=$(cat /tmp/Conf_ESX.txt|grep $HOSTNAME|awk '{print $2}')

Is it the good way ?

Another point, I'm using a French keyboard and the PXE menu is in QWERTY,how can I change it ?

Thanks for your answer.

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77seb77
Contributor
Contributor

Forget the French keyboard, I've found by myself.

Just add KBDMAP fr.kbd to the menu file in tftpboot and copy the file fr.kbd in the same directory as pxelinux.0

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77seb77
Contributor
Contributor

Oups, I need to modify the index.php to add the line for the french keyboard because the menu is rewrite at each save.

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brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

yeah found it. in 3.5 the installer requested all files sequentially so i tuned the webserver for that. but in 4 the installer works completely different. i reset some apache parameters and now it installs much faster. still takes 15 minutes where 3.x only takes 2 but still. even the post script works now. looks like 0.9 isn't far off Smiley Wink

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brugh
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

well a variable is only valid for the session it was created in. but if you put that into the %post script, you can just configure your secondary IP and be done with it.

when you do it like this, you have to create a file, put in on the share, transfer it to the esx host in the %post script, then use it and configure the stuff you want.

i find it much easier to just change one of the octets of the cos or vmotion address. for example; if your VMotion address is 10.1.2.12, you could define your 2nd COS ip as 10.1.3.12. that way, you can use a very simple script block like:

VMip=###HOSTIP###
newIP=${VMip/.2./.3.}

then you can use your $newIP any way you like Smiley Wink

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