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My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
A bit of a disappointment; we’re trying to do a WinPE 2.0 CD/DVD based installation for our Windows 2003/2008 standard blade servers in an HP c7000 enclosure.
Installing from a .ISO image presented to the iLo via the virtual media applet is dog-slow (5-10 times slower than from a physical CD/DVD- why is this? – surely its technically possible to make this access run faster and GigE chipsets are cheap-as these days. I’ve been through every combination of switching/duplex/port config and even via a cable directly into the Blade OA.
The same issue seems to manifest itself on traditional rack mount HP servers – the iLo just isn’t fast enough to make this a workable solution, unless you are really patient.
I know we could use the RDP and do it as a PXE type installation over the network to each blade, but this doesn’t really achieve what I want…
Most customers maintain an OoB (Out of Band) network to which all of the management interfaces (iLo, DRAC, etc.) are connected to. the reasoning for this is obvious; if you loose your main core switching network you can get access via a totally different physical network and path to assist in troubleshooting.
For this same reasoning I would like to use this method to build servers from a master boot CD/DVD image, you can present a .ISO image to a server via the virtual media applet on the iLo. We have a fully end-end build process that sets up the HP array controllers, flashes BIOS and installs the OS and drivers etc. from a CD/DVD.
We just update the boot CD .ISO file as required and its flexible and it doesn’t rely on any deployment infrastructure (PXE server, RDP server etc.) so we can port it between customers and data centres, VM’s and physical machines and do a bare-metal builds without requiring any build/network infrastructure in place.
This isn’t just limited to a Windows OS – I tried the same with an ESX installation; took over an hour (compared to 5-10 mins from a local CD)