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Booting VMS Blades using VC profiles.

The Brit
Honored Contributor

Booting VMS Blades using VC profiles.

Hi folks.
This is intended to be a quick summary of what we have discovered on this topic, (which will hopefully save someone a lot of time (and hair)). My deep gratitude goes to John Shortt and Barry Kierstein, who provided much of the information. All I had to do was throw it in the air and sort it out as it fell.


A major advantage of the Itanium Blade systems is the ability to virtualize MAC addresses and FC WWID's, in a profile, allowing blades to be moved or replaced with little actual reconfiguration to be done. With the most recent version of the VC firmware came the ability to include the system FC boot parameters in the profile, effectively virtualizing the system disk too. Within the profile there is now a place to enter, for each FC port, a Storage Controller WW Port ID, and a LUN #, which together would define the boot device.
The problem we were trying to get our heads around was; In a VMS Cluster, with a shared System Disk, how could we keep the "boot_flags" information with the profile, since there is NO place to include that with the "FC Boot Parameters."


The actual solution was hidden in the sense that a crucial piece of information is (as far as I can see), not documented.
Vis. The fact that when the profile (with boot parameters) is assigned to a server or bay, VC creates and appends a copy of the EFI partition which includes all of the defined boot_options. These boot options are created independently by (say) booting an internal disk or EOE DVD, and running the BOOT_OPTIONS utility, and of course, they include the "Boot_Flags".

The information which is inserted in the “Fiber Boot Parameters” box is simply the information required to identify the boot device in the Boot Options list (stored in the Profile EFI partition). Once the boot device is identified in the list, the boot flags are defined, as they are part of the boot option definition.

One important thing to remember when booting the EOE DVD, do not use the vMedia or "Bootable DVD" option from the Boot Manager menu. Every time I tried that, I was unable to add boot options using the BOOT_OPTIONS utility. Instead, boot the DVD using the command

Shell> fsn:\efi\boot\bootia64.efi

where "fsn:" is the CDRom File System.

Anyway, I hope this help someone. Again, many thanks to John and Barry.

The Brit
Honored Contributor

Re: Booting VMS Blades using VC profiles.

Closing the Thread. It was for information only.