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Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

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The Brit
Honored Contributor

Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

This question straddles two forums so I will probably ask it in both.

I am about to power up my first (2) c7000 blade enclosures, both of which contain 2 BL860c blades. All of the blades will be running OpenVMS (8.3-1H1).

The blade systems do not have built-in CD drives and it looks like the main options for loading the OS involve either 1) setting up a remote OpenVMS server as an "InfoServer", or 2) attaching a USB CD drive.

I have a rack mounted rx3600 available running OpenVMS 8.3, and which has access to both Internal and SAN drives. So here is the question.

Is there any reason I couldn't insert the OpenVMS 8.3-1H1 CD into my rack mounted system and create an image backup of the Install CD onto either a SAN drive or an internal drive. Then;

Option 1:
The internal drive copy could be physically moved and installed in the blade, and then boot the blade from the internal drive.

Option 2:
Give the server access to the SAN volume and then boot from the SAN copy.

If one of these is a possible option, it would then allow me to do the OS install from scratch, from the SAN or internal drive.

I suspect I am missing something here, and need someone to make me look stupid.

So let me have it!!

Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

the magic word is provisoning!


I've installed VMS on a blade from a DVD on my laptop - fun and educational :-)
Purely Personal Opinion
Ken Robinson
Valued Contributor

Re: Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

You may also be pleasantly surprised to find out that VMS was shipped as FIS (factory installed software) on the internal drives of each blade. The first time you boot the blade, the installation takes off.

This happened to me -- I was all set to install off the virtual DVD when I discovered the FIS. That made my life much easier.

Honored Contributor

Re: Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

Assuming no FIS or assuming the FIS is (as I recently encountered) a down-revision OpenVMS I64 version...

HP seems to be quite fond of its virtual connect stuff of late (as differentiated from the InfoServer stuff), but loading and booting the contents of the OpenVMS I64 DVD via an internal-mounted hard disk copy should work.

There are some low-level differences between the devices if you choose this path; the DVD block size is 2048 bytes and the hard disks are 512 (and SET BOOT should deal with that for you), and the DVD format is El Torito and the disk path is GPT/MBR or MBR, and BACKUP (or SET BOOT) should deal with that, too. You *may* need to issue a SET BOOT/MBR ... to get the disk boot bootblock structures set to be booted.

Use a version of BACKUP (and SET BOOT) from V8.2 or later for the transfer.

The InfoServer path would allow you to load and serve a disk image of the DVD, if you have a V8.2-1 or later box available that can be configured as a host-based InfoServer box.

I usually end up getting to the SAN by first booting from a local copy of OpenVMS to configure the Fibre Channel SAN, and using the BOOT_OPTIONS tool. I've not encountered a zeroconf-like capability in the Alpha wwidmgr path nor the EFI FC SAN boot environment; while there does exist a path to do this via SRM and EFI, it's not nearly as clean nor as obvious as it should be. Here are details on both the SRM path and the EFI path for FC SAN storage bootstraps:

The Brit
Honored Contributor

Re: Installing OpenVMS on BL860c blades.

Thanks for your help guys. I think we are comfortable moving forward.