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Building C-Class blades with RDP 3.0

Tony Glynn
Frequent Advisor

Building C-Class blades with RDP 3.0

Hi All,

I'm trying to get a brand new C-Class enclosure - with 8 x 465c's - to build using RDP 3.0

I can get the machines to boot PE but my server is then appears in the RDP console as "UnnamedRack-XXXXXXXX-1" where the XXXX is the serial of the enclosure - not the server. The server contacts the RDP however when I drop a job on it - it just sits there and doesn't restart. I can get it going manually but the machine then attempts to reboot to DOS (we still have the rest of our fleet using "DOS Managed" - have had for 4 years without issue) - so I need to intercept this and re-configure to boot from WinPE. If I need to keep manually interfering with the build then I'm back in the dark ages.

Probably the 4 questions I'm asking are -'

- Where is there a URL to get the 3.1 update for RDP. (maybe this will fix the other 3 questions!0 Everywhere I look takes me to the new "pay for it" URL.

- Why don't I see the serial of the server in the RDP Console? - I'm happy with "RackX-1" but who cares about the enclosure serial no. I've tried deleting the enclosure from RDP and have set up a logical Rack / Enclosure name in the iLO - no joy.

- How does Altiris know whether to reboot to DOS or WinPE? - I still have servers which use DOS for rebuilds so removing DOS from the equation is not a solution - I would have to redevelop my entire server build solution.

- Why do I get intermittent results with jobs being issued to WinPE servers (sometimes the server doesn't seem to run ACLient reliably either)?

The new servers are on the same subnet as the DHCP/RDP/PXE services and the older DOS based builds have always been 100% reliable. Base PXE functionality seems to be OK too.

I haven't tried firmware updates yet (the enclosure is only 3 weeks old) but I will give that a try as well (don't hold much hope!).

Cheers

Tony

On another note - I know it sound like a luddite talking but why can't we continue to use DOS? Is there an NDIS driver support issue (for example - do we need iSCSI support?). I'll accept that - but WinPE takes about 10 minutes to boot which is painful - for little net gain. Change for the sake of change is pointless.
Just because you ain't paranoid - doesn't mean someone isn't trying to get you!
3 REPLIES
David Claypool
Honored Contributor

Re: Building C-Class blades with RDP 3.0

The move from DOS to WinPE was motivated by 3 significant factors:

- Microsoft has discontinued support of DOS
- Many of our suppliers (e.g. Broadcom) are ceasing development of 16-bit DOS drivers necessary for the DOS environment
- Long-time customer requests to move to a 32-bit environment for the pre-OS stage

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Building C-Class blades with RDP 3.0

"- Where is there a URL to get the 3.1 update for RDP. (maybe this will fix the other 3 questions!0 Everywhere I look takes me to the new "pay for it" URL."

" www.hp.com/servers/rdp " - download 3.5, it's free. I just downloaded it a few weeks ago.



"- Why don't I see the serial of the server in the RDP Console? - I'm happy with "RackX-1" but who cares about the enclosure serial no. I've tried deleting the enclosure from RDP and have set up a logical Rack / Enclosure name in the iLO - no joy."

That is how blades appear in the RDP console since you can have multiple enclosures in a single rack. The 1 at the end of the string signifies the BAY the server is in. You should be able to reset the rack and enclosure names using the onboard administrator.



"why can't we continue to use DOS?"

You can continue to use DOS. WinPE was implemented additionally to support Windows 64bit, aside from the the other reasons stated by David. I agree that WinPE takeslonger to boot, but it is not 10 minutes per boot. The time for an "out of the box" scripted install of Windows 2003 Standard has increased from about 35 minutes to about 45 minutes. 10 minutes overall is not too bad to wait especially sicne the canned scripted install boots into WinPE 4 or 5 times.


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Tony Glynn
Frequent Advisor

Re: Building C-Class blades with RDP 3.0

Sorry Steven,

but I can't find any way of "resetting" the server name into the C-Class enclosure management applet. It simply lists the 1-16 servers with their model names. It still leaves me with manually having to map the bay numbers to server numbers. Once I have built the server then I can change the name etc in RDP (not in the Onboard Administrator) but its a pain in the A... up until then.

Re the WinPE boot - 18 minutes after it has failed DHCP 11 times. Time to boot a DOS session from the same RDP server - 21 seconds including a 5 second wait for DOS DHCP to initialise. If we run on the 4 boots for WinPE + the time to actually build the server = > 1hr 30 minutes ... and its still unreliable. I know I can disable the other 3 ports on the physical machine but my point is with DOS I didn't have to do this - its just more work.

As an aside - any idea why WinPE won't boot an ESX 3.0 Virtual machine (x86 or x64).

Cheers

Tony
Just because you ain't paranoid - doesn't mean someone isn't trying to get you!