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Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

 
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luboss
Occasional Contributor

Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

I'm working on automated bare-metal provisioning - precisely HP ProLiant Gen9 series. So far I was able to configure boot order and some bios settings using Redfish API. However disk array is tricky part. It is not possible to do configurion using redfish/RESTful approach. These settings are read-only (supporting only GET/HEAD requests).

I was considering so called "Default Settings" accessible in Inteligent Provisioning where you can configure profile (zipped XML files) which can be deployed via python-hpilo. However disk array options are very limited - only RAID level and stripsize can be configured. You cannot create and customize array. More on this topic: Working with Intelligent Provisioning Deployment Settings and python-hpilo

Only scenario I can think of is booting pre-configured live ISO image with HP SSA/hpacucli  and automatic script upon boot which will do this task and optionally reboot to target ISO image that installs final OS (this image shouldn't be modified, therefore it cannot contain 3rd party software like HP SSA).

Is there is better way to do this using low level ROM/iLO CLI utility (like ORCA) which could be automated? (SSH to iLO => TEXTCONS/VSP approaches the goal but I think it won't be possible to automate.)

4 REPLIES
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

Take a look at the HPE Scripting Toolkit. It contains all the utilites needed to configure the hardware. You can create scripts to set system ROM settings, iLO and configure the arrays..  You can do this via PXE or boot from media

https://www.hpe.com/us/en/product-catalog/detail/pip.5219389.html

 

 

 




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luboss
Occasional Contributor

Re: Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

Hello Jimmy,

thanks for this hint. I've read the data sheet but what it covers is only how great it is and all the work it can achieve. So either I'm missing something or it lacks documentation. It's not clear what has to be installed/run where, requirements and such. From what I've understood utilities should be userspace binaries, thus some kind of OS has to be run. Basically this is the same idea I already proposed - to prepare and boot preconfigured ISO image with scripts and utilities that will do our work.

I've installed the RPM binaries on provisioning Linux (not the HW itself) to explore it. Again manual pages provide no indication if it allows remote provisioning or not. They obviously require to be run directly on the HW to be configured.

At this stage I will need to boot an ISO image on the target HW and explore the utilities, write scripts and pre-configure custom ISO that will do all the configuration (especially disk array part).

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

When I was actively using the toolkit utilities for bare metal deployment (instructed many labs on this at HPE  Discover events several years ago) my methodology was as follows:

PXE boot into the toolkit image, run tools -
     conrep - Configure System ROM settings
     hponcfg - Configure iLO settings
     hpssacli - Configure array settings

I would then carve out a small chunk of disk space on /dev/sda and copy down the installer kernal and initrd images along with the boot syntax.  one of the tool commands would force a one time disk boot.   System would then reboot and do a network installation.   I still think they put some of the examples in the toolkit tarball, listed under the contrib directory.

You can make the scripts very simple, or create complex ones to create system personalization on the fly.

You can create it all to run from an ISO, but PXE is much easier to deal with.  Another custom toolkit operation I created many years ago would best be described as a quick restore.  It contained a gold image of the OS , applications and the toolkit.  If they needed to reset a system, they could boot the DVD and this would set the system back to a known good state as the utilities in the toolkit would reconfigure  the system settings and then restore the backup golden image

 This was all created in the days before software like Puppet, Ansible, and Chef were available.

 

 

 

 

 




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luboss
Occasional Contributor
Solution

Re: Remote Smart Array configuration using CLI/API through iLO (without OS)

Unfortunately PXE is not an option for me as the target HW will be in different subnet than provisioning system.

However I explored the HPE STK toolkit. It looks nice. I just need to modify the ISO little bit so it boots automatically on it's own and run my script.

Just for the record, image can be automatically loaded by redfish/iLO restful API using "Image" and "Oem/Hp/BootOnNextServerReset" attributes in VirtualMedia section. More details on data model reference page. Perhaps it helps somebody.