R710 iDRAC6 Express, System Services (UEFI), and remote (media-less) OS installs?

Alexander Dupuy alex.dupuy at mac.com
Tue Sep 29 23:55:44 CDT 2009

The new System Services / Unified Server Configurator and Lifecycle 
Controller available with the iDRAC6 on the R610/R710 described at 
http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/lifecycle+controller seems like it 
would be a nice alternative to PXEboot installs, which aren't possible 
for me to use once systems have been deployed.

However, I don't seem to be able to figure out how I can use this on a 
deployed system to do a network install (RHEL 5.4).  The Systems 
Services GUI out of the BIOS/UEFI isn't available to me on a deployed 
system, as I won't have VGA console access (only serial console via IPMI 
SOL or DRAC SSH - this is not an iDRAC6 Enterprise) and in any case 
although I see the FTP option for firmware (and driver?) DUP updates, 
the OS install only talks about "inserting OS installation disc" and 
since the iDRAC6 Express doesn't support virtual or flash media that 
doesn't seem very promising for a network install either.

The Auto-Discovery stuff looks nice (especially for pre-deployment 
"manufacturing" system installs) but in the deployment environment all I 
can get is a DHCP allocated IP address without any DNS support at all - 
no DHCP vendor options, no DNS SRV or default provisioning hostname 
(DCIMCredentialServer).  I haven't found anything that indicates that I 
can point the System Services at a statically configured IP address for 
configuration (and even if I could, this doesn't seem like it would give 
me the media-less OS install any more than the Systems Services GUI.

Can anybody provide any pointers on how I might accomplish an OS 
installation using this new technology when I have only an iDRAC6 
Express with a DHCP allocated IP address (and a static IP for the RHEL 
5.4 host) and a (manually configured) IP address of a nearby host that 
can provide a CD-ROM image as a network share and/or run the 
provisioning server (is that part of OMSA?)


mailto:alex.dupuy at mac.com

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