2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2007 6:15 AM by victor gutierrez

    Who Can Suggest A Creative Solution?

      We're trying to provision a host that has bonded interfaces configured on the switch side. Based on the customer's description, it appears that the interface "looks" like a single port on the host side, but is actually two physical ports connected to separate switches.


      Due to this unusual configuration, PXE booting fails.


      Here are two ideas I have to sidestep this problem. Unfortunately, both have their drawbacks.


      First, turn off the 2nd of the two interfaces in the BIOS. While this would work, how could you do it? On a Sun server we use Expect to do something comparable. On my customer's hardware, I don't see how it can be done. The BIOS is accessible via Dell Remote Access Controller, but that can't be managed with Expect because it's a GUI.


      Another option would be to look for vendor supplied programs to modify the BIOS during the provisioning process. For example, one of our customer's uses a scripting language from Compaq to mod the BIOS. Dell offers something comparable - but it only works for Windows! How short sighted is that, you can't mod the bios until the OS is installed?! And then it has to be Windows?


      So who knows of a creative solution to this conundrum?

        • 1. Re: Who Can Suggest A Creative Solution?

          I'm sure that Compaq's Smart Start Scripting is also available (although unsupported) for DOS.


          This could then be put in as one of the provisioning steps.



          • 2. Re: Who Can Suggest A Creative Solution?

            BTW: Team bonding that uses split switch port technology is called SMLT, DSMLT or RSMLT. You may want to look at or contact the switch vendor about PXE failing due to bonding they may have some howtos.


            Possible Solution:

            1) Unplug one port during PXE install.

            2) ask cstmr if they team bond a NIC with dos. If so you will need to create you own .img file that bonds nic at the very beginning.

            3) BIOS modification: 2 issues here:

            a) does HW vendor have tool to save bios or configure bios with same bios image accross servers? A floppy bootup disk that does this kind of stuff? key is boot disk /cd not a tool that needs a full OS to work. Then work that tool into specialized BL .img file.

            BUT depending on when PXE is failing you may not be able to do this at all.

            b) You will need to set turn back on nic/ or pci slot once OS is installed. Now I would think you could use a OS tool that modifies bios and use a BL config package.


            Just thoughts not sure of the variability yet! I do plan to investigate above mysellf later in the year.