9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 5, 2010 4:18 PM by Bill Robinson

    Provisioning without DHCP Server?

      Hi everybody,


      We're about to start a POC and we want to include provisioning server within the scope. Our client doesn't have a DHCP server running in his network and don't want to have one either. Are there any other alternatives to this?


      Any help or advice will be really appreciated.





        • 1. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?
          Bill Robinson

          Look at the 'local datastore' concepts in the docs.  You can convert the winpe image to a bootable iso, and hardcode an ip.  You can either pull the OS install off the network, or also burn that to a dvd.

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          • 2. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?

            Thanks Bill, I located that section in the documentation but still have a question, does this will work for Linux too?


            At first glance it seems to me like this method is intended to work only for Windows. What do you think?

            • 3. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?
              Bill Robinson

              I've only had experience w/ the local install for windows, not sure if it's for Linux too. 


              Do you need to do the install completely local or just w/o DHCP?  Is it acceptable to pull the install files over the network if you're not using dhcp?

              • 4. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?

                Just without DHCP as far as I know.

                • 5. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?
                  Bill Robinson

                  It's harder w/ Linux, I've heard 8.1 or later may have a way to do this w/ Linux.


                  You could do a pretty manual hack - if you kick off the provision job and note the mac address of the target, you could boot the rhel iso on the target and pass some kernel options like:




                  that should start the network boot.

                  • 6. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?

                    I can give it a try...


                    Now, if network traffic is a concern for our client while provisioning servers... the option would be putting all the image boot files and OS installation files on a dvd?If that's the case I got a feeling a good part of the benefits or value on provisioning from BBSA are lost right? Because it makes no big difference to boot and install from an OS distro DVD and using BBSA to do the job, or how can I justify it for my client?

                    • 7. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?
                      Bill Robinson

                      The difference is the kickstart for Linux - if you don't have the kickstart file you have to hand build the system, kickstart will automate that for you, and bbsa is generating the kickstart file.


                      At some point, if they don't allow dhcp, and don't want to network build, etc I don't know how much you can automate.  Using some automation technologies will require some changes to their procedures.  It's difficult to provide automated build capabilities if you can't drop the server on a network.


                      What is the problem running dhcp and the network builds?  Can they do this on an isolated network, off of their production wire, if this is a security concern?

                      • 8. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?

                        Thanks Bill...


                        Well, the client is a bank and most of their concerns are regarding security (that's why they don't want DHCP) and network traffic vs. performance.


                        I totally agree on they have to give up on something otherwise automation it's hard to implement.


                        BTW, the option of using an isolated network/segment is also discarded because they don't want to move a server around once they have set it up in a rack and done all the cabling... therefore it's getting complicated to justify the use of the provisioning capabilities of BBSA... it's a little bit frustrating.


                        Any additional ideas or comments are welcome.

                        • 9. Re: Provisioning without DHCP Server?
                          Bill Robinson

                          If they do their networking right all they need to do is reconfig a switch port when the server is done building.


                          Dhcp can also be configured to only hand out addresses to known mac addresses only.  There are a lot of ways to do this securely.  So it's not really 'giving up' any security, it's just doing things differently.

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