It's becoming less and less likely that server-class machine support booting with legacy BIOS. The industry standard is now UEFI, and has been for 15 years; this is what vendors test and support.
In the Prague network there are at least four scenarios which all need support for UEFI network boot:
- Orthos machines, i.e. the *.arch.suse.cz network
- QAM machines, i.e. the *.qam.suse.cz network
- SR machines, managed via the http://sr.suse.cz interface
- the "prod" network, which is what desktop users connect to.
This project will focus on scenario #1, i.e. Orthos. The main requirement for Orthos deployments is to be fully unsupervised: once the command to deploy a given OS on a machine is issue, the deployment must initiate and complete without further user intervention. The challenge of this setup is that the machine must first boot to install the new OS, then reboot from the local disk where the OS has just been installed. An external server must keep track of the context; compare this with an interactive deployment, where the user selects from a boot menu which kind of boot is to be initiated.
The solution to this problem has been identified in the management software Cobbler, https://cobbler.github.io, and is already deployed in Orthos Nuremberg.
The goal of this project is to bring Orthos Prague on par with that. Supporting additional scenarios from the list above is considered a stretch goal; the Orthos case will be given priority.
This presentation describes in further detail what the "autonomous deployment" requirement entails: UEFI network boot in the Prague server room
The project will touch on the Saltstack infrastructure of the Prague network, since all changes will have to be synchronized with the repo of Salt scripts.
Keywords: PXE, UEFI, Orthos, Cobbler, Saltstack
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This project is part of:
Hack Week 20
This project is one of its kind!