Posts Tagged ‘ProLiant’

Network install of Debian 8 on a HPE ProLiant Gen9 server

2016/06/29

There are articles to do this in a pure Debian environment, such as the excellent one I used as a base from Raphaël Hertzog.

But my deployment server in that case is a CentOS 6 one, so I needed some adaptations to make it work.

My target system is a HPE ProLiant BL 460 Gen9, equiped with bnx2x NICs (Broadcom BCM 57840 10/20 Gb/s cards). And during a network boot install, I have had messages indicating that the firmware was missing (failed to load bnx2x/bnx2x-…)

So in order for my system to network boot, I needed to adapt my initrd and add the missing firmware in it (Debian’s policy prevents the distribution of
non-free firmware, which these are). The Firmware in my case is available as a standalone package at http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-bnx2x_0.43_all.deb (hint from this article)

So on your non-debian deployment server, you can do the following:

mkdir /tmp/fw
cd /tmp/fw
# This is the network boot environment required for booting Jessie
wget http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/jessie/main/installer-amd64/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz
[...]
tar xvfz netboot.tar.gz
[...]
# Keep the kernel in your deployment infra
mv debian-installer/amd64/linux /where/your/tftpboot/k/debian-8
# Extract the initrd to modify it
wget http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-bnx2x_0.43_all.deb
[...]
mkdir initrd
cd initrd
gzip -cd ../debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz | cpio -ivdum
[...]
# You need the dpkg commdand to make your life easier (part of CentOS, Fedora or Mageia)
dpkg -x ../firmware-bnx2x_0.43_all.deb  .
ls lib/firmware/
[...]
# Should show you the firmware in the right place
find . -print | cpio -o -H newc | gzip -c9 > /where/your/tftpboot/i/debian-8.img
[...]

Now you can add an entry to your boot loader (grub2 in my case) for the network boot part (more info on Network boot and Debian at https://wiki.debian.org/PXEBootInstall)

menuentry 'Debian 8' {
  insmod gzio
  insmod part_gpt
  insmod ext2
  insmod iso9660
  linux /k/debian-8 ip=dhcp --
  initrd /i/debian-8.img
}

If you have another firmware to deal with, refer to the dedicated Debian page at https://wiki.debian.org/fr/firmware

After that your system should be able to network boot and install your Debian Jessie distribution on it.

The next step is to automate the installation, which consists just in changing the linux line in the grug conf file:

linux /k/debian-8 ip=dhcp auto priority=critical url=http://deploy-server/ks/debian-8 --

where the debian-8 file under the ks directory is just the preseed file you’ll build for your automatic installation.

python-redfish reached 0.3, first interesting version for others

2016/05/12

Back in 2015, during our internal TES event in Grenoble, a group of people gathered to talk about the new Redfish DMTF standard and how we could add its support into Ironic.

Since that, we have worked first on a new Open Source python library to interact programmatically with Redfish 1.0 based systems.

We tried to promote it during OpenStack Summits but except in Vancouver when I did a short video explaining that, not enough interest from the community. Of course we had very few to show at that time.

One year after, we have now reached version 0.3 of the project. And while that doesn’t sound a lot, in fact the libray is now usable by others to interact with Redfish based systems.

What it provides:

Our next steps are in multiple directions:

Hopefully, as you’re reading this, you’re interested by the topic, and we’d be happy to get your feedback, and more over your patches in order to improve our work, and speed up the development !

And don’t forget the HPE Open Source project available as well on github which provides much more capabilities, due to its support of the iLO and iLOCM extensions to the Redfish standard.

Everything you want to learn about UEFI will be discussed at LinuxCon EMEA

2015/09/07

During the upcoming LinuxCon Event HP’s VP and Fellow Dong Wei, Chief Executive of the UEFI Forum will host a UEFI mini-Summit the 7th of October (in Dublin) from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. This is free to attend and will cover “how to” guidance, implementation options, and firmware tools and resources available for successful ARM and x86 platform integration using the UEFI ecosystem. Details are available at http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linuxcon-europe/extend-the-experience/co-located-events

Feel free to come for this technical deep dive with experts from HP, Insyde, Intel which will help with your transformation to adopt that key HP ProLiant Gen9 technology.

Contact myself if you want to organize specific additional sessions (especially with HP customers) around UEFI or Redfish with Dong Wei. And feel free to drop me a mail if you’re around and want to talk of these topics, Linux on ProLiant, MondoRescue, or whatever you would find interesting to discuss with me while I’m attending the event.

I hope to meet you there.

Mondoescue 3.2.1 is now available … with effort and pain !

2015/08/31

Believe it or not, it has been one of the most challenging version to produce ! And one which was really awaited by lots of people.

First all those of you who had problems restoring big files with 3.2.0 which had issues with that. Now that’s solved (was already with the beta previously).

Then those of you who had a RHEL 5 system. 3.2.0 wasn’t working, and 3.2.1 should be much better. Similarly for the people using RHEL 7. This is the real first version working for RHEL 7 available of MondoRescue. I’ve made most of my tests with a RHEL 7 VM in order to track all the errors which were remaining for that env (also some smaller but annoying ones). The root cause is that I had a customer wanting to move to that version for RHEL 7, and I wanted them to be happy with the result. Doesn’t mean they won’t encounter issues, despite what I did, but I’m much more comfortable to handle the cases in their support contract (Yes this is a paying customer).

And finally those of you who were trying to have a working environment for a UEFI based machine with RHEL 6. UEFI wasn’t working at all with 3.2.0 (and previous versions) even if EFI was working on Itanium systems. So this time I used a real system to make again lots of different tests, and solving again lots of issues linked to the support of UEFI, and now I’m happy with the result. The media made is recognized by the UEFI shell or the HP ProLiant guided boot menu. And a full backup / restore works also on it. So that other customer (an HP one, but not a paying one from a MondoRescue perspective… yet) should as well be happy and be able to use MondoRescue to perform its clones and installs correctly.

Could it be better ? Of course. RHEL 7 + UEFI are not yet friends. That will be for 3.2.2, as I want to keep my job😉. Few bugs in trac have been addressed during these last 8 months, sorry for that. But a lot not mentioned there have been solved, and that was most of the work. And a lot of work has been put (commit hours are real !) into solving the customers needs and deliver that version on time. That’s probably why I hate time based releases, as it forces you to deliver (which is always good), but not with the serenity which should be part of an OpenSource development. Of course, that’s my fault ! I should have anticipated these requests (UEFI and RHEL 7 are there since a long time). But hey, this is still not my day job at HP. So I can only do my best as time permits. And I have a lot of other hobbies that I’ll be back to now so they can also know some progress. That’s also why I do not make more regular releases. But patches are always welcome.

Anyway, pain is over, a new version is here. Test it, report feedback, try to not break it too much, and remember to do regular backups whatever the tools you use.

Download at

Redfish 1.0 is now out and soon used by our projects

2015/08/20

Recently the DMTF announced that the Redfish standard had reached version 1.0, the first usable for production.

If you don’t know Redfish yet, and don’t want to read the full spec, I can summarize it very roughly as a cross-manufacturer RESTful API to configure Hardware systems and recover info from them. Pretty cool in fact as this was a missing brick for a full Open Source based multi-platform Software Defined Infrasctrucute.

Now remains for us to update our python-redfish with it, and start supporting more features now it’s stable. That the first step will allow Ironic, the bare metal component of OpenStack, to have Redfish support, which is IMHO a very highly desirable feature. Not for Liberty, hopefully the spec will be ready for M and code sufficiently developed to allow us to win a slot in the Summit !

Then it will also allow us to advance on the other project we’d like to promote: Alexandria, which is a clever (of course, I’m part of the design team ;-)) way to interface CMDBs (well the one who are themselves clever enough to have a parametrized data model such as iTop) and Hardware information providers such as Redfish.

Imagine that you rack a new Refish compliant server (HP ProLiant Gen9 are among the first to provide already a subset of it), cable power and management board, integrate some info on that machine in your CMDB (iLO credntial and IP address e.g.), and ask through Alexandria that the rest is filled by Redfish calls. And kept updated as time passes. Well, that’s exactly what we try to achieve, as this is one of the need we have to maintain our Solution Center CMDB up to date as easily as possible.

Lots of good ideas, but not enough code to show for now. Hopefully, we should be able to have an Alexandria demo with somple drivers ready for the upcoming OpenStack Summit… and be able to travel to exchange our views with other OpenStacker around all this.

Time to meet again at HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit !

2015/06/12

For those of you working for an HP value added reseller (VAR) and attending the HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit in Dublin from the 16thth to the 19th of June, feel free to meet during one of the session I’ll (co-)deliver:

  • UEFI: what, why, when, how and the rest Breakout 49 – Tuesday 16th of June 2015 – 5:45PM-6:35PM
  • HP Helion OpenStack in action – Breakout 175 – Wednesday 17th of June 2015 – 8:30AM-9:20AM
  • UEFI Hands-On Labs (François Donzé) – Lab 4 – Wednesday 17th of June 2015 – 11:00AM-12:50AM
  • HP ProLiant Gen9 value add on Linux (Hands-on Lab) – Lab 16 – Thursday 18th of June 2015 – 2:00PM-3:50PM
  • HP REST API for iLO Lab (François Donzé) – Lab 6 – Thursday 18th of June 2015 – 4:30PM-6:20PM
  • HP ProLiant Gen9 value add on Linux – Breakout 48 – Friday 19th of June 2015 – 12:00AM-12:50AM

And you should be able to meet the Geeks on Wednesday afternoon, myself included.

For those of you wondering why project-builder.org and MondoRescue versions are not published more regularly, that gives you a hint😉 Even if I made some progresses recently I also need to document !

See you there to talk of these subjects or something else as you see fit. I’m around the whole week.

Software Defined Compute: Redfish and Ironic at the next OpenStack Summit

2015/04/24

The future is already here !

In fact here ! This is a new specification which is gaining traction to allow hardware configuration of systems through a RESTful interface. All new HP ProLiant Gen9 servers from HP are providing a first version of what is not yet the standard, but looks very near to it, and provide already a rich interface.

This is pretty exciting, as it will allow people like me working on Disaster Recovery e.g., or people like Devananda van der Veen who is the Ironic PTL (OpenSTack bare metal deployment component) or many others to have, when it’s ready, a single interface to configure the servers from different manufacturers following the Redfish Specification (as of now HP, Dell, Emerson, Intel). And it’s much more feature rich than IPMI, so you would be able to go well farer with it and reach a real Software Defined Compute node.

In order to make it usable for Ironic we’ve started to work on a low level python library (python-redfish) on which we’ll be able to build the Ironic driver for Redfish later on. This is work for Liberty and after of course. And as Ironic can be also use alone, I’m more and more thinking of using it as a way to provide MondoRescue images for bare metal deployment as an additional feature over media boot. Especially if there are plans to have a standalone web interface for Ironic !

If you want to learn more on the HP implementation of the RESTful API, there is a webinar organized Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 10:00 am CDT to 11:00 am CDT. Register from https://h71044.www7.hp.com/campaigns/2013/events/linkandcoordinate/index.php

And if you want to learn a bit more of where we are on this, read the code (easy for now) or come at Vancouver for the upcoming OpenStack Summit to discover it.

Time to Meet at HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit !

2015/01/21

For those of you working for an HP value added reseller (VAR) and attending the HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit on Barcelona from the 2nd to the 6th of February, feel free to meet during one of the session I’ll (co-)deliver:

  • UEFI: what, why, when, how and the rest Breakout 101 – Wed 2014-02-04 9:30-10:20 AM
  • HP Helion OpenStack in action – Breakout 124 – Wed 2014-02-04 2:00-2:50PM
  • HP ProLiant Gen9 value add on Linux – Breakout 99 – Thu 2014-02-05 9:30-10:20 AM
  • HP ProLiant Gen9 value add on Linux (Hands-on Lab) – Lab 16 – Thu 2014-02-05 2:00-3:50 PM
  • UEFI Hands-On Labs – Lab 19 – Thu 2014-02-05 4:30-6:20 PM
  • Running Enterprise Linux distributions on HP ProLiant Gen9 – Breakout 100 – Fri 2014-02-06 9:30-10:20 AM

And you should be able to meet the Geeks on Wednesday afternoon, myself included.

For those of you wondering why project-builder.org and MondoRescue versions are not published more regularly, that gives you a hint😉 Not speaking of the next event in March, TES, where I’m part of the Event team this time.

See you there to talk of these subjects or something else as you see fit. I’m around the whole week.

Meet at HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit Again !

2014/06/13

For those of you working for an HP value added reseller (VAR) and attending the HP ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit in (again) Barcelona from the 24th to the 27th of June, feel free to meet during one of the session I’ll (co-)deliver:

For those of you wondering why project-builder.org and MondoRescue versions are not published more regularly, that gives you a hint😉

See you there to talk of these subjects or something else as you see fit. I’m around the whole week.

6th Technical Excellence Symposium (TES) in Grenoble 21-27 March 2014

2014/02/20

If you are an HP employee, or a Value Added Reseller (VAR), then I’d like to invite you to come to an Event I’m co-organizing:

TES logo

High Performance Computing and Open Source Linux
Technical Excellence Symposium
17 – 21 March 2014
Grenoble, France

TES fond

The goal is to gain expertise and increase your sales and earnings potential.

You are invited to the 2014 High Performance Computing and Open Source & Linux Technical Excellence Symposium. This highly regarded technological event dedicated to professionals is the unique opportunity to boost your skills and knowledge in just 4.5 days!!

Why should you attend the EMEA HPC & OSL event?

  • Receive an update on the entire HPC and Open Source & Linux solutions including Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking (EG) portfolio.
  • Reinforce your knowledge in this focus area.
  • Connect with the HP management and peers in the HP Certified Professional Community.

Do not miss this exclusive opportunity to give your career a boost and be part of the HPC and OSL community. This is also an excellent opportunity to get the latest technology updates even if you participated in this event before.

Pre-register today to secure your seat by clicking on the following link: http://hp.inviteo.fr/HPC_OSL_TES2014/

Choose among over 100 technological and solution sessions, a mix of hands-on labs, breakout demos and round tables.

This technical event covers the HP’s broad enterprise products and solutions in an open source environment of high performance computing, web services portfolio and new product introductions (e.g. Moonshot program and big data solutions).

Along the sessions, you will meet the HPC and OSL experts to share knowledge and insights in many key business areas including competitive tools.

Back home and freshly armed with an enhanced skills set, you will be ready to provide a great business value to your customers.

Throughout the event, we will offer detailed tracks on High Performance Computing solutions portfolio using our HP Blade System, ProLiant Scalable servers, Storage Works and Network products and solutions using Open Source & Linux software products and services.

We will have a huge emphasis on topics like Hyperscale products, smart storage, purpose-built servers for big data, Moonshot program wave 2 solutions as well as open cloud solutions.

Our High-level agenda is available. The detailed one will be sent to you after your registration.

In addition, there will be:

  • Sponsor sessions delivered by top names in the industry
  • Presentations by HPC and Open Source experts
  • Evening events

For detailed program information, please visit the event website

Any question? We invite you to contact us at: TES-event_at_hp.com

We are looking forward to meeting you at the 2014 HPC and OSL Technical Symposium!


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