Monday, May 7, 2012

PXE kickstart VMware ESXi 5 on a trunked interface (Tagged VLAN)

PXE Kickstart VMware ESX host was usually performed on the native VLAN, It was not possible in a trunked interface (Tagged VLAN) due to two obstacles:

The above have been overcome by the following technologies:
1. Mutiple boot agent(MBA):  NIC supports VLAN tag in BIOS, such as MBA of Broadcom NICs (otherwise PXE client couldn’t get IP address from DHCP in the first place)
2. VMware ESXi 5: A new parameter, vlanid, is introduced as a boot option.(not  the same as vlanid in kickstart configuration file)

Configure MBA for Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5709 in IBM X3850 server
F1 go to BIOS->System Setting->Network->select the network adapter in device list -> configure mutiple boot agent(MBA) and iSCSI parameter -> MBA configuration menu-> vlan mode/vlan id

Add VLANID in ESXi 5 boot option

A sample boot.cfg for gPXE

bootstate=0
title=Loading ESXi installer
kernel=http://pxe-server.example.com/boot/os/esxi-5.0-x64/pxeboot/tboot.b00
#BOOTIF is mandatory for gPXE, it seems ESXi 5 couldn’t get  name server and domain name and from DHCP, So the name server is assigned manually.
kernelopt=BOOTIF=01-5c-f3-fc-94-e4-18 vlanid=3 nameserver=172.16.1.1  ks=http://pxe-server.example.com/boot/hosts/linux-ks/5c-f3-fc-94-e4-18.txt
modules=http://pxe-server.example.com//boot/os/esxi-5.0-x64/pxeboot/b.b00  ... < ..omitted ..>

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