vSphere Autodeploy and DHCP

Few things I have learnt on my Autodeploy journey regarding DHCP…

When using DHCP, use reservations, then add Option 12 to your reservation and enter the host name. When your host gets added to vCenter it will come in with proper host name and qualified with domain (depending on other setups).

Also on properties of your reservation (using W2008R2), select DNS tab, and allow updates by ensuring Enable DNS dynamic updates is ticked, then selecting option Always dynamically update DNS A and PTR records. I Also tick box Dynamically update DNS A and PTR records for DHCP clients that do not request updates. This will mean you will get your auto-deploy hosted added to DNS with Host(A) record (and if you have remembered to create a reverse lookup zone for your subnet)a PTR record as well. This saves the work of adding this manually.

And finally… setting Spanning-Tree PortFast on your switch port with which your host is booting and getting DHCP lease is required. Have seen 2nd-stage DHCP request within gPXE failing / timeout unless Spanning-Tree PortFast is set.

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vSphere Autodeploy

Stripeyfish is feeling chuffed! Managed to get AutoDeploy working under VMware Workstation 7 and just pushed out my first stateless ESXi 5 VM! Still a way to go with host files, answer files, VIB cutomisations etc but its a start!

Have built the lab from scratch – no use of appliances. So have W2008R2 based VMs as follows:

  • Domain Controller (inc. DNS)
  • SQL 2008R2
  • vCenter
  • Auto Deploy server hosting DHCP / AutoDeploy / Solarwinds TFTP

The PowerShell side of things strikes me as odd… like its unfinished though. For some reason even though the latest PowerCLI installed I had to manually add in the snapins for VMware.ImageBuilder and VMware.DeployAutomation (which took me a while to figure out). Was launching PowerCLI from desktop shortcut.

Once have tested all in the lab will be trying on real tin as part of a vCloud setup (which am also teaching myself and have partly setup in Workstation as well although my PC getting a bit stetched!) so can push out Resource Cluster hosts via Auto Deploy. Well thats the plan!