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From Krist van Besien <>
Subject [users@httpd] Mordac is working for our company...
Date Fri, 30 Oct 2009 10:54:48 GMT
For those who don't know who Mordac the Preventer is:

I'm "SPOC" this week. Single Point Of Contact. That means that all
issues first land on my desk.

One of our Windows Sysadmins (the unfortunate guys looking after our
IP TV infrastructure management decided to build on a windows
platform...) came to me with a problem. He needs to install a couple
of servers and our DHCP server appears to be down.

We have a quite elegant way of bootstrapping machines here. All our
machines come with network boot capabilities and are eiter connected
to a console server, or to a management modules that allows remote
console access. So we usually let servers be shipped directly to the
datacenter. The datacentergnomes mount the servers in racks, connect
up the ethernet interfaces and tell us where they've put the server,
and what switch ports all the interfaces have been connected too.

We then can just ask: Connect port # 123-45 (where the ILO module has
been connected too)  to the management net and 123-46 to the install
net. Both have DHCP servers. We have a web interface where we can tell
the DHCP server what IP address to provision. The MAC adresses we get
from our docs. The install net is configure for PXE boot, and we can,
again via the web interface tell the DHCP server which boot image to
give a server that requests one.

So install is easy.
Step 1) Provision DHCP server with the mac adresses of the ILO module
and the first ethernet interface respectively.
Step 2) Tell the DHCP server which install server you want to use.
Step 3) Log in to the ILO and powercycle the machine. When the PXE
boot completes you get a nice menu (in the case of our linux install
server, don't know how our windows install server looks), where you
can select what Linux distro and profile you want installed.
Step 4) get a cup of coffee.
Step 5) log in to your new server and verify that all is right.

We install 10s of servers in just an afternoon this way.

But ofcourse, if the DHCP server is down this doesn't work...

Si I try to ssh in to the DHCP server. This times out. I ssh in to the
ILO instead, and find out that the server is running fine, but eth0
has a status of "link down". So I call the datacenter. After being
patched through to different persons I finally learn the the reason
our dhcp server has no network connection is the the install VLAN has
been shut down. At the request of security. However nobody found it
necessary to inform us about this.

I tell this a collegue. Another overhears us. "But I have to install
18 machines next Tuesday?". Before I know it the whole floor is
standing around us, engaged in lively discussion about how our compelx
organisation is gradually making productive work impossible...


Time to look for a new job maybe...


Bremgarten b. Bern, Switzerland
A: It reverses the normal flow of conversation.
Q: What's wrong with top-posting?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What's the biggest scourge on plain text email discussions?

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