Booting from an HTTP-accessible image in HP iLO2

Submitted by davidc on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 04:09

HP's integrated lights-out management is a godsend, and has saved the day on more than one occasion. But for installing new servers, it's a pain to have to present the media: (a) insert a physical CD into the enclosure drive (b) attach a USB CD drive (c) use the virtual media applet or remote console virtual media over a slow connection, or (d) find a local Windows machine and use the remote console RDP.

I'd heard before that it is possible to boot off an ISO image on a web server, but I never figured out how as the feature somehow never made it to the GUI. It's in the CLI though, and it's dead easy once you know how.

david@netman1:~$ ssh x.x.x.x -l root
root@x.x.x.x's password:
User:root logged-in to ILO2CW59744QC.nycmny02.us.sargasso.net(x.x.x.x)
iLO 2 Advanced 2.06 at 16:22:33 May 31 2011
Server Name: vmhost3
Server Power: On
 
</>hpiLO-> cd /map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1
status=0
status_tag=COMMAND COMPLETED
 
/map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1
 
</map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1>hpiLO-> show
status=0
status_tag=COMMAND COMPLETED
 
/map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1
  Targets
  Properties
    oemhp_image=None
    oemhp_connect=No
    oemhp_boot=No_Boot
    oemhp_wp=No
    oemhp_applet_connected=Yes
  Verbs
    cd version exit show set
 
</map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1>hpiLO-> set /map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1 oemhp_image=http://iso.sargasso.net/vsphere41.iso
status=0
status_tag=COMMAND COMPLETED
 
</map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1>hpiLO-> set /map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1 oemhp_boot=Once
status=0
status_tag=COMMAND COMPLETED
 
</map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1>hpiLO-> show
status=0
status_tag=COMMAND COMPLETED
 
/map1/oemhp_vm1/cddr1
  Targets
  Properties
    oemhp_image=http://iso.sargasso.net/vsphere41.iso
    oemhp_connect=Yes
    oemhp_boot=Once
    oemhp_wp=Yes
    oemhp_applet_connected=No
  Verbs
    cd version exit show set

Here I have set oemhp_boot to "Once", which will connect the CD only for the next boot. Other options are "Always", "Connect" (connect it instantly, I believe), and "Never" and "Disconnect", both of which disconnect the CD and display as "No_Boot".

The URL can contain a username and password, but must be less than 80 characters long total.

I believe for blade servers you require the iLO2 Advanced license.

The only downside is that your access log will get trashed with thousands of mini ranged GET requests, but it's a small price to pay for speedy transatlantic installs.

More info and other CLI documentation in the iLO2 command line guide.