Thursday, October 30, 2008

Igniting Integrity VMs

For the last year, my VMs under IVM 3.0 and 3.5 were mostly installed one by one. But since I installed a huge IVM 4.0 server for more critical environments, I've started seriously using Ignite-UX to install VMs.

I was surprised: I think I can beat my Windows administrator colleague by deploying HP-UX VMs quicker than he can do Windows VMs under ESX. I counted 30 minutes from the inital hpvmcreate to the last boot.

The core media way
This one is simple, but installations are long. They will take at least 2 hours since installing from core media uses straight SD packages and they're slow to install.
1. Copy the core media of your HP-UX release to a depot. Take a recent one - it will have the VM libraries, and AVIO drivers as well. It's well documented on the Ignite-UX quick start guide.
2. Build a Ignite-UX boot helper using make_media_image. Don't burn it - just keep the iso and transfer it to your VM Host. I prefer using the boot helper since DHCP can't work across subnets, and it's more complex to setup than just use a boot helper (furthermore all our subnets are managed by a Windows DHCP server, and I can't fudge into booting Integrity servers which don't work with PXE yet for HP-UX. Yuck.)
3. Configure your VM with AVIO if possible. Boot your VM with the boot helper, contact the Ignite-UX server and install from there.

The Golden Image way
This one is pretty fast, assuming you have a gigabit network.
1. Create a small VM to build your image - I aptly named it "genesis". You can install it using the above method.
2. Configure it to your taste,
3. Add the latest VM Guest package and AVIO drivers (they are available from the software depot)
4. Use make_sys_image to build your golden image, and setup your configuration files. It's well documented in the Ignite-UX documentation

To deploy a VM, boot it with a .iso boot helper (see above), and ignite with your Golden Image. Use AVIO for lan and disk. It's so damn quick that I didn't even have time to finish my lunch when I tried it today.

Good luck

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