SCVMM 2012: Preparing for Bare Metal Deployment, part 1
June 21, 2011
Posted by on
One of the aspects of using System Center Virtual Machine Manager that intrigues and excites me is the possibility of using SCVMM to deploy a complete OS to a bare metal server. Now you have just read that sentence and you’re probably thinking that there is nothing special about a bare metal OS deployment … turn on the server, initiate a PXE boot, select the OS to install and you’re done.
OK … but what if you aren’t anywhere near the server?
SCVMM can integrate with bare metal management interfaces, such as iLO from HP and DRAC from Dell, to connect and then control for the deployment of an OS. The gotcha is that this process does rely on several pieces of infrastructure and configuration to be in place already so I’m going to be going through the process of building out that infrastructure and configuration until I get to the point of successfully deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V onto an unused Dell server.
Building the Hyper-V VHD
For the bare metal deployment, you need an operating system and one of the first steps to take is to create a bootable VHD for that operating system. This is done by using the WIM2VHD tool to take the install.wim file from your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 installation media and convert it.
The command to convert the WIM file is CSCRIPT WIM2VHD /WIM:<Path to Install.WIM> /SKU:ServerEnterprise but please note that you must execute this with elevated credentials. This creates a VHD file with a very long filename so you probably want to rename it to something simpler like WS08R2SP1.VHD. You then copy the file to the VMM server’s library share which, by default, is \\<VMMServer>\MSSCVMMLibrary.
Again, however, I found that the restriction of an administrator’s rights under Windows Server 2008 R2 got in the way and I wasn’t able to copy the VHD to that share, despite being logged on as a domain admin and the latter having full control at the share level and the NTFS level. The share path mapped to C:\ProgramData\Virtual Machine Manager Library Files on my server, so I drag & dropped the file into there, got told I didn’t have permission to access the folder, clicked on the button to change the permissions and, hey presto!, my domain admin account now has permission. At least at the NTFS layer. Still don’t have permission at the share layer but I’ll sort that out another time …