Bare Metal Provisioning

by Thomas Lee, Infoblox Technical Marketing Engineer


This document describes a possible method for implementing bare metal provisioning utilizing Infoblox’s NetMRI and IPAM products.


The aim of the process described here is to allow the customer to deliver network devices to their site and then have installers rack and connect the servers to power and network and have the devices come up onto the network with the correct configuration with no input from the installers.


Sequence of events

The following diagram shows the steps involved and the sequence of events, between the device to be provisioned, the Infoblox DHCP server and IPAM servers along with the NetMRI Network Automation server.

baremetal graphic.png


  1. Engineer installs the device in the correct location, connects the device to the network and powers it up.
  2. The Device starts up and sends out DHCP request for IP and location of a server to pick up a configuration from.
  3. The DHCP server identifies the correct range to issue an IP address from, based on the gateway address in the initial DHCP Discover message.
  4. The DHCP server returns the IP address for the device, along with the location of the server to pull the default configuration from (In this case, the NetMRI server).
  5. The DHCP server informs NetMRI via syslog that it has issued a new lease, providing the IP address.
  6. The Device contacts NetMRI to request a configuration file.
  7. NetMRI returns the default config file to the device – this contains three items of information that are important for NetMRI in this process:
    1. A node name that identifies it as a device that is to be provisioned – for example – autoconfig.
    2. A SNMP v1/v2c community string or V3 details that is known to NetMRI, so it can discover the device.
    3. A local Telnet/SSH user that NetMRI knows of, so that it can discover and pull configurations from the device, and more importantly, also to push configuration to the device once it has been discovered.
  8. The Device Reloads using the default configuration file.
  9. NetMRI attempts to discover the device, using the known credentials.
  10. The device responds with the request information to NetMRI.
  11. NetMRI identifies that this is a device that BMP is applicable for.
  12. NetMRI builds up the correct configuration for the device, based on a template configuration, using the following information to pick out the configuration template to use:
    1. Device Type
    2. Device Vendor
    3. Device OS
    4. Device Model

As well as identifying the correct template to use, NetMRI will look up the IP address within IPAM, identify the range it was issued from and pull the extensible attributes to create the permanent node name for this device.

NetMRI could also look up other extensible attributes from IPAM, if for example other attributes were utilized to hold details for the following types of data:

  • Permanent SNMP sysLocation
  • sysContact
  • Community String
  • Syslog server
  • TACACS server
  • DNS servers
  • Helper Addresses
  • Etc…
  1. NetMRI pushes the now complete configuration to the device and reloads the device.
  2. The Device reloads and comes up onto the network with its permanent configuration.
  3. NetMRI now accesses the IPAM solution to convert the DHCP lease that was given to the device into a Fixed Reservation within the IPAM/DHCP solution.

For more information on bare metal provision, please see the following link:  https://docs.infoblox.com/display/ILP/NetMRI





































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