I have always liked automations and as such would like to setup my systems so that I can easily repair them.
I need to know if this is possible and if so maybe a pointer to some resources that can help me accomplish.
I will talk to my provider and see if they can setup dhcp for my vlans. And dedicate a small percentage of my assigned ips to this pool. For example if I have 10 servers having two ip addresses that can be used as dhcp assigned address should be plenty.
I would look to put a Centos dvd into the drive and turn it out. It would then start the install. A couple of options:
1.) pull the kickstart file from ftp
2.) pull the kickstart file from http
3.) pull the kickstart file from the dvd then pull extra configuration information from ftp or http
I lean towards 1 and 2 simply because if I really need to make changes to the partitions or anything like that it can be easily accomplished.
So preferred ideas - need possibly other better suggestions:
System comes online.
Gets a dhcp address from my small recovery pool
Connects to my website or ftp site to get its kickstart file.
Completes its install with my kickstart file
No dhcp option (if I am forced to go this route)
Each system will have its own dvd and a custom kickstart file
System starts with my default kickstart file
Can I pull extra kickstart information from http:ftp? Not sure if possible
Can I pull extra kickstart information from a recovery disk? local mounted drive - same about being not sure if this is possible
Post steps can be to run script xyz from the recovery drive after its all been mounted? or does this type of work have to be done in the kick start file itself and not reach to any external type storage system, local, http, ftp
I really am just looking at ideas right now but I have about 2 days to decide and perfect the technique I would like to use. I also have to talk to my provider to see if they can offer me some dhcp services for my vlans. If they can't approve that idea then I will be forced to go the static kick start file route but would like to be able to either customize the kick start files after the fact with local,http, or ftp. or simply I will have to edit some of the /etc/rc.d/init.d startup files so that the first time the machine boots up and can mount/http/ftp that it pulls the scripts and executes any post-op steps.
My hosting company can't offer me some sort of dhcp service. I am colocating machines with them and the way that it is colocated is that i probably wont get contiguous blocks of ips. So I am unable to setup a local dhcp server as far as I know because of how they broadcast.
If someone has any ideas for how I can do what I want and have as much flexibility as possible that would be great.
To recap I would like to pull the kickstart file from my website or from ftp. But I seem to have no way to get the box connected to the network so that it can download the kickstart file. The install files themselves would come from the local dvd media.
Maybe I could just program my solution in such a way that it could assign one certain ip address to then probe for used ips in my "pool" by pinging. If would keep pinging through the pool until it found a valid ip. Once it found an ip it would then use it as its own and drop my "master ip" that way another installation could use it. In this instance I probably will never be "kickstarting" two restores at the exact time and I could easily wait until the first system has released that "master ip". Does anyone have experience doing something similar to what I would like to do?
Well after more thinking, since I can move ips around on my servers all I want, I could give the master server an ip address in each subnet. All my servers will be in the same VLAN from what I understand. The master server could then dish out an appropriate ip address for the start of each system. My problem: I won't be on site to do a network boot. I have to be able to simply tell the hosting guys to push my dvd in the drive and reboot the server. So I can't actually "network boot". I am unsure if this is a requirement for being able to kickstart. I am a complete kickstart newbie. Anyone have any suggestions?
Just in case anyone ever has the same types of question:
I finally found this command....
Maybe if someone else is working on it this will help them....
linux ks=http://youripaddresswheretopickupthekickstartfile/ks.cfg ip=192.168.190.166 netmask=255.255.255.0 gateway=192.168.190.1 dns=192.168.190.1 ksdevice=eth0
I think you have to use an ip address for the server because the named service is not functional at the time it needs to hit the website. Put the network information in appropriate for your machine to have access to the network. Enter in the above command when you are at the "boot:" prompt.