Today’s data center networks are undergoing significant change as enterprises are adopting new IT technologies and operational models such as cloud computing, virtualization and SaaS. The benefits of these new technologies – more flexibility, improved responsiveness, and greater agility – typically come at the price of more complexity. This results in higher operational expense as additional network management resources are required to manage this more complex network infrastructure.
HPE Network Automation helps you fully realize the benefits of these new technologies without the added cost of more complexity. By automating network configuration tasks, you reduce complexity and increase the reliability of a complex network infrastructure. Bare Metal Configuration Provisioning, a key part of the NA Framework, is designed to help you minimize complexity, time required to provision new equipment and enforce policy-based configuration by automatically loading pre-defined configurations that are stored on a NA managed database such as MSSQL/MYSQL/Oracle.
Bare Metal Configuration Provisioning is the process of taking an unconfigured device out of the box and bringing it to a state where it can function in a production network. Bare metal devices have not yet been set up to a point where they can properly interact with NA. The most common scenario for a bare metal device is one that has not yet gone through an initialization procedure, for example an interactive CLI session that configures the device to the point where it will respond appropriately to standard NA interaction.
In general, the bare metal provisioning process includes:
Stage1 Preparation — the goal of the preparation stage is to get the device cabled and powered up so that it can accept the type of data NA intends to provision. As a result, the device will be able to handle configuration deployment, OS deployment, and custom scripting.
Stage2 Prototyping — the goal of the prototyping stage is to be able to define a device configuration and other provisioning information which is required to bring the device operational.
Stage3 Provisioning — the goal of the provisioning stage is to be able to apply the device configuration and other provisioning information of a device template to a real device.
Figure 1 depicts the bare metal provisioning provided by NA.
Figure 1: NA Bare Metal Provisioning
Stage-1: In this stage, the following activities will take place.
Open the box
Mount the devices to the rack
Connect the power
Connect the terminal cable
Connect the Ethernet cable for main connectivity
Stage-2: In this stage, following activity will take place.
Establish the console connectivity to bare metal devices
Bring up the terminal server to main network (if not done before)
Establish the connectivity to NA server and to terminal server (if not done before)
IP Address of the device, subnet mask and gateway information collection
Preparation of the initial configuration template.
Stage-3: In this stage below activities will take place.
Add new devices from Devices => New => Device menu in the NA page
Provide the IP Address say 172.16.20.21 under IP address field of the page
Select “Pre-Production” in the page
Select driver as Bare metal device as shown in the below snippet.
Select connection method as ‘Telnet’
Provide the console server IP address and the port number as shown below (You can use ‘Only use console server’ option if the Ethernet not yet setup for the bare metal devices)
Click Save button to run the task
Figure 2 – Bare metal setup
Figure 3 – Connection setup
Once the task completes successfully we can see as devices added in the NA inventory
Once the devices are in the NA inventory, we can run “Initial setup command scripts” which is shipped with the NA product
After executing the step-9, we can configured the devices with the ‘customized device template’ and move the devices to production.
That’s it and your devices are in production now. This looks so simple? I am sure you will be interested in exploring more such more features in NA 10.11. By clicking on the below links you can download the trial version and documentation of NA and get additional reading.
About the author: Praveen Kumar, Software Engineer
Praveen has been in HPE NMC team for over 9.5 years with experience in testing different products in NMC portfolio like NNM and different iSPIs. Apart from the testing experience Praveen is CCNA certified and has expertise in Computer network administration, networking devices setup and configurations. He is presently working in NA (Network Automation) from last 1+ years.
Praveen has Master of Science (MSc) degree from Kuvempu University, Shimoga and M.Tech degree in Information technology (IT) from Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), Mysore.
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