9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2011 6:33 AM by tdavenport

    Single PXE Server

    tdavenport Specialist

      I would like to here from anyone who has successfully implemented a single pxe server solution in a highly segmented network.

       

      I have a client that has over 300 subnets segmented by Cisco layer three switches. Many subnets contain only workstations and laptops (no servers). The prospect of maintaining that many pxe servers (workstations would not be guaranteed to be on all of the time), is a daunting task. If you have implemented a single pxe solution (or something close) I would love to hear from you.

       

      I understand that this would not be a pure LANDesk solution and might require IPhelper configs on the switches or DHCP / DNS server modifications.

       

      Any and all suggestions are welcome. If you have suggestions on managing a large number of pxe servers, I would welcome that as well.

       

      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Single PXE Server
          Expert

          My understanding would be that a single pxe rep would not work in a segmented network that was separated by routers/switches that would not forward a pxe broadcast. I have experienced this (in a good way) where my test LDMS environment is on its own subnet and the live corporate network is on another. When one of my collegues attempted to rebuild their test machine, they inadvertantly plugged it in to the corporate network and could not get it to go.

           

          Adding more pxe reps is simple and takes up little to no resources on the host machine. But if what you are looking for is a way to have an "imaging" subnet like in an IT lab, then it would work fine with just 1.

          • 2. Re: Single PXE Server
            tdavenport Specialist

            Deploying a PXE server isn't the problem. My question is specifically about PXE redirection and ensuring that a tech has confidence that he/she can pxe boot a machine from any subnet at will.

             

            I see the solution as having 1 (or at least less than 10) dedicated PXE servers that are alway on and always up to date with the latest drivers and menu. Could you guarantee that on 300+ pxe reps? If so, I'd love to hear it.

             

            I know that this has been done (at least I've heard rumors :-) ).

            • 3. Re: Single PXE Server
              Jared Barneck SupportEmployee

              I keep these steps around so I can email them when needed.

               

              Might as well have them on the community:

               

              Step 1 – Make sure you DHCP Relay agent supports the following:

              1.      multiple Servers to forward the request to.

              2.      Forwarding the request to all configured servers at once

              Step 2 – Install a LANDesk PXE Rep to a server that all subnets can access.

              Step 3 – Configure your DHCP Relay Agents to have an additional server, which is the PXE Rep.

               

              Usually your DHCP relay agent is an L3 switch or router.  It is called IP Helper on Cisco.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Single PXE Server
                Apprentice

                we use ip helper records on our switches - if possible.

                otherwise you can use the dhcp options 66 (boot server hostname) +67 (bootfile name) to "route" the pxerequests to your preferred pxeserver

                • 5. Re: Single PXE Server
                  tdavenport Specialist

                  Thanks Hoelterrmann,

                   

                  Concerning the DHCP options: Will they work by themselves? Is this all that is needed? If that's the case then I'll assume the following - correct me if I'm wrong:

                   

                  1. The options can be set by Scope.

                  2. The BootServerHostName is obviously the PXE server.

                  3. The boot server is on a separate machine (not the DHCP server).

                  4. The packets will traverse a layer 3 switch without using an IP Helper.

                   

                  3.? What file name should I specify for option 67? Is this a path to the PXE server or do I need to copy a file to the DHCP server?

                   

                  Thanks again, Hoeltermann!

                  • 6. Re: Single PXE Server
                    Apprentice

                    that's correct.

                     

                    66 - BootServerHostName = PXE-Server

                    67 - Bootfilename = i'm using x86pc\undi\provwin\startrom.0 which boots into winpe if doing a network boot

                     

                    you may also take a look at http://community.landesk.com/support/message/43956

                     

                    the guys over at http://www.droppedpackets.org also had a great page, which helped me a lot - but they moved/redisgned their site :-(

                    • 7. Re: Single PXE Server
                      tdavenport Specialist

                      Thanks again, Hoeltermann.

                       

                      Final couple of questions...I promise

                       

                      Is the path statement complete? x86pc\undi\provwin\startrom.0

                       

                      I'll assume this is the path on the PXE server.

                       

                      In the thread you referenced, it looks like you didn't get exactly what you wanted....

                       

                      "nope. i'm sorry. We didn't manage to get this running :-/

                       

                      I'm using these DHCP-Options now:

                       

                      Option 66 = IP Addr. of PXE-Server

                      Option 67 = x86pc\undi\provwin\startrom.0

                       

                      This doesn't bring up the menu (and the machine doesn't directly start to install if there's a provisining task scheduled) but allows you to winpe-boot after pressing F12. Not exactly what I need - but better than nothing :-D"

                       

                      If I set this configuration as you suggest, what would the experiece be when PXE booting a PC? Would I get the F8 option? I'm using OSD - not provisioning.

                       

                      BTW, I would prefer to have the F8 menu as I would like to have options for WinPE, Managed Boot, and eventually Provisioning.

                      • 8. Re: Single PXE Server
                        Apprentice

                        hi travis,

                         

                        you're right - x86pc\undi\provwin\startrom.0 is the complete path. Take a look at your PXE-Server below "%programfiles%\LANDesk\PXE\System\images". Using this path will *not* bring up the "Press F8 to view menu" prompt when doing a network-boot. It will directly boot into "winpe provisioning". This was kind of a problem here because all of my workstations have set "network boot" at the first position in their BIOS boot sequence :-)

                        • 9. Re: Single PXE Server
                          tdavenport Specialist

                          I just wanted to follow up on this thread and say that Hoeltermann's info is all you need to setup PXE to support multiple subnets. Thanks Hoeltermann!

                           

                          Also, if you browse your PXE server ( C:\Program Files\LANDesk\PXE\System\images\x86pc\undi ) you will see all of the PXE menu options. In my case, I use WPEMenu for generic setups but I could also use WinPE (for Managed WinPE) - which would start the process immediately - or provisioning. All you have to do is point to the appropriate .0 file.