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ESXi booting a new host from wds

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I'm trying to deploy my first VM host, I want to use my existing wds server to do this.  Wehn the host boots it searches for a PXE server but fails to find one: no boot filename received.

Has anyone had luck with this?  I've searched google and can't seem to find an answer.  Most of the sites say to make a wds server on the vm server, a waste in my opnion when you already have a deployment server present.
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Question by:Snyper82
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460522
Let me be clear - are you trying to deploy a new virtual machine? Or a new host server? If the former, what virtualization product are you using. ESX? Hyper-V? Xen?

I agree it is a waste to have more than one WDS setup - for PXE boot so long as DHCP is present and WDS has an enabled boot image you should see something. Please give me a better idea of what products you are using.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460532
Whoops - I see you have ESXi in the title - are you trying to deploy ESXi via WDS, or some virtual machine to run on ESXi?
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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460613
I have a fresh esxi server, I want to create just two machines for now.  I would like to just deploy these virtual machines using my wds server.  The wds server is working fine for physical machines but the virtual ones do not get sent a boot image for some reason.

ESXi 4.1 running on a brand new desktop machine
I can access the esxi machine via ip
I have joined the machine to the domain


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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460626
Take a look at http://serverfault.com/questions/163647/vmware-esx-pxe-boot-guest-wds and see if adjusting your wait time helps.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460654
na, my wait time is 5,it was 0 when I started this

it's almost like it's not reaching the network (I'm used to VM solutions like vbox where the network is nat'd).  The wds server is setup to accept any connection and it work with machine fresh out of the box as well as older ones.



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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460663
What I keep coming across is stuff like this:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsp_4_pxe_boot_esxi.pdf

which sounds like making a virtual wds server.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460670
In edit settings on your guest, make sure the network adapter is assigned to the appropriate vswitch, and make sure the box is checked to connect at power on. If that doesn't please post your network configuration screen for the esxi host.
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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460683
Let me get the screen shot, it's gonna take a min
The host is configured properly according to you last post.


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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460733
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460755
OK, I see the problem - you should do two things:

1. Remove VM Network 2
2. On VM Network change the vlan id to None (0)

The way you have it set up it is expecting to pass vlan tagging to the guest virtual machine, If you set it to none only the native vlan will be available which is probably what you want. If other VLANS are trunked from your physical switch create port groups for them and assign the appropriate VLAN id for each one. Only very special cases will ever use the vlan all setup.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460763
If None (0) isn't available just blank out the VLAN id field.
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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460789
notta, I reset it and the same, I changed these settings after it failed the first couple of times.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33460841
Is everything on the 10.0.2.x network? WDS Server? DHCP server and scope on that network?

If you just reboot your ESXi host to a PXE boot - does it get DHCP ip address and install/boot options from WDS? Try that to check the physical setup, if the host can't get an option from WDS then the virtual machines won't either.

In my case my WDS Server is a VM instead of a physical box, as is my DHCP server. But I can install both other vms and physical boxes from it.
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Author Comment

by:Snyper82
ID: 33460907
yea, everything is on the 10.0.2.x, the host did boot from pxe, but when I get back to work tomorrow I'll double check that.

Thanks for your help so far, I'll keep you posted.
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Accepted Solution

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Snyper82 earned 0 total points
ID: 33464386
Ever realize you overlooked something so trivial that you don't want to mention it?

I had moved our servers last night in prep for a new cabinet, reconnected the servers and test rdp or ssh to ensure connectivity and moved on.  I did not realize that our server that hosts wds needed a copper line on top of the fiber.  Plugged in a cable and BAM, we have
PXE boot.

stupid!

on a side note, ris/wds is slow as SNOT on EXSi...

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by:bgoering
ID: 33464646
I dunno, my wds on esxi performs reasonably well - I don't see much difference from when it was on a physical box. But to be fair, the physical box was old and slow, and the esxi host is pretty darn fast

Glad you got it going
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33464654
But my recommendation stand to remove the vlan all parameter unless you are going to be running a vm that understands vlan tagging....
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