Why BMA?

There is a major shift towards scale-out deployments in datacenters. Scale-out is driven by a new era of software (On-Prem Cloud, HPC, AI/ML, Containers, VMWare Virtualization, VDI, etc.). However, organizations are facing significant friction with the onboarding, provisioning and management of their physical hardware. Hardware is an expensive and difficult resource to deploy within a data center, driving organizations to move to the cloud.

RedefinIT BMA addresses the key challenges in managing bare-metal servers by providing a simplified approach to OS installation and Firmware updates. It uses modern industry standard technologies and protocols to automate OS installation and Firmware updates in a secure, faster and reliable way. This product supports multiple vendor hardware and multiple operating systems and hypervisors, making it a versatile tool in the modern enterprise datacenter. It is highly scalable to handle large-scale deployments. With RESTful API interface, this tool can be easily integrated with O&M (orchestration and management) tools such as Ansible, Terraform etc. for complete end-to-end automation of Day-1 and Day-2 operations for bare-metal server infrastructure.

A Simplified Approach

Key Benefits of BMA:

RedefinIT BMA reduces the complexity in bare-metal server deployment by providing a simplified approach to automate the OS installation and Firmware update process. BMA significantly reduces the cost as well as the time consumption of both processes. Some of the notable advantages are as follows:

  • BMA software is easy to setup and get started. Requires minimum preparation effort for the deployment.
  • Uses secure protocols and technologies for network based OS deployment on bare-metal servers. Uses OOB networking for network booting and deployment.
  • Single interface for deploying both Firmware updates and OS.
  • Web client offers responsive and intuitive UI. Takes minimum inputs from the user and converts to actual hardware-specific data using hardware discovery.
  • Capable of handling large-scale deployment with ease. Reduces deployment time by running tasks in parallel.
  • Single tool for deploying multiple operating systems and hypervisors. Current version supports RHEL, VMWare ESXi. More operating systems support in the roadmap.
  • Firmware deployment feature uses the hardware vendor provided Firmware update bundles delivered as a single ISO image.
  • Supports server hardware from multiple vendors. Current version supports HPE Gen10 and Dell Gen14 (or later) servers.
  • Supports hardware platform management tools HPE OneView and Dell OpenManage for combining hardware provisioning and OS deployment.
  • Exposes REST API for supporting Infrastructure-as-Code and can be integrated with DevOps processes.
  • Uses industry standard Kickstart configuration for implementing OS customization.
  • Easily integrates with O&M (Orchestration and management) tools such as Ansible, Terraform using the simple REST API servers.

Features

RedefinIT BMA uses modern industry standard technologies such as DMTF Redfish, Virtual Media, UEFI, HTTPS/TLS for faster, reliable and secure bare-metal server provisioning. This product not only supports multi-vendor server hardware and operating systems but also hypervisors, making it a versatile tool in the modern enterprise datacenter. Some of the significant features are as follows:

  • Installs operating system using vendor provided or custom ISO image and performs basic OS configuration for hostname, IP address and network settings.
  • Deploys Firmware updates using vendor provided bootable ISO images containing Firmware bundle.
  • Allows the user to choose desired OS drive and NIC using simple sequence number based identifier. (refer to How it works for details)
  • Uses the well known Kickstart configuration for OS customization. The tool includes default Kickstart files. Custom Kickstarts can be used for advanced OS customization.
  • The host IP address can be assigned in multiple ways.
    • Static - IP address is assigned using user specified value.
    • Static-Range - IP address is assigned using a range of IP addresses.
    • Address-Pool - IP address is assigned using the external address-pool provided by IP address management tools.
    • DHCP - IP address is assigned using DHCP service in the network.
  • Supports operating systems including CentOS, RHEL and VMWare ESXi. More operating systems support coming soon.
  • Supports multi-vendor hardware that is DMTF Redfish┬« compliant (HPE, Dell to start).
  • Hardware discovery uses Redfish API to BMC instead of OS-based hardware discovery to speed up the hardware discovery process.
  • Capable of bulk deployment of up to 50 servers in a batch. All servers in a batch are deployed simultaneously.

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