This is the third blog in a series demonstrating the steps required to complete a series of tasks in the RackN Portal using Digital Rebar Provision.

Prerequisite

You will need an account on the RackN Portal with an active Digital Rebar Provision endpoint running. In this How To, I am using Packet.net for my infrastructure as I have no local hardware available to build a local system.

For information on creating a Digital Rebar Provision endpoint and connecting it to a RackN Portal please see these two prior How To blogs:

Step 1 : Create a new Machine on Packet.net

The RackN Portal needs a physical machine for Digital Rebar Provision (DRP) to discover and track in the Machine section of the UX. I am providing steps to create that machine on my Packet.net account:

  • Login into your Packet.net account

In the image above, I show my DRP endpoint (spectordemo-drp-ewr1-00) and a machine (spectordemo-machines-ewr1-01) I created during the Deploy and Test DRP in less than 10 Minutes How To guide. Note – my machines are Type 0 which is about $0.07 an hour to run and the location is at the EWR1 Packet.net data center.

  • Select +Add New to create a new physical machine on Packet.net

Enter the following information for the entry fields on the “Deploy on Demand” page:

  • Hostname: Enter anything you want with a .com (e.g. spectortest.com)
  • Location: Choose the same location of your endpoint – see screen above (e.g. EWR1)
  • Type: Type 0 (cheapest machine ~ $.07 per hour)
  • OS: Custom iPXE ; a new window will appear below that selection area after choosing Custom iPXE
    • Enter the http address of your Endpoint along with “:default.ipxe” at then end so you get “http://#.#.#.#:8091:default.ipxe” (NOTE – the RackN portal address will have :8092, be sure to switch here to :8091)
  • Select the “User Data” button and a new pop-up screen will appear; select SAVE

Packet will then show the new machine as it is setup with the color going from yellow to green during setup. If you click “View Progress” you can monitor the machine start.

Within a few minutes, the machine will switch from yellow to green at which point you will have created a new physical machine to provision with DRP.

Step 2 : Provision a new CentOS 7 Machine from with the RackN Portal 

  • Prepare the Global Workflow

The default Workflow available needs to be removed if you are working with Packet.net machines. If your screen does not look like the final Workflow image shown below, take the following steps:

  1. Delete the Workflow by clicking “Remove” on each step until it is removed
  2. Click the Workflow Wizard to create the 3 Stages shown below

The final Workflow page should look like the image below with three separate Stages and follow-on steps for processing.

  • Confirm new Machine is Visible to RackN Portal

The newly created machine on Packet.net should now be visible in your Bulk Actions page as shown below. The Stage will be set to “sledgehammer-wait and BootEnv to “sledgehammer.”

If the Stage for the new machine is not correct, reboot the machine using the Plugin Action -> powercycle option. The machine should then set to the proper Stage and BootEnv as shown above.

  • Change the Stage and BootEnv to CentOS 7 Settings

Before this final step, be sure to check the machine in the Packet.net settings that it is set for PXE Boot to YES/ON.

In the Bulk Action page, you can change the Stage and BootEnv settings. Select the newly created machine and set the Stages to “centos-7-install” as shown below and then click the 4-arrow button.

Once complete you will see the following setup on the Bulk Action page.

  • Reboot the new Machine in Packet.net

The final step to provision this new machine from DRP is to change the Plugin Action option to “powercycle” and press the hand with figure down. Of course, make sure your machine is selected as show in the image above.

Step 3 : Monitor the Installation of CentOS 7 on the new Machine

To monitor the activity on your new machine you will need to ssh into that machine from a terminal window. To get the ssh key, I selected the new machine in the RackN Portal and grabbed the content from the >_packet/sos: line below. In this case I used 9a17d7d1-fa74-4757-8683-82b57e8e3ed2@sos.sjc1.packet.net.

In the same directory you ran the “pkt-demo” How To in the first blog, you will see a file like “spectordemo-machines-ssh-key” depending on the names you used in the first blog.  Run this command:

ssh -i spectordemo-machines-ssh-key 9a17d7d1-fa74-4757-8683-82b57e8e3ed2@sos.sjc1.packet.net

This will connect to the new machine so you can see activity. For the machine waiting at sledgehammer-wait you will see the following image:

Once the reboot is executed in STEP 3 / (Reboot the New Machine in Packet.net) you will see the machine shut down and disconnect you. Run the same ssh command and you will see this screen while the machine reboots:

The machine will then move into the CentOS 7 install and you will see a sequence of Linux install information such as the following:

This completes the provisioning of a new machine on Packet.net using the RackN Portal Workflow process.

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