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I have a bladecentre with blades, network and a SAN in a single rack.

What I'd like to do is control the startup of the bladecentre so that when the rack is powered on that the blades will delay their bootup until the SAN is powered on correctly.

Is this even possible? We have an AMM in the chassis if that helps. Basically we are looking into the reboot that occurs after power is restored to a UPS.

I sincerely apologise for the noobness of this question, but I am a software guy trying to help :)

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3 Answers 3

You can't directly control the powerup sequence of the blades in a BladeCenter, but you can control the amount of time each takes to boot.

Whether you're using Windows or *nix, you can control the amount of time that the bootloader waits before actually booting the system.

Add the appropriate delays to the bootloader to massage the startup order and you're rocking. No, it's not perfect, but nothing about computers is.

Another option would be to control blade powerup via some kind of external script. Have an external system that upon startup, starts the blades in the appropriate order via telnet/SNMP/whatever.

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I don't know how the Fibre channel controllers boot in the bladecentre. It was my understanding that they are actually booted before the OS bootloader is triggered (i.e to pause there is already too late...) –  Spence May 9 '10 at 0:07
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Ah - didn't know it was a boot from SAN config. In that case, if the fiber cards don't see any drives when they start they won't install the BIOS hook and the boot sequence will continue. The blades will loop back over the sequence and try again if no bootable targets are found. –  MikeyB May 9 '10 at 3:19

I've just checked our BladeCenter H AMM options and unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to do this.

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So via AMM we can boot the systems, but this can't be scripted or automated? –  Spence Mar 23 '10 at 4:26
    
Not as far as I'm aware. I think you would need some of IBM's higher level software like Director to do funky stuff with scripting. –  Martin Rennix Mar 25 '10 at 1:43

No help for you but HP blades let you do this, why not moan to your IBM sales people to see if this is something they can, eventually, implement.

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