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I have n amount of virgin dell custom servers (DCS24). These are refurbished machines and already delivered, so configuring the BIOS from the provider is not an option. iDRAC/BMC is available on these machines. The default BIOS configuration has the IPMI address set to static in 192.168.0/24.

I would like to be able to configure the BIOS for all of my machines in the most efficient way possible. My first process / method involved plugging in a console to each server, booting to BIOS, and configuring manually. This process is guaranteed to work but the risk of human error is high (anecdotal evidence from my experience shows that I was reaching a 95% success rate with properly configuring the BIOS settings), and increases wear and tear on my VGA connectors. This method takes two people approximately five minutes per machine. Total projected man hours is linear.

I have read some documentation on Dell Open Manage Server Administration (OMSA) and I believe that this solution might only work if there is an operating system present. This also holds true for ipmitool (requires a *nix installation). Just recently, I learned of the Dell Client Configuration Utility (legacy; current tools are CCTK and OMCI) but the description tells me that they are available on OptiPlex, Precision, and Lattitude products. There is no mention of server hardware.

What do I need to know in order to find a solution and how can I automate my bios configuration on my servers?

Additionally, if the solution requires an operating system, I am stuck with a catch-22. I need the BIOS settings configured and some information gathered from the BIOS (MAC Address) in order to automate my OS installations.

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How about contacting Dell and asking them....they will have the best answer to your question. –  mdpc Jun 7 '13 at 17:01
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"increases wear and tear on my VGA connectors" - ok you got a chuckle out of that one... –  TheCleaner Jun 7 '13 at 17:51
    
I actually broke two of them during my first deployment of 160 servers. –  Winston Smith Jun 7 '13 at 19:05

1 Answer 1

Looks like the Dell Open Manage Deployment Toolkit can do this:

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/power/ps4q05-20050211-Kazim-OE.pdf

EDIT - here's a link to a whitepaper:

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/20264725.aspx

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You mean with syscfg? :) linux.dell.com/wiki/index.php/Syscfg –  Winston Smith Jun 7 '13 at 16:43
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Syscfg requires an OS to be installed. –  Bakey Jun 7 '13 at 16:46
    
From the documentation, I found that I can accomplish this with RedHat or Windows (as the intended OS on the target machine). I wonder if I can get it to work with ubuntu instead of RedHat. –  Winston Smith Jun 7 '13 at 19:04

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