Oneiric server, Deploy Server fleets p1

Posted by Ahmed Kamal // September 21st, 2011 // Uncategorized

I'm gonna be posting a series of articles on new features and cool technology bits that are landing in Ubuntu Oneiric (11.10) server. Why? I like servers, I like cloud, I like Ubuntu, it all mixes well, what's not to like :)

During this first article, I'll be demoing (in a graphically intensive way :) what it takes (hint: not much!) to deploy a server fleet with Oneiric server. Orchestra is the name of a wonderful piece of technology that lands in Oneiric, that's been created on top of the open-source cobbler project. Orchestra is super easy to install and get started with, and enables you to very rapidly deploy tens or hundreds of physical servers. I'll be using virtualbox to build a small test "lab" on my laptop for purposes of this article. I did actually try KVM first, but faced some trouble getting PXE booting reliably, so I opted for virtualbox which worked flawlessly (kudos vbox guys, you rock!)

Let's get started, I created a VM to represent the very first "head node", that will install the rest of all nodes. Here is a summary of its configuration
1-orchestra
Pop in the virtual CD, boot it, press F6, add "priority=critical locale=en_US url=http://bit.ly/uquick" (Thanks Dustin!) so it looks like
2-orchestra-bootoptions
The uquick profile answers all the installer questions, such that the installation is fully automatic. Since the VM contains two NICs however, we'll need to select a primary one (eth0 in my case)
3-orchestra-whicheth
The installation runs like a champ, fully automated, give it a few minutes till it finishes everything and reboots into the server OS (oh that was easy!)
4-orchestra-login
Now I configure eth1 to have a static IP address of 192.168.77.1/24 (I made any address up), here is a snapshot of /etc/network/interfaces and I started eth1 using ifup
5-orchestra-eth1up
At this stage, I rebooted the server but you definitely don't have to. Let's start actually installing Orchestra

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-orchestra-server -y

Everything proceeds automatically, for any question you get during package installation, I'll provide a picture with the answer :)
6-cobbler-password
7-nextserver
8-enable-dns-dhcp
9-dhcp-range
10-dhcp-gw
11-domain-name

That's it! You've just installed and configured your first Ubuntu Orchestra server, and you're now ready to install a fleet of Ubuntu servers the easy way! In part 2 of this article, I'll go through creating a second server, PXE booting and installing it from the orchestra server. (Extra credit: If you can't wait, try PXE booting a fresh server right now. Note that after installation, orchestra actually downloads and auto-imports a few Ubuntu mini ISOs, thus will need a few minutes depending on your internet connection speed)

So, what do you think of this coolness? Is this easier than the last time you tried building yourself an automated network installer? Shoot me a comment, let me know what you think

36 Responses to “Oneiric server, Deploy Server fleets p1”

  1. Michael Gauthier says:

    Isn’t Orchestra the name of another cloud deployment platform already? It’s a bit confusing that you’ve chosen the same name.

  2. CodeMonkey says:

    Easy stuff! Thanks again Ubuntu!

  3. marxubuntu says:

    can a noob try this i have ubuntu 10.10, i don’t want to install 11.10 yet, and i know very little terminal in fact none, maybe you can suggest where i might be able to learn terminal commands as well, as i stated i am very new to ubuntu but want to learn all that i can, in fact ubuntu fixed my laptop, had windows but they broke (lol) i won’t be going back, ubuntu is awesome in my short time trying it has been very dependable, there is no media, or hardware from my deleted windows, so i have plenty of space on my hard drive, iv’e got ubuntu 10.10 with 30g of space and linux mint on another 30g of space but for some reason the mint won.t allow me to log-in, but no worries i will partition it out later maybe, 160g total space on my drive, well about 30 left anyway, my apologies for this long post, thank you in advance.

  4. is there any way they could possibly get a GUI on ubuntu server, if there isnt one already. I have never used ubuntu server because i heard that it was just one big terminal.

  5. Phil says:

    heya man, i liked the idea of having a cloud but it seems that the sudo apt-get install ubuntu-orchestra-server -y command can’t find the specified package, otherwise a get idea.

  6. Benny Xavier says:

    good demo. waiting for the second part

  7. Gustav says:

    Looks like a great tutorial, i´ve been planning some kind of server just to learn so i think i´ll go ahed with this one in a virtual box :)

    Thanks for sharing :)

  8. black_puppydog says:

    Wow, right now I kinda wish I was into the server deploying business…

  9. kim0 says:

    @Phil, I just double checked, and it seems to work fine. Just make sure you’re running 11.10 beta, and “sudo apt-get update”. Orchestra is not available in earlier ubuntu versions AFAIK

  10. kim0 says:

    @black_puppydog haha :) glad you liked it

  11. kim0 says:

    @Tyler Phoenix: you “could” apt-get install ubuntu-desktop on server yes. But most admins will prefer to leave server lean and mean without a GUI

  12. kim0 says:

    @marxubuntu You need to be running 11.10, but you can do that inside a virtualbox just like I did (although I am running 11.10 on metal too :)

    To learn more about server, maybe checkout the ServerGuide at https://help.ubuntu.com/11.04/serverguide/C/index.html
    and visit IRC room #ubuntu-server on Freenode for any questions

  13. kim0 says:

    @Michael Gauthier, hmm I’m actually unaware of a different project using the orchestra name. I didn’t really pick up that name though :)

  14. sadig says:

    Morning All,

    it would be a good idea to post an automatic installation example from scratch.
    Means, installation via PXE and booting netboot kernel, creating some preseed files so that at the end a complete orchestra/cobbler/whatever box is running without doing some manual intervention.

    Regards,

    \sh

  15. Paul Sladen says:

    Benny Xavier: Hopefully the screenshots will look even greater when we can replace the fonts in the screengrabs above with bitmaps versions of Ubuntu Mono in the future: bug #724022 (“Wishlist: Enable use of Ubuntu Mono as .psf console-setup font”)!

  16. kim0 says:

    @sadig, The orchestra box in this demo was indeed brought up without much intervention. The only thing we did was:
    - choose eth0
    - install ubuntu-orchestra-server package

    Both of those could trivially be added to the uquick preseed file that I used. If you play with orchestra and do something cooler, let me know and I’ll be happy to post it here :)

  17. koolhead17 says:

    @sadig
    You can even be more lazy like me by adding “netcfg/choose_interface=eth1″ in the systems file and then the primary card will be selected. :D
    So it looks like

    –kopts=”priority=critical locale=en_US netcfg/choose_interface=eth1″

    Hope this helps!!

    Cheers!!

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  36. Hadju László says:

    Hi!

    I have a problem whit this. I have a dhcp/dns server, and I created two VM. These VM’s have bridge adapter, so that they can get IP. When i start the not orchestra server, it find the dhcp server, but henceforward i get a message: no filename

    Whats the problem? And how to configure the orchestra if i already have dhcp server?

    Regards,

    Laci