Question


How can I use vCommander® to deploy virtual machines which take advantage of Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) for network booting?

Answer


In order to deploy PXE bootable machines, you must first create a VM with network boot enabled. Follow the steps below to do so using the VMware vSphere Client.

  1. In the VMs and Templates view, right-click the folder under which you wish to create the PXE bootable template, and choose New Virtual Machine.
  2. Complete the wizard making suitable choices for your environment. On the Ready to Complete page, check Edit the virtual machine settings before completion and click Continue.
  3. Switch to the Options tab.
  4. Under the Settings section, highlight Advanced > Boot Options. Check The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen.

  5. Click Finish.
  6. Once the machine has been created, open a console connection to it and power it on.
  7. Under the Boot menu, move Network boot option to the top.

  8. Under the Exit menu, choose Exit Saving Changes?.
 

The next step is to convert this VM to a template for use with vCommander. You are able to use VMs as service catalog entries as well, but we recommend templates as a best practice.

  1. Still in the VMware vSphere client, locate the VM you created in the previous section.
  2. Right-click the VM and choose Template > Clone to Template.
  3. Complete the wizard making suitable choices for your environment.
 

You now have a template available to deploy as PXE bootable. Simply add this as a service in vCommander as you would any other template.

Important! You must make sure that PXE bootable VMs are deployed to a destination that includes a network where a boot server is running. PXE boot cannot cross subnets.