Creating and deploying scripting environments

You can automate the execution of configuration tasks on Bare Metal targets by deploying scripting environments.

The Scripting toolkits provided by hardware vendors like IBM, HP, and Dell, include a set of tools to configure and deploy servers in a customized and unattended way. Scripting toolkits create a customized preinstallation environment (WinPE) containing the required drivers and utilities to automate the unattended configuration of servers, and to deploy operating systems based on scripts.

You can deploy vendor-specific hardware configurations to your Bare Metal targets, for example to update the firmware or to configure RAID volumes. For this purpose, you create a scripting environment with the tools provided by the specific hardware vendor and package it in a format that can be managed by the BigFix infrastructure. Then, through a dedicated dashboard, you import the configurations in your BigFix environment and deploy them to selected Bare Metal targets.

To use this feature, you must install the Management Extender for Bare Metal Targets on the Bare Metal OS Deployment Servers that manage these targets. When the targets PXE boot to their servers, the scripting environments can be deployed to them.

For information about installing the Management Extender for Bare Metal Targets, see Deploying the Management Extender for Bare Metal Targets.

To automate the configuration and deployment of your targets, you must use the appropriate scripting toolkits provided by the hardware vendor. IT administrators use these toolkits to create the hardware environment that contains Windows Pre-Installation Environment (WinPE), and drivers that are specific to the given hardware models, as well as vendor-specific tools and scripts that perform the actual configuration tasks on the targets. You can also create your own customized WinPE without using a vendor toolkit, and import it into your OS Deployment environment.

Some examples of configurations you can complete on targets are:
  • RAID configuration
  • Firmware update (BIOS and UEFI)
  • Firmware settings (BIOS and UEFI)
  • Hardware custom configuration, that is, any kind of tool that you can load into the environment and run from a command line.
As an IT Administrator in your organization, the process you must complete to deploy a scripting environment consists of the following steps:
  1. Use the vendor scripting toolkit on a dedicated machine to prepare the scripting environments that you want to deploy to the targets.
  2. Download the Scripting Environment Creator tool on the machine where the vendor scripting toolkit is installed, and use it to package the vendor deployment artifacts into a format (.rad) that can be imported and used by OS Deployment.
  3. Import the .rad file containing the scripting environment into the BigFix infrastructure by using the Scripting Environment Library dashboard.
  4. Send the Scripting environment to the OS Deployment Bare Metal Servers that manage the targets on which you want to deploy the scripting environments. These Servers must have BigFix Bare Metal Server version installed.
  5. Trigger the deployment task by running the Deploy Scripting Environment on Bare Metal Target Fixlet.