Choosing the storage location for managed servers

Choose the preferred storage location where you want to deploy the operating-system image for one or more servers.

Before you begin

Review storage and boot-option considerations before choosing a storage location (see Operating-system deployment considerations).

You can deploy an operating system to the following types of storage:
  • Local disk drive

    Only disks attached to a RAID-controller or SAS/SATA HBA are supported.

    Lenovo XClarity Administrator installs the operating-system image on the first enumerated local RAID disk in the managed server.

    If the RAID configuration on the server is not configured correctly, or if it is inactive, the local disk might not be visible to Lenovo XClarity Administrator. To resolve the issue, enable the RAID configuration through configuration patterns (see Defining local storage) or through the RAID management software on the server.

    Note:
    • If an M.2 drive is also present, the local disk drive must be configured for hardware RAID.

    • If an SATA adapter is enabled, the SATA mode must not be set to “IDE.”

    • For ThinkServer servers, operating systems can be deployed only to the local disk. SAN storage and embedded hypervisors are not supported.

    • For ThinkServer servers, configuration is available only through the RAID management software on the server.

    For an example scenario for deploying VMware ESXi 5.5 to a locally installed disk drive, see Deploying ESXi to a local hard drive.

  • (ESXi only) Embedded hypervisor (USB or SD media adapter)

    This location is applicable only when a VMware ESXi image is being deployed to managed servers.

    The embedded hypervisor can be one of the following devices:
    • IBM License USB key (PN 41Y8298) or Lenovo Licensed USB key that is mount to a specific port on one of the following servers:

      • Flex System x222

      • Flex System x240

      • Flex System x440

      • Flex System x480

      • Flex System x880

      • System x3850 X6

      • System x3950 X6

    • SD media adapter that is installed on the following servers:

      • Flex System x240 M5

      • System x3500 M5

      • System x3550 M5

      • System x3650 M5

      In addition, the drive must be configured as follows:
      • The appropriate drives on the media adapter must be defined.
      • The mode of the SD media adapter must be set to Operational.
      • The owner must be set to System or System Only.
      • Access must be set to Read/Write.
      • The drive must be assigned a LUN number of 0.
      Important: If the SD Media Adapter is not configured correctly, operating system deployment to the SD Media Adapter from the Lenovo XClarity Administrator will not be successful.

      You can change the mode of the SD Media Adapter to Configuration and configure the media adapter through the management controller CLI using the sdraid command. For additional information about setting the mode of the SD Media Adapter and configuring the adapter from the CLI, see the Integrated Management Module II online documentation.

    If two hypervisor keys are installed on the managed server, the VMware installer selects the first enumerated key for deployment.

    Note: Attempting to deploy Microsoft Windows to a managed server that has a hypervisor key installed might cause issues even if you do not select the embedded hypervisor key. If Windows deployment errors occur, remove the embedded hypervisor key from the managed server, and attempt to deploy Microsoft Windows to that server again.
  • M.2 drive

    Lenovo XClarity Administrator installs the operating-system image on the first M.2 drive that is configured on the managed server.

    M.2 storage is supported only on ThinkSystem servers.

    Attention: If a managed device has both local drives (SATA, SAS, or SSD) that are not configured for hardware RAID and M.2 drives, you must disable the local drives if you want to use M.2 drives, or you must disable the M.2 drives if you want to use local drives. You can disable on-board storage controller devices and legacy and UEFI storage option ROMs using the using Configuration Patterns by selecting Disable local disk on the Local Storage tab of the wizard or by creating a Configuration Pattern from an existing server and then disabling the M.2 devices in the extended UEFI pattern.
  • NVMe storage

    NMVe storage is not supported.

  • SAN storage

    Lenovo XClarity Administrator installs the operating-system image on the first SAN boot target that is configured on the managed server.

    When deploying to SAN storage:
    • Only Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet protocols are supported. SAN iSCSI is not supported.

    • Ensure that the SAN boot target is configured on the managed servers. You can configure the SAN boot target using a server pattern (see Defining boot options).
    • Ensure that the OS volume to which you are installing is the only volume that is visible to the operating system.
    When deploying VMware ESXi:
    • Local hard disks must be disabled or removed from the server. You can disable the local hard disks using server patterns (see Defining local storage).
    • If multiple SAN volumes are available, only the first volume is used for deployment.

    For an example scenario for deploying VMware ESXi 5.5 to SAN volumes that are attached to servers, see Deploying ESXi to SAN storage.

Note: Each server must have a hardware RAID adapter or SAS/SATA HBA that is installed and configured. The software RAID that is typically present on the onboard Intel SATA storage adapter or storage that is set up as JBOD are not supported; however, if a hardware RAID adapter is not present, setting the SATA adapter to AHCI SATA mode enabled for operating-system deployment or setting unconfigured good disks to JBOD might work in some cases. For more information, see OS installer cannot find the disk drive on which you want to install.

Procedure

To choose storage location for one or more managed servers, complete the following steps.

  1. From the Lenovo XClarity Administrator menu bar, click Provisioning > Deploy OS images to display the Deploy OS Images page.
  2. Select the servers for which you want to change the storage settings.
  3. Click Change Selected > Storage Location to change the priority order of storage locations for all selected servers. If the first storage location is not compatible, the next storage location is attempted.

    Illustrates the Edit Local Storage dialog for all servers.

    You can set the priority for the following storage locations:

    • Use local disk drive storage

    • Use embedded hypervisor (USB or SD media adapter) when ESXi is selected

    • Use M.2 drive

    • Use SAN storage

  4. For each server, select the preferred storage location where you want to deploy the operating-system image from the Storage column. You can choose from the following values, which correspond to values in the previous step.
    • Local Disk Drive
    • Embedded Hypervisor
    • M.2 Drive
    • SAN Storage

    If the selected storage location is not compatible with the server, Lenovo XClarity Administrator attempts to deploy the operating system to the next storage location in the priority defined in the previous step.