Working with server patterns

A server pattern represents pre-OS server configuration, including local storage, I/O adapter, SAN boot, and other baseboard-management-controller and UEFI firmware settings. Server patterns also integrate support for virtualizing I/O addresses so that you can virtualize server fabric connections or repurpose servers without disruption. A server pattern is used as an overall pattern to quickly configure multiple servers at one time.

About this task

You can define multiple server patterns to represent different configurations that are used in your data center.

When defining a server pattern, select or create category patterns and address pools as needed to construct the desired configuration for a specific group of servers. A category pattern defines specific firmware settings that can be reused by multiple server patterns. You can use address pools to define address ranges to use to assign addresses to individual servers when deploying server patterns. There are IP address pools, Ethernet Address (MAC) pools, and Fibre Channel Address (WWN) pools.

When a server pattern is deployed to multiple servers, multiple server profiles are generated automatically (one profile for each server). Each profile inherits settings from the parent server pattern, so you can control a common configuration from a single place.

You can create a server pattern from scratch, defining your desired configuration before your hardware arrives. Or, you can create a server pattern from an existing server and then use that pattern to provision your remaining servers. If you create a server pattern from an existing server, extended category patterns are learned and dynamically created from the current settings for the server. If you want to change the category settings, you can edit them directly from the server patterns.

Attention: When you create a new server pattern from scratch, you must define the boot settings for the servers. When you deploy the server pattern to servers, the existing boot order on the servers is overwritten with the default boot-order settings in the server pattern. If the servers do not start after you deploy a server pattern to those servers, the problem might be that the original boot settings were overwritten by the default boot order settings in the new server pattern. To restore the original boot settings on the servers, see Recovering boot settings after server pattern deployment.
Important: When you create server patterns, ensure that you create them for each type of server. For example, create a server pattern for all Flex System x240 compute nodes and another server pattern for all Flex System x440 compute nodes. Do not deploy a server pattern that was created for one server type to another server type.
Important: If the management node fails, you might lose your server patterns. Always back up the management software after you create or modify server patterns (see Backing up Lenovo XClarity Administrator).

Settings for network devices

Some Flex System network devices offer more configuration options in server patterns than others.

Although server patterns can be applied to any network device, some server-patterns functionality is limited to certain network adapters. Additionally, some advanced settings for Ethernet network adapters (such as adapter and port compatibility preferences) are not currently supported.

Server patterns can learn existing configuration data and settings for supported network adapters and can change configuration settings through pattern deployment.

Category patterns

The firmware settings are organized into categories that group together related settings. For each category, you can create a category pattern that contains common firmware settings and can be reused by multiple server patterns. Most of the firmware settings that you can configure directly on the baseboard management controller and UEFI can also be configured through category patterns. The firmware settings that are available depend on the server type, your Flex System environment, and the scope of the server pattern.

You can create category patterns separately from server patterns.

Category patterns can be predefined, learned from existing servers, or user-defined.