Thanks for that information Andy.

My current hangup is this part of the process in your list:
* Add the computer to xCAT and get things configured so xCAT can install and 
properly configure it (this is no easy feat)

I was thinking (as you mentioned) that xCAT would make a VMware host which 
could then be used by VCL, likely with the help of a kickstart file.
However xCAT does not seem to be too happy when loading ESXi 6 as it does not 
create an entry in the osimage table for it. It seems like this is a feature 
which was abandoned in xCAT several versions ago as it was not requested often. 
https://github.com/xcat2/xcat-core/issues/4108

Would you be willing to give some detail on what version of ESXi you used in 
the past and how you got the xCAT provisioning for ESXi accomplished?

Thank you again,
-----------------------
Jonathan Casco
HPC System Administrator
Florida International University
From: Andy Kurth <andy_ku...@ncsu.edu>
Reply-To: "user@vcl.apache.org" <user@vcl.apache.org>
Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 2:10 PM
To: "user@vcl.apache.org" <user@vcl.apache.org>
Subject: Re: Question on xCAT implementation in VCL

xCAT is only used within VCL to deploy bare-metal machines.  The VM deployment 
functionality of xCAT isn't used at all.  VCL can deploy bare metal machines 
for user reservations.  It's pretty rare nowadays to deploy end user 
reservations on full bare-metal machines, but it's still useful.

For larger installations, you could set things up so that xCAT deploys and 
configures the bare-metal VM hosts (VMware and/or KVM).  Here at NCSU, we have 
some rather complex Kickstart templates for each that set up ESXi, KVM 
bridging, etc.

In theory, the flow would go like this:
* Add the bare-metal computer to VCL, set the provisioning to xCAT
* Add the computer to xCAT and get things configured so xCAT can install and 
properly configure it (this is no easy feat)
* Add an image to the VCL database matching the xCAT template name
* In VCL, change the computer's state by selecting "convert to vmhostinuse"
* VCL instructs xCAT to automatically reload the computer using the xCAT 
template name
* When done, the computer is in the "vmhostinuse" state and you can assign VMs 
to it

In practice, I gave up on having VCL initiate the xCAT deployment long ago.  
There are too many things that can break.  It's easier to initiate the xCAT 
reinstall manually, verify, then add the computer to VCL with the provisioning 
module set to none so that VCL never tries to reinstall it.

-Andy



On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 11:56 AM, Jonathan Casco 
<jca...@fiu.edu<mailto:jca...@fiu.edu>> wrote:
Hello,

I am reading through the documentation for xCAT in VCL but was a little 
confused on the purpose xCAT has here.

Is xCAT being used for provisioning VM hosts like VMware to then get managed by 
a separate VCL server or does VCL use xCAT to create servers that would be used 
for VCL guests?

Thank you,
-----------------------
Jonathan Casco
HPC System Administrator
Florida International University




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Andy Kurth
Research Storage Specialist
NC State University
Office of Information Technology

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