Building a Windows cluster using VMware

Over the last few days, I’ve been testing a Windows cluster in a virtual environment. Of course, the whole point of a cluster is a highly available system running on specialised hardware, but for test purposes a virtual environment can be really handy.

It’s a bit tricky, but it works! The information on how to achieve this is contained in two TechRepublic articles by Steven Warren:

Configuring DHCP option 60 for PXE clients

I’m currently working to implement a standard operating environment (SOE) for a client’s server infrastructure, using their preferred deployment platform – the HP ProLiant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack (RDP), which is based on software provided by Altiris and is effectively a wrapper around the standard unattended build process, but uses the Altiris server instead of Microsoft’s Remote Installation Services (RIS).

According to HP’s implementing RDP and PXE in an enterprise network environment technology brief, when DHCP and Altiris Express are installed on the same server, DHCP will automatically be configured with option 60, which tells the client to make a boot information negotiation layer (BINL) request to the same server to retrieve boot information; however we were placed in a situation where DHCP option 60 needed to be configured manually.

I found the instructions for configuring advanced DHCP options on the website for a competitive product, Rembo Auto-Deploy. For NT DHCP servers, the new client class string option with an identifier of 60 can be added through the normal DHCP server user interface and then configured as a scope option with a value of PXEClient; however for Windows 2000 servers, the option is not present in the graphical user interface and consequently it is necessary to use the netsh command to enter the following commands:

dhcp server \\servername
add optiondef 60 PXEClient STRING 0 comment="Option added for PXE support"
set optionvalue 60 STRING PXEClient
show optionvalue all

(dhcp server \\servername can be replaced with dhcp server serveripaddress).