Automatically provision dedicated servers... how?

Discussion in 'Operating a Hosting Business' started by 45ACP, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. MannDude

    MannDude Just a dude vpsBoard Founder Moderator

    Mar 8, 2013
    Interesting to see a lot of people say it's easy to do with NocPC... but in my experience, any server I've ever ordered, was setup manually and took anywhere from 1-5 days to process the order.

    Is there some limitation involved that prevents most providers from doing this? I assume in most cases when a server is ordered it may not actually be physically racked or built yet, hence the processing delays?
  2. AndrewM

    AndrewM New Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    I think auto-install and auto-provision have been confused. Auto install simply makes the client's or the provider's life easier because they can start the installation, and it will do it for them (in lieu of manually doing it). 

    I would caution that most provider's don't offer "instant setup" on dedicated servers because of the price point (do you really want someone dropping anywhere from $80 to $500 or more of dirty money on your door step?), and because of other tasks that need to be performed pre-release of the server.
  3. MartinD

    MartinD Retired Staff Retired Staff Verified Provider

    May 15, 2013
    Well, this is all quite subjective. Once you've been around a while it becomes quite easy to spot the dodgy orders; those done with fake details, probably stolen money etc. It's a stage most of us will go through when building a business and becoming aware of these patters or 'guts feelings' saves you a lot of money in the long run. If people don't bother to learn that particular craft then anything else is consequential and irrelevant.

    As for auto-install and provisioning, I think they go hand in hand so not so much confused. Yes, there is an element of hands-on provisioning required but that's just for initial racking. Once it's racked and you've checked the bois/IPMI settings, everything else can be done from your desk for the most part. Adding mac addresses to a DB so that it can be run from PXE etc is simple enough and is part of the auto-provision and install process.

    The biggest issue, from what I can see, is getting a system in place that works the way you want it to. NocPS is 'okay' and lots of people use it but I've never really liked it. Ubersmith can work too but then you're spending a large chunk of money on a product that will be bloatware for a lot of companies. In the end I found an opensource piece of software that worked 80% of the time and had 70% of what I wanted. A bit of fiddling around later saw it operating more to how I like but there's still something missing.

    Ultimately it comes down to what you can afford in time and money I guess!
  4. Steven F

    Steven F New Member Verified Provider

    Jun 27, 2013
    OneClickKick is what you're referring to, correct?
  5. MartinD

    MartinD Retired Staff Retired Staff Verified Provider

    May 15, 2013
    That is indeed it!
  6. Geekion

    Geekion New Member Verified Provider

    Jan 6, 2015
    i wish to know the method too
  7. farhanideas

    farhanideas Member

    Dec 10, 2014
    I am agree with you
  8. LeaseVPS

    LeaseVPS New Member Verified Provider

    Oct 21, 2015
    Agreed , both NOC-PS and Foreman are the way to go, We have used both of them.

    We currently use NOC-PS but I really liked the foreman, especially how easy it was to pass info from the order form into the pxe script or first boot script

    I think there is a much larger community behind Foreman as it's also used to handoff to puppet or chef, from memory RHEL use to for their RDO (Openstack) deployments
    MannDude likes this.
  9. rds100

    rds100 New Member Verified Provider

    May 18, 2013
    Unfortunately the noc-ps guy doesn't like WHMCS (i could understand why). So he doesn't offer a working noc-ps module for WHMCS 6. Fortunately the older versions for WHMCS 5 are not that hard to modify to work with WHMCS 6.
  10. farhanideas

    farhanideas Member

    Dec 10, 2014
    Best way to to keep that dedicated server details which we have there in stock which help to deliver them as soon as possible
  11. web-project

    web-project Member Verified Provider

    Jan 28, 2014
    I do remember in the past the hostbillapp software can provision automatically the dedicated servers.
  12. HaBangNet

    HaBangNet New Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Ubersmith got this feature, but cost will rather expensive
    web-project likes this.
  13. web-project

    web-project Member Verified Provider

    Jan 28, 2014
    I think the Ubersmith is most professional solutions compare to others.
  14. norival1992

    norival1992 New Member Verified Provider

    Sep 30, 2015
    DCImanager is capable of managing infrastructure of any scale, from a few servers to all physical assets of the data center. You can administrate server equipment, keep track of inventory & parts, and check power consumption.
  15. Tyler

    Tyler Active Member

    May 27, 2015
    Talk about the opportunity cost there. Almost every small to medium sized host is using WHMCS, and the dev put his own choices about disliking WHMCS over adding a module for it. His loss, I guess.
    River likes this.
  16. UltratechHost

    UltratechHost New Member Verified Provider

    Feb 7, 2016
    DCIManager will be an another option but when comes to different payment gateway and other feature WHMCS is best.
  17. GS-Dylan

    GS-Dylan Member

    Feb 3, 2015
    I've been working with Easy-DCIM lately and have to say it's a pretty solid product, it can completely auto provision from ordering to os installation if you have it configured correctly, it has modules for NOC-ps and WHMCS making it easy. It's also great for using it as your Datacenter Inventory Mangement (DCIM). The one area I find lacking, but is improving, is the IPAM module. The lead developer Konrad is an awesome guy, I talk to him on skype regularly to provide feedback on how to make workflows easier, issues I've found, etc. He's very receptive to it and I've seen multiple features I've suggested get added in the next release. I would consider it still a "young" product but with that said I have very little issues with it's stability and performance and it's truly an all in one solution unlike any the dedicated server provisioning and management system the market has seen. It's also developed by the ModulesGarden so that will attest to the team behind it.
  18. TierNet

    TierNet Member Verified Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    Hmm automation.. not sure but most hosting companies have scripts created to speed up the installation process. The script will basically install everything required on the server and take care of configuration too.
  19. scv

    scv Massive Nerd Verified Provider

    May 30, 2013
    Centralized management is a must - machines should all be on their own VLAN, and you can forward DHCP off to your management server to choose the prefix from the database. DB driven DHCP makes the PXE boot option a lot easier for handling automated installs.

    Another option is to interface with platform IPMI and keep a local SMB server around for image redirection, but that'd require different implementation for different vendors, or at least an abstraction layer to translate into vendor-specific function calls. Might be a bit easier than maintaining PXE-based kickstart/debootstrap installers though.

    MVPSNET New Member

    May 18, 2018
    PXE + kickstart all the way