VMware Bare Metal Automation for VMware Telco Cloud Platform 3.0 | 18 APRIL 2023

Check for additions and updates to these release notes.

About VMware Bare Metal Automation for VMware Telco Cloud Platform

VMware Bare Metal Automation for VMware Telco Cloud Platform (VMware BMA) is a bare metal provisioning tool, readying servers for operating system installation. VMware BMA bootstraps the server and installs the necessary software and firmware for VMware Telco Cloud Automation to start its infrastructure and CaaS automation processes.

VMware BMA also automates BIOS and firmware installations or upgrades, provisions disk arrays, builds ISO images, installs the operating system, configures network interfaces, gathers hardware information, assigns hostnames and connects storage.

For VMware Telco Cloud Platform customers, VMware BMA now completes the journey to realize end-to-end network automation—from initial zero-touch provisioning to supporting network services and network slices.

What's New

VMware Bare Metal Automation (BMA) 3.0 is the official General Availability (GA) release.

If you have installed the VMware BMA 2.0 Beta version, there is no upgrade to the new cloud native VMware BMA. You must install the cloud native VMware BMA 3.0 and import your Workflows from your VMware BMA 2.0 to your VMware BMA 3.0 through the import and export option.

Download the Container images and the Helm charts from the VMware Downloads section.

Components :

  • VMware BareMetal Automation 3.0 Helm Charts :

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-Core-Chart-3.0.0-v2022.7.405-b38.tgz : VMware BMA 3.0 Core Helm Chart

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-Remote-Worker-Chart-3.0.0-v2022.7.405-b38.tgz : VMware BMA 3.0 Remote Worker Helm Chart

  • VMware BareMetal Automation 3.0 Container Images :

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-Core-3.0.0-v2022.7.405-b38.tar.gz : VMware BMA 3.0 Core Container Image

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-Remote-Worker-3.0.0-v2022.7.405-b38.tar.gz : VMware BMA 3.0 Remote Worker Container Image

  • VMware Out Of The Box (OOTB) Workflows as a ZIP package that you can import after installation from the VMware BMA Web User Interface :

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-Workflows-3.0.0.zip : VMware OOTB Workflow for Imaging bare metal server

  • Customer input specification template file:

    • VMware-Bare-Metal-Automation-InputSpec-Template-3.0.0.zip : Sample input specification file for running BMA 3.0.0 workflows

OOTB Workflows are engineering developed workflows designed to support the following functionalities:

  • Installation of Operating System (ESXi)

    • Customer Input specification

    • Create virtual disk and custom ESXi ISO image, as per customer input specification.

    • Install ESXi Image

  • Pre/Post Installation Validation Capabilities

    • Pre-Install validation of host connectivity, authentication credentials, storage device availability

    • Post Install Validation of host connectivity, FQDN, ESXi Image version, server uptime

  • Server Information Collection

    • Collect information related to imaging Host

    • Server Type, Vendor, SKU, CPU, Storage

  • Imaging Status Notification

    • Email notification on status of imaging

    • Granular start and stop time of imaging execution

    • Error handling

  • Secure, Cloud Native Deployment Model

    • Highly available deployment

    • Concurrent ESX imaging support

    • Backup and restore and support bundle generation  

    • RBAC and TLS support

Bare metal servers provisioning process overview

  • Deploy Cloud Native VMware BMA Core on your Kubernetes Cluster. VMware has tested VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) version 1.24.10, 1.23.16, and 1.22.17.

  • The VMware BMA Core includes two embedded remote workers and additional remote workers are optional. For more information, see VMware BMA Installation Guide and VMware BMA Architecture Guide.

  • Login to the VMware BMA Core UI, apply the VMware BMA license if not applied during Helm Chart installation and import the OOTB workflows.

  • Place the ESXi image on a customer provided ISO store. The webserver must have the genisoimage utility.

  • Prepare the input JSON specification file, initialize the workflow with this input and initiate the workflow.

Important Notes

VMware provides a ZIP package with out-of-the-box workflows to cover bare metal provisioning scenarios.

These workflows might, however, require customizations. If you customize these workflows, ensure that you track and maintain the changes.

Bare metal servers hardware tested by VMware with VMware's OOTB workflows are :

  • Dell XR11

  • Dell R750

Workflows must be generic enough to cover different types of vendor's hardware, assuming the vendor supports the standard Redfish API.

If a hardware vendor has non-standard Redfish APIs, contact VMware Support team to verify if you can add those specific APIs to VMware BMA.

While VMware Bare Metal Automation serves as a bare metal provisioning tool to the point of ESXi installation--bootstrapping the server and installing the necessary software and firmware for Telco Cloud Automation to start its CaaS automation processes. BMA is also an open tool for creating workflows, VMware only supports specific workflows that are developed for bare metal provisioning. VMware recommends using out-of-the-box workflows and customize them based on individual use cases.

Known Issues

  • The workflow does not allow the user to specify the disk on which the OS must be installed. By default, the workflow selects the first disk on the server for installation.

  • The input specification file allows only one host entry if the network config type is set to DHCP and network device name is set to MAC address. The input specification file can have multiple host entries if the network device name is set to vmnic*.

  • Intermittent failure in post validation

    Post validation workflow tries to establish an SSH connection to the ESXi host for validation purposes. This SSH connection intermittently fails, and hence post validation fails, which, in turn, marks the imaging job as "failed".

    Retry the workflow

Available Documentation

  • VMware BMA Architecture Guide

  • VMware BMA Install Guide

  • VMware BMA User Guide

  • VMware BMA Workflow Guide

  • VMware BMA Release Notes

check-circle-line exclamation-circle-line close-line
Scroll to top icon