iRMC Virtual Media Deploy Driver for Ironic

The proposal presents the work required to add support for deployment features for FUJITSU PRIMERGY iRMC, integrated Remote Management Controller, Drivers in Ironic.

Problem description

FUJITSU PRIMERGY servers are capable of booting from virtual media, but Ironic lacks a driver which can utilize this for PXE/TFTP less deployment.

Proposed change

Adding new iRMC Drivers, namely iscsi_irmc and agent_irmc, to enable PXE/TFTP less deployment capability to provision PRIMERGY bare metal nodes (having iRMC S4 and beyond) by booting the bare metal node with virtual media using NFS or CIFS from a conductor node to deploy an image.

iRMC virtual media deploy driver is basically same as iLO’s. However comparing iRMC deploy driver with iLO deploy driver, the only significant change is the location of virtual media images, specifically deploy ISO image, floppy FAT image and boot ISO image. The location where iRMC deploy driver places the created floppy FAT image and the boot ISO image is on an NFS or CIFS server, while the location where iLO deploy driver creates is on Swift Object Storage Service. The location where iRMC mounts the three images is from an NFS or CIFS server, while the location where iLO mounts is from the http temp-url generated for the Swift object Service. The other parts are common.

Before starting Ironic conductor, however, deployer has to set up operating system properly so that Ironic conductor mounts the NFS or CIFS shared file system on path “/remote_image_share_root” as default, the path is configurable in the ironic configuration file. This driver checks this mount at start up time.

The NFS or CIFS server can be located anywhere in the network as long as iRMC and Ironic conductor can reach it. The NFS or CIFS server and the network path should be redundant so that a bare metal node won’t fail to boot. For this reason, Ironic conductor is not recommended to be used as the NFS or CIFS server for high available environments.

The iRMC deploy module uses python-scciclient package to communicate with ServerView Common Command Interface (SCCI) via HTTP/HTTPS POST protocol.

The details of ServerView Common Command Interface (SCCI) is described in FUJITSU Software ServerView Suite, Remote Management, iRMC S4 - integrated Remote Management Controller


Other drivers such as the following can be used, but there are no drivers that can boot using virtual media.

  • iRMC driver for PXE (pxe_irmc) which can boot in either Legacy mode or UEFI. The details of the boot mode control is described in iRMC Management Driver for Ironic.

  • IPMI driver for PXE (pxe_ipmitool) which can boot only in Legacy mode.

Data model impact


State Machine Impact


REST API impact


Client (CLI) impact


RPC API impact


Driver API impact


Nova driver impact


Security impact

  • Admin credentials will be stored unencrypted in the Ironic configuration file, and the DB which will be visible in the driver_info field of the node when a node-show is issued. But only the ironic admin user will have access to the Ironic configuration file and the DB.

  • NFS and CIFS have very similar functionality, but have different security model. NFS server authenticates NFS client based on NFS client host IP address, while CIFS server authenticates CIFS client based on user identity. For this reason, this driver deals with CIFS as default, and NFS as alternative. Advanced deployer could use NFSv4 and Kerberos to authenticate NFS client based on user identity. Detail information is available in each linux distribution manual ([1], [2])

Other end user impact


Scalability impact

NFS or CIFS server would become performance bottleneck in case of managing a large number of bare metal nodes such as more than 1,000 nodes. In that case, the load needs to be distributed and balanced among multiple of NFS or CIFS server settings (([3], [4], [5])

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

  • The following parameters are required in the [irmc] section of the ironic configuration file which is typically located at /etc/ironic/ironic.conf in addition to the parameters defined in iRMC Power Driver for Ironic

    • remote_image_share_root: Ironic compute node’s NFS or CIFS root path (string value). The default value is “/remote_image_share_root”.

    • remote_image_server: IP of remote image server

    • remote_image_share_type: The share type (NFS or CIFS) of virtual media. The default value is “CIFS”.

    • remote_image_share_name: The share name of remote_image_server. The default value is “share”.

    • remote_image_user_name: user name of remote_image_server

    • remote_image_user_password: password of remote_image_user_name

    • remote_image_user_domain: domain name of remote_image_user_name. The default value is “”.

  • The following driver_info field is required to support iRMC virtual media in addition to the fields defined in iRMC Power Driver for Ironic.

    • irmc_deploy_iso: deploy ISO image which is either a file name relative to remote_image_share_root, Glance UUID, Glance URL or Image Service URL.

  • The following instance_info field is optional.

    • irmc_boot_iso: boot ISO image file name relative to remote_image_share_root, Glance UUID, Glance URL or Image Service URL. If it is not specified, the boot ISO is created automatically from registered images in Glance.

  • In order to use iRMC virtual media deploy driver, iRMC S4 and beyond with iRMC a valid license is required. Deployer is notified by error message if the iRMC version and/or the license is not valid.

  • In order to deploy and boot ISO image via virtual media, an NFS or CIFS server is required. The NFS or CIFS server has to be reachable from both iRMC and Ironic conductor.

Developer impact




Primary assignee:

Naohiro Tamura (naohirot)

Other contributors:


Work Items

  • Add iRMC Drivers (iscsi_irmc, agent_irmc)

  • Implement iRMC virtual media deploy module for the iRMC Drivers by reusing and refactoring some part of the code from the current iLO deploy driver.



  • Unit Tests

  • Fujitsu plans Third-party CI Tests

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility


Documentation Impact

The required driver_info fields and [irmc] section parameters in the ironic configuration file need be included in the documentation to instruct operators how to use Ironic with iRMC.