A network using AI is composed of the following components.
A DHCP server that provides the AI client with host information.
One or more IPS (Image Packaging System) repositories that provide the software packages to install on the client. The system image for the client may also be created from an archive located on the network.
An AI server that has configuration instructions for the AI clients.
One or more AI clients.
Figure 7-1 AI Network Example
The DHCP server, IPS server, and AI server do not need to be hosted on separate systems. In particular, installing the AI server and the DHCP server on the same system eases administration steps because the installadm command will update the DHCP service if the DHCP service is co-located with the install service.
The AI server itself can contain the following components:
One or more install services. Each service is configured to match the architecture and OS to be installed on the client.
One or more AI manifests. An AI manifest provides client installation instructions, such as the disk layout to use or the packages to add.
Optional system configuration profiles. These profiles provide system configuration information, such as which timezone or name service to use.
In addition, you can create an IPS package to deliver a first-boot script to the client during the installation process. This script can perform additional installation or configuration steps that cannot be done using an AI manifest or system configuration profile, such as adding a third-party utility to an AI client.