Solaris installation on a SPARC T3 from a remote CDROM ISO

I wanted to install Solaris 11 Express on a SPARC T3-1 Server that was located in California. I was working in Massachusetts and had the ISO image of the Solaris 11 Express media on my laptop. Reading the SPARC T3-2 Server Documentation and the Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) 3.0 Documentation it seemed that it would be possible to remotely mount my ISO image and use it for the installation, but I found that the documentation was rather spotty. Specifically, I didn’t stumble across any documentation that led me to use the “rcdrom” device in the OpenBoot Prom (OBP, aka “the OK prompt”) Here is the recipe:

  1. The SPARC T3-1 server was powered up, pre-installed with Solaris 10, and properly wired:
    • Ethernet for Solaris was available via the NET0 port.
    • Ethernet for the Service Processor was available via the SP NET MGT Ethernet port
    • The SP SER MGT port was connected to a terminal concentrator
  2. The Service Processor had a static IP Address, so it could be accessed with either SSH or HTTPS
  3. The ILOM remote CD-ROM image functionality isn’t supported on Mac OS X, so I used Windows XP running in VirtualBox to access the ILOM via HTTPS.
  4. In the ILOM HTTPS interface, I clicked on “Redirection”, “Use serial redirection”, “Launch remote Console”
  5. In the ILOM Remote Console window, there is a pulldown for “Devices”, “CD-ROM image…”
    • Selected the ISO image on my laptop
  6. In Solaris 10, I was able to see that the remote ISO was mounted (“df -h”)
  7. Shutdown Solaris 10 taking me back to the OK prompt
  8. I was able to see the “rcdrom” device:
    •   ok devalias
  9. And boot:
    •   ok boot rcdrom
  10. Confirmed success.  The T3 booted off of my ISO (slowly) and eventually promped for the installation language.  (English, Spanish, etc)