I had an occasion last month to use Vblade in an interesting way. I
have a laptop (IBM 390x) that won't pxe boot, and whose cdrom drive
and floppy share a connecter which is broken. It was running Ubuntu.
It was incredible slow and was generally unusable. I wanted to
replace Ubuntu with Gentoo so I went about it like so:
1) shutdown most of the services on it and installed vblade.
2) exported /dev/hda over aoe.
3) booted up gentoo 2008 beta 2 install iso in VmWare Fusion on my mac pro
4) modprobed aoe
5) proceeded through a normal gentoo install using /dev/etherd/eX.Y[pZ]
I thought surely this would fail somewhere but it didn't. In fact, it
built significantly faster than usual because VmWare was using my
local processor. In the end I had an almost complete system built
entirely over aoe. "Almost " because unfortunately, I forgot to
emerge pcmcia-utils. Luckily I was able to pull all the required
distfiles in with a USB stick after compiling USB mass-storage support
into the kernel and rebooting.