OpenManage Enterprise Integration for VMware Virtual Center OverviewDownload PDF
Thu, 27 Apr 2023 19:52:10 -0000|
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OpenManage Enterprise Integration for VMware vCenter (OMEVV) offers extensive functionality to manage Dell PowerEdge server hardware and firmware from within VMware vCenter. Delivered as a simple virtual appliance, OpenManage Enterprise, with its integration for VMware vCenter plugin architecture, has no dependence on local software agent installations on the managed hosts. This tech note highlights the key features of the plugin which provides deep level details for inventory, monitoring, firmware updating, and deployment of Dell servers, all from within the vCenter console GUI.
IT administrators face many challenges managing physical servers in VMware environments. This process can be complex and time-consuming. VMware vCenter provides a scalable platform that forms the foundation for VMware software management of these environments. The addition of OpenManage Enterprise Integration for VMware vCenter allows IT administrators to manage both their virtual and physical infrastructure from within vCenter, thus dramatically simplifying overall management. Additional PowerEdge menu options are added in vCenter, alongside Dell server data, to monitor and manage physical servers. These options also include semi-automated updates of server firmware and bare-metal deployment of ESXi hypervisor on Dell PowerEdge servers, including modular systems.
OpenManage integration architecture
OpenManage Enterprise Integration for VMware vCenter is a plugin to the OpenManage Enterprise virtual appliance for server management. The OpenManage Enterprise virtual appliance is a virtual machine image that can be deployed easily containing Dell’s server management software. It can be installed on any ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Red Hat Linux KVM host.
Figure 1. High level architecture (vRealize Aria, previously known as vROps or vRealize Operations, integration is expected to be released 2nd half 2023)
The OpenManage integration provides native integration into the vCenter Server console interface. It helps make the vCenter console the single pane of glass to manage both the virtual and physical environments. The integration goes beyond a simple “link and launch” to existing Dell system management tools. Instead, it brings server management tasks and server data natively into the vCenter console. An API interface is also supported for customers who want to automate or integrate with additional tools. VMware administrators do not need to learn to use additional tools for many of the PowerEdge management tasks because these are integrated into the menus that they are already familiar with within vCenter.
Managing Dell hosts
OpenManage Integration provides deep level details for inventory, monitoring, and alerting of Dell hosts (that is, physical servers) within vCenter and recommends or performs vCenter actions based on Dell hardware events. From the OpenManage Enterprise Plugin, administrators can view details of managed servers.
The dashboard view provides the health status of the monitored clusters and physical servers alongside host information, including warranty status. It also provides appliance information, such as the number of vCenters monitored, baseline compliance status, and OMEVV job status.
Figure 2. OMEVV Dashboard
At the Hosts & Chassis level, the view provides the health status of the physical server. It also displays server details including power status, iDRAC IP, model name, service tag, asset tag, warranty data, last inventory scan, ESXi Hypervisor version, and core firmware versions.
Figure 3. OMEVV list of managed hosts
The vSphere inventory view provides additional details. At the host level, the OMEVV host information view provides deeper server and component details, along with data, about local storage. It also includes server information, such as comprehensive firmware version reporting, power usage data, iDRAC IP address, Service Console IP, warranty type with expiration information, and recent system event log entries. The System Event Log (SEL) provides details such as iDRAC login events, firmware update jobs, and server reboots. Host subsystem health is displayed in the host summary area; detailed component health is available in OpenManage Enterprise.
Figure 4. OMEVV server and component health
There are a few prerequisites to meet for a Dell server to be managed by OMEVV, such as licensing requirements and minimum firmware versions. The OMEVV management compliance wizard ensures that the hosts have met these requirements. After it is discovered and selected as a managed host, a server will appear in the OpenManage Enterprise plugin group for OMEVV and in the list of managed hosts in the OMEVV plugin (see Figure 5).
For detailed steps about how to use the configuration wizard, see the OpenManage Integration User Guide. Although VxRail monitoring is supported by the core OME console, and the power manager plugin will manage VxRail power and thermal data, OMEVV does not support VxRail because VxRail has its own life cycle management solution. For more information about supported server models and iDRAC versions, see the OMEVV support matrix and the OpenManage Enterprise support matrix.
Figure 5. OMEVV managed server group in OME
Proactive automated actions to hardware alerts
The OpenManage Integration contains a predefined list of hardware events with recommended actions within vCenter which are triggered by Dell hardware events. Critical hardware alarms, such as loss of redundant power, can be enabled to put the affected host into VMware maintenance mode. If VMware DRS is configured, the VMs are evacuated by vMotion to another VMware host in the cluster. (Note: By default, all Dell alarms are disabled.) This is called VMware proactive High Availability (PHA) and is a vCenter feature that works with OMEVV. Customers can override the default severity assigned by Dell for these events to allow them to be tailored.
Figure 6. Example server event alarms severity
Updating Dell server BIOS and firmware
Within the vCenter console, users can view BIOS / firmware versions, compare them to desired versions, and perform updates at the host or cluster level. This feature supports Dell 13G, 14G, 15G, 16G, and future generation servers with either iDRAC express or iDRAC enterprise. OMEVV offers cluster aware firmware updates where updates run sequentially one host at a time across the entire cluster, putting the target host into maintenance mode and using DRS to migrate virtual machines hot to ensure workloads are kept running. This firmware update feature can run tasks concurrently in parallel on up to 15 different VMware clusters simultaneously. This functionality is also supported by registering OMEVV as a Hardware Support Manager (HSM) for VMware vSphere Life Cycle Manager vLCM. vLCM is a VMware supplied tool that coordinates the OMEVV firmware updates in conjunction with ESXi software updates, including drivers and hypervisor patches, offering administrators an easier way to update the entire cluster.
The integrated firmware update process is wizard-based, allowing the selection of the new firmware level(s), targeting all or selected component(s), and scheduling the update. A baseline profile contains the location of the catalog/repository detailing required firmware versions and the target host(s) to be associated with the profile. If the host does not have internet access to the Dell support site, you can use Dell Repository Manager to create a local repository for use with OMEVV within the firewall or in air gapped environments.
Figure 7. Firmware compliance / available upgrades
- Default firmware catalogs containing the latest released firmware. When using this, customers should check compatibility with the installed version of ESXi.
- Firmware catalogs for the Dell customized ESXi image non-vSAN (IOS file) to streamline deployments.
- Firmware catalogs specific for vSAN that support the VMware compatibility matrix. The vSAN firmware catalog has the specific firmware versions for supported vSAN components, such as HBAs when used with the corresponding Dell customized ESXi image. When OMEVV discovers a host running vSAN, OMEVV prevents the use of the default Dell firmware catalog for updates.
Together these three elements provide an easy path to the desired cluster state.
Figure 8. vLCM using OMEVV integration to patch Dell firmware as part of a VMware host update
Deploying the ESXi Hypervisor on new bare metal servers
Another key feature of the OpenManage Integration provides deployment of ESXi on Dell servers without using PXE. It includes the initial discovery, the optional deployment of the ESXi hypervisor with optional vSphere Host Profile, and registration of the host with a selected vCenter. It leverages the iDRAC9 enterprise hardware supported by 14G, 15G, and 16G generation Dell servers.
The deployment feature separates the deployment preparation steps from the actual hypervisor deployment. After a bare metal server(s) has been discovered and appears in the list as compliant, it is ready for the hypervisor deployment. The deployment wizard collects details of the target servers, the ISO OS image file, the vCenter Destination Container, and the optional VMware ESXi host profile. This optional host profile encapsulates deeper configuration template of the ESXi install. The deployment information includes details such as the settings of vCenter instance, host name, host IP address, new password, NIC for management tasks, is collected by the wizard with common data being applied across all target hosts. A deployment job can be run immediately or scheduled.
Figure 9. Bare metal server deployment wizard
Dell chassis discovery and monitoring
OMEVV allows administrators to discover and monitor chassis details including hyperlinks to OME-M, related hosts, inventory, firmware, and warranty.
Figure 10. MX chassis management information
The integration of OpenManage Enterprise with VMware vCenter provides a comprehensive, highly automated, end-to-end combined physical and virtual system management platform. OMEVV replaces the legacy standalone OMIVV, with only the new OMEVV supporting vSphere 8 and the latest server hardware. It enables host health monitoring, firmware update and bare metal deployment from within vCenter. It removes the complexities associated with manual processes and helps to avoid shuffling between multiple tools. This integration assists customers to reduce cost through a centralized, scalable, and customizable approach which is designed to enable and significantly simplify the management of Dell PowerEdge servers and modular chassis in a VMware environment.
- OMEVV manuals, including User Guide, Support Matrix, and API Guide Documentation
- API interactive explorer Developer Hub
- OpenManage Enterprise Support Site
- OpenManage Enterprise 3.10 Support Matrix
- Temporary OMEVV trial licenses can be downloaded here
- A downloadable catalog of supported and certified Dell firmware for VMware:
Streamline VMware Server Deployment and Configuration: Dell OpenManage Enterprise Integration for VMware VC
Wed, 21 Jun 2023 16:11:43 -0000|
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Non-Dell Server Support in OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager
Wed, 12 Apr 2023 14:19:03 -0000|
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The monitoring and management of power consumed by servers has become a priority for many organizations, whether due to cost of energy, carbon emission reduction commitments, or facility limitations. In January 2023, Dell released OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager version 3.1. One major feature of this release was the addition of support for a limited number of non-Dell servers. This Direct from Development tech note describes the new capabilities that customers can access to support HPE iLO5 and Lenovo XCC enabled servers.
OpenManage Enterprise is Dell’s server lifecycle management console, with the ability to discover, deploy, monitor, update, manage, and report. Power Manager is a plug-in that adds additional power and thermal capabilities to the core management console. The Dell Product Group recognizes that not all customers have a 100 percent PowerEdge fleet and so need to monitor more than just Dell servers.
Discovery and reporting
Non-Dell servers are discovered through their baseboard management controllers—iLO5 or XCC. An IP address and login credentials are all that is required. All non-Dell servers discovered in OpenManage Enterprise are automatically listed under the Non-Dell Servers group, as shown here:
Figure 1. Example of the Non-Dell Servers group showing HPE ProLiant DL and Lenovo ThinkSystem servers
Once the servers are discovered, Power Manager can monitor the power and thermal telemetry. This data is processed and then displayed through “applets,” as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. A RESTful API enables customers to build additional automation and report tools if required. Sample code is posted by Dell on GitHub.
Figure 2. Example of power and thermal metrics for a non-Dell server
There are numerous prebuilt reports that now include this non-Dell server data, such as maximum power (watts). This data is also available in the custom report builder. These reports can be run ad hoc or scheduled to be emailed on a regular basis. These reports support export in HTML, CSV, PDF, and XLS formats.
Figure 3. Example of alert thresholds for non-Dell servers
- Power Manager documentation: Support for Dell OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager
- Interactive API explorer: Dell API Catalog Guide