Microsoft Windows Admin Center (WAC), which includes a familiar user interface, is browser-based and agent-free. It communicates with managed devices using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) over Windows Remote Management (WinRM) and remote PowerShell. To monitor and manage the hardware, Dell EMC OpenManage Integration obtains information from managed servers’ iDRACs using an OS to iDRAC Pass-through feature and Redfish technology. Thus, communications can occur in-band and remain agent-free with no other dependencies. Both WAC and Dell EMC OpenManage Integration use the Cluster-Aware Updating feature of Windows Server 2019 to ensure that operating system and hardware updates do not result in downtime to services.
The following figure shows an update compliance report in Dell EMC OpenManage Integration:
The following configuration information is specific to this automated update approach:
The following table lists the process steps for the automated approach and the durations that we observed on the cluster in the lab. These steps are also described in the operations guide.
Human error quotient
Review hardware Health tab.
1 min. Attended
Verify that all hardware components are healthy. Dell EMC OpenManage Integration automates the health checks for software-defined elements of the cluster.
Browse to Update tab.
10 sec. Attended
Select the online catalog because the WAC gateway host is connected to the Internet. All required utilities and DUPs are automatically downloaded and staged.
Generate Compliance Report and review updates.
4 min. Attended
This compliance report shows both firmware and drivers.
Initiate and monitor Cluster Aware Update and verify success.
3 hrs. Unattended
Cluster Aware Update places each node into maintenance mode for no interruption to VM services. Each node reboots only once because reboots between DUP installations are suppressed.
The final compliance report is automatically generated to verify that all updates were successful.
Total number of steps = 4
Total unattended time = 3 hours
Note: Task durations and total times have been rounded to the nearest minute or hour, wherever possible, for simplicity.