Introducing new Converged Management Software with CloudIQ for VxBlock Systems
Thu, 16 Dec 2021 19:53:16 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
We are delighted to announce that today, our new Converged Management Software (CMS) for VxBlock System 1000, VxBlock System 740, VxBlock System 540, and VxBlock System 350 is available. CMS is an exciting new product that provides a unified CloudIQ integrated management for Converged Infrastructure (CI) operations for VxBlock. It dramatically simplifies daily administration by providing enhanced system-level awareness, automation, and analytics. CMS replaces VxBlock Central, and VxBlock Central software is no longer available with new VxBlock Systems.
What is CMS?
CMS is a lightweight on-prem software that provides VxBlock system configuration and data discovery. CMS collects the required management data from different components within your VxBlock system and sends it to CloudIQ, a single pane of glass management dashboard for VxBlock operations for processing and analytics. With CMS, you can consolidate management and monitoring of VxBlock systems with other Dell Technologies infrastructure solutions through CloudIQ.
8 Fun-Facts about CMS:
- CloudIQ conveniently unifies the management dashboard for VxBlock systems and other Dell infrastructure products
- Deployment and system configuration time is drastically reduced with simplified on-prem CMS software
- Asset management for compute, storage, and virtualization in the context of converged infrastructure inventory allows for simplicity
- Greater visibility into lifecycle milestones for components in the converged systems for better TCO management
- Efficient monitoring of the status of service contracts for exceptional Dell support
- Automation workflows to expand compute and storage resources more quickly and systematically
- Deep KPI metrics including capacity reporting and performance analytics with historical perspective for storage devices when onboarded within CloudIQ
- Comprehensive telemetry for efficient and streamlined support experience
Dell EMC’s latest Converged Management System (CMS) is now available and replaces VxBlock Central. CMS automates complex orchestration tasks and simplifies lifecycle management while enabling exceptional infrastructure visibility. Please use the following resources to learn more about the VxBlock systems and CloudIQ.
- Dell EMC and Partner FAQs: Converged Management Software 1.0 AND VxBlock Central End of Life
- VxBlock Product Page
- VxBlock Technical Collateral
- VxBlock Product Overview
- CloudIQ Product Page
- CIoudIQ Simulator
- Dell Technologies Document Center
Authors: Udit Sharma and Sameer Mohile
Related Blog Posts
Dell EMC VxBlock 1000: Some history and What’s New
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:07:55 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
First for the “some history” part! Converged Infrastructure (CI) is not a new concept – it’s been with us for more than 10 years. Hey, one could even consider that we were the “inventors” of CI back in the days when we publicly announced it on November 03, 2009 (Press Release).
Figure 1. EMC Joe Tucci (center) unveils the Virtual Computing Environment coalition with VMware's Paul Maritz (left) and Cisco's John Chambers (right).
Nowadays the CI concept is well understood, but in 2009 it was kind of ground breaking since this approach had never been taken before.
“All datacenter requirements in just one system? How could that be possible?”
Those were the days of separated, disconnected, and siloed domains (compute, storage, networks) and CI was a new disruptive technology solution that would require a complete transformation in how IT would architect and consume datacenter infrastructure.
To have a clearer understanding of how Dell Technologies comprehends CI – then and now, we could define our CI end-to-end engineered turnkey system as:
VxBlock 1000, Industry-leading Converged Infrastructure, simplifies all aspects of IT by seamlessly integrating all the compute, network, storage and data protection and cloud management technologies you need into one engineered system. It is an all-in-one, “data center in a box.” You can offload the complexities and risks associated with managing enterprise-grade data center infrastructure so that your IT teams can confidently focus on higher-value activities. (from Top Reasons Why Organizations Choose VxBlock 1000 Converged Infrastructure).
For those new to VxBlock 1000, here are some of the most important values VxBlock has provided:
- High availability & data protection
- No single point of failure
- High availability in all components, fault tolerance as an option
- Broad data protection suite
- High scalability & consistent performance
- 100+ PB storage
- 1000+ blade & rack servers
- Scale-up & scale-out, symmetrically or asymmetrically
- NVMe end-to-end
- Rich data services & highest efficiency
- In-line, all-the-time services
- Compression, de-dupe, replication, encryption, copy data management & machine learning
- Cloud operating model & converged management
- Tight VMware vRealize Integration
- Consistent tool set across hybrid cloud
And what has happened during this 10+ year period?
Many things. Many milestones. Many systems sold. Many successful customer stories and projects that have led VxBlock to a very effective and consistent $1 billion annual run rate business just four years into its existence. Check the diagram below to reflect on some of the key milestones VxBlock and Dell Technologies CI as a whole have delivered during this decade.
Figure 2. VxBlock 1000 one-decade journey
Today, with more than 4500 systems installed in over 100 countries, VxBlock 1000 keeps on leading the way, innovating the CI arena in four key areas that address the second part of this blog post, namely “What’s New”:
- Flexible technology choices
- Converged management and automation
- Life cycle management
- Future proof design and support
Flexible technology choices
VxBlock System 1000 gives you a choice of industry-leading technologies to meet the needs of all your different workloads, ranging from mission-critical, general purpose (virtualized or not), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, End User Computing/Virtual Desktops… you name it!
Mix and match powerful Dell EMC storage and data protection options, Cisco UCS blade and rack servers, Cisco LAN and SAN networking, and VMware virtualization and cloud management. For more details on infrastructure see VxBlock 1000 data sheet and specs.
Since VxBlock 1000 is not just a reference architecture or a bill of materials, it eliminates the traditional risks associated with “Do It Yourself” approaches. It’s a fully integrated system that is engineered, manufactured, managed, supported, and sustained as one product, delivering a turnkey experience. Dell Technologies validates interoperability of components and provides a predictable system maintenance process that improves availability and productivity.
Converged management and automation
VxBlock 1000 leverages its deep VMware integration to simplify automation of everything from daily infrastructure provisioning tasks to delivery of IaaS and SaaS. At the foundation is VxBlock Central software that provides a single unified interface and access point for converged infrastructure operations.
Figure 3. VxBlock Central, a single pane of glass for management, automation, and LCM
VxBlock Central software dramatically simplifies daily administration by providing enhanced system-level awareness, automation and analytics, including launch points to:
- VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) with workflows for automating daily operational tasks
- vRealize Operations (vROps) for deep VxBlock analytics and simplified capacity management
As customers place workloads on top of VxBlock 1000, VxBlock Central helps to provide and maintain these services by managing the infrastructure underneath. See here for more great info about VxBlock Central Workflow Automation and the 40+ workflows available in the Workflow Automation Library.
Life cycle management
Dell EMC CloudIQ for VxBlock features next-generation lifecycle management (LCM) that enables IT teams to more flexibly plan ahead and control converged hardware lifecycle, further reducing risk with proactive SaaS-based insights. You gain granular control over hardware inventory, milestones, support interoperability, and upgrade scenarios.
Future proof design and support
VxBlock 1000 is built with a perpetual design, meaning it will ensure that your system stays ready to support the introduction of next-generation technologies within any of the fundamental domains of the system, whether storage, compute, or network. You can address increased performance and scalability requirements while maximizing the return on your system investment.
Dell Technologies delivers fully integrated 24/7 support with a single call. There’s never any finger-pointing between vendors. You can always rely on our fully cross-trained team for a fast resolution to any problem. Our portfolio of services (including deployment services, migration services, and residency services) accelerates speed of deployment and integration into your IT environment. It also minimizes downtime by ensuring your software and hardware remains up to date throughout the product lifecycle.
One decade ago, Dell Technologies defined the foundations for CI and created a platform that has evolved to what today is VxBlock 1000. This system (compute, network, storage and management layer) is created (engineered and manufactured), maintained (single management and support), and sustained (in ongoing certified code upgrades) by Dell EMC during its entire journey. Customers simply take the keys of the car and drive.
Ignacio Borrero - LinkedIn, Twitter: @virtualpeli
Sweet 16 ways OpenManage helps customers to maximize their investment in PowerEdge
Wed, 12 Apr 2023 01:27:49 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
As we at Dell announce details of the new wave of PowerEdge servers (details here), we want to highlight 16 examples of how the OpenManage portfolio of systems management software enhances our server range. Like I always say, where there are servers, there are server management requirements.
The OpenManage portfolio exists to save customers of any size time and money, eliminating the necessity of high-touch, manual steps to deliver efficiency. Designed to scale, with integrated security, Dell’s OpenManage strategy is to give customers a choice by using orchestration, automation, and integration, leveraging APIs with open standards.
#1 – Server health monitoring—This is server management 101. However, given the fact that PowerEdge servers are the foundation of the modern data center, this basic element is critical to application and services uptime. OpenManage solutions have many ways to get this information from the agent-free iDRAC directly (GUI/SNMP/SMTP/syslog/API and more) or through the Dell OpenManage Enterprise console, OpenManage mobile, Dell CloudIQ, VMware vCenter integration, Microsoft System Center, and leading third-party management software such as Nagios.
#2 – Remote access to servers—If deep one-to-one control for troubleshooting, deployment, configuration, console access, and so on is needed, then iDRAC is the answer. Dell's unique iDRAC9 offers out-of-band remote server connection, including firmware configuration, full server console remote control through eHTML5 (sometimes called vKMV) GUI, virtual media, and server telemetry. iDRAC agentless architecture offers server monitoring and control from anywhere without the need to install any software. There are many additional features, from basic power on/off control offered through the GUI, CLI, or API to advanced server profile configuration to ensure that servers have the correct firmware configuration settings.
#3 – Server deployment—The time between when a server is racked and powered until it is live (time to value) can be greatly reduced by leveraging the automation integrated into OpenManage. Starting with streamlining one-to-one deployments, the iDRAC features a lifecycle controller that rapidly configures elements such as RAID storage configurations and populate deployments with up-to-date operating system drivers. In addition, iDRAC also features a zero-touch deployment to automatically download a server configuration profile (SCP) and even complete an unattended operating system installation the first time the server powers up on a customer’s network. Beyond one-to-one solutions, OpenManage offers a broad number of deployment solutions, including: OpenManage Enterprise, offering firmware setting configuration and supporting agnostic operating system installation through ISO images; Microsoft System Center integration; and deeper customizable VMware installations through OpenManage Enterprise for VMware vCenter. Finally, for customers using tools such as Ansible, Terraform, or Prometheus, OpenManage supplies integration packs and sample code leveraging Dell's APIs.
#4 – Manage and update firmware—There are multiple methods to update PowerEdge server firmware, depending on needs. Methods range from one-to-one, using iDRAC/Lifecycle Controller, to console-based methods for updating multiple servers. Leveraging large-scale automation, these tools can audit existing servers, compare online catalogs, then download and apply the correct updates quickly and consistently with massive time savings compared to manual methods. One example is the integration into VMware using OpenManage Enterprise for VMware vCenter, which offers cluster-aware updates, updating one cluster node at a time using DSR to keep workloads up and running. Dell supplies Repository Manager to build custom firmware catalogs like the packaged interpretable ISOs that are used by other Dell updating tools where servers are isolated or air gapped. And, of course, Dell supplies an Ansible module offering firmware updates to the DevOps user base.
#5 – Configuration drift detection—OpenManage Enterprise provides compliance features that detect, highlight, and remediate configuration drift issues, with simple processes for both firmware versions and firmware configuration settings.
#6 – Secure supply chain assurance—Using Dell’s Secure Component Verification (SCV) allows organizations to ensure that their new servers are delivered with the same components installed at Dell Technologies’ manufacturing facility, using a digital, cryptographically secured signed inventory certificate.
#7 – Power usage reporting (and carbon emissions calculations)—There are multiple ways to view server power consumption data, depending on needs and preferences. One way is to open the iDRAC web GUI, while another way is to use scripts, either Racadm or Redfish, to retrieve the data. iDRAC can also send data to the OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager plug-in, where power data, including carbon emissions, is processed and grouped, and can be displayed, reported, and actioned. OpenManage Enterprise can also forward this information to CloudIQ for PowerEdge for additional analysis and visualization. For those customers looking for maximum data, iDRAC9 can stream these power statistics as telemetry data to analytics solutions such as Splunk or ELK Stack for real-time in-depth analysis.
#8 – Power usage control—Power consumption capping ability is integrated into iDRAC. OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager adds the capability to apply power caps to individual servers or groups of servers. This power capping can be permanent, scheduled at particular times for specific weekends, or ad hoc in response to an incident when reduction in power consumption is required, such as when running on UPS or on-premises generators.
#9 – Thermal event management—While thermal monitoring alerting and even shutdown is integrated into PowerEdge servers through the iDRAC, OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager augments this through powerful Emergency Power Reduction (EPR) policies. This feature reduces the power consumption of servers through a power cap policy to throttle a group of servers. EPR policies can be used as a permanent or scheduled method to limit server power consumption or as an immediate temporary measure during a thermal emergency, for example, CRAC unit failure.
#10 – Performance monitoring—From the iDRAC GUI, CLI, and API, server performance telemetry data can be obtained. OpenManage Enterprise Power Manager can consume and report this data, automatically highlighting idle servers. Telemetry information can be passed to third-party solutions such as Splunk. Finally, CloudIQ can analyze information and present the information in a dashboard format with graphical visualization, and, for key metrics, highlight anomalies based on historic seasonality data.
#11 – Enterprise secure key management—iDRAC provides a standards-based Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) to encrypt data at rest on self-encrypting SSDs or self-encrypting hard drives and pass the key to a key management system. Solutions such as Thales CipherTrust Manager offer centralized key management for multiple PowerEdge servers and many other products.
#12 – Detailed server telemetry—iDRAC9 provides more than 180 data metrics that can integrate advanced server hardware operation telemetry. Many of these can be reported and visualized in CloudIQ or streamed to analytics solutions such as Splunk. This server telemetry data allows customers to access detailed information to avoid failure events, optimize server operation, and enhance cyber resiliency.
#13 – Automatic call and ticket creation—This ranges from the Dell services plug-in for OpenManage Enterprise, which offers the creation of a support case directly with Dell without any human intervention, to integration with ServiceNow by Dell’s integration pack. Alternatively, OpenManage Enterprise offers a flexible set of actions, including running scripts, SNMP forwarding Syslog event, and emailing based on the monitoring of SNMP events. This automation can be used to pass information to a third-party solution for incident management.
#14 – Capacity planning—The iDRAC provides a large amount of performance statistics. This data can be collected and analyzed by the Dell CloudIQ IOPS solution to produce a forward-looking capacity analysis on items such as CPU usage based on real historical data values for a given server and workload.
#15 – Cloud-based infrastructure management—Dell's AIOp’s CloudIQ can not only consolidate multiple instances of OpenManage Enterprise, but it can also integrate Dell storage, server, data protection, networking, HCI, and CI products. Hosted in Dell’s secure data center, CloudIQ combines proactive monitoring, machine learning, and predictive analytics to reduce risk, plan ahead, and improve productivity from core to edge.
#16 – Cybersecurity from concept to retirement—Dell Cyber Resilient Architecture 2.0 includes features such as iDRAC silicon-based root of trust, dynamic USB port management, UEFI Secure Boot, and signed firmware updates. All these features are controlled by OpenManage tools that let customers protect, detect, and recover in response to security threats.
We hope that this list has given you a few suggestions on how the OpenManage portfolio can help your organization. Servers are a vital element of organizations’ infrastructure and the foundation of modern business, and it’s critical to manage and monitor them to deliver visibility, productivity, and control. Server management tools not only make tasks easy, faster, and consistent but also decrease failures with increased efficiency. Remember, don't just manage, automate.
Is your organization using all the features that Dell OpenManage offers and getting the maximum benefits from investing in PowerEdge servers? Ask your account manager for more details.
#1 Monitoring Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack Hub with System Center Operations Manager
#2 Support for Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 9 (iDRAC9)
#3 How to create and deploy a Server Template in OpenManage Enterprise (video)
#4 Updating Firmware and Drivers on Dell PowerEdge Servers
#5 Improve Operational Efficiency Through OME Server Drift Management
#6 Dell Technologies Secured Component Verification for PowerEdge
#7 #8, #9 Server Power Consumption Reporting and Management
#10 CloudIQ Provides Data Driven Server Management Decisions
#11 OpenManage Secure Enterprise Key Manager Solutions Brief
#12 Transform Datacenter Analytics with iDRAC9 Telemetry Streaming
#13 Support for OpenManage Integration with ServiceNow
#14 Talking CloudIQ: Capacity Monitoring and Planning
#15 CloudIQ: AIOps for Intelligent IT Infrastructure Insights
#16 Cyber Resilient Security in Dell PowerEdge Servers
- Dell server management portfolio: OpenManage microsite
- API catalog (interactive support resource): Dell Technologies Developer
- Ansible Python PowerShell module library and code examples: Dell Technologies GitHub
- Dell systems management offerings: Dell Systems Management Overview Guide