I am currently working on a fully new homelab environment running on Dell Poweredge hardware and considered the implementation of a plugin into my VMware vCenter server. Looking into other solutions it shows, in my opinion, that there is no software/hardware which is as tightly cooperating as Dell and VMware with their products and the OpenManage Integration für VMware vCenter.
The biggest benefit of the Dell OpenManage plugin is that you won’t need another tool or interface to manage the hardware running in your VMware cluster because it’s designed to streamline the processes by allowing you to use the VMware vCenter Server to fully manage the physical and virtual infrastructure!
A few of the benefits and features:
- Monitoring PowerEdge hardware in VMware vCenter Host and Cluster view
- Managing firmware through integrated Wizard alongside vSphere Lifecycle Manager
- Schedule and deploy firmware stack updates for PowerEdge servers directly within vCenter
- Deep level hardware detail and full inventory information for PowerEdge servers and chassis
- Pull hardware alerts into vCenter Server and allow for notifications
Full list of features is linked here!
The installation if this *.ova is quite simple. First you’ll need to download the files and extract it for later import into your environment. Won’t explain how to import ova-files, look here or here.
Compatibility matrix ( source Dell ):
After importing the ova into the environment you’ll need to start it and open the remote console to get access. The first login using the username “admin” will prompt for a password to create for the admin and read-only user. The next step will bring up a GUI to configure time and network settings.
After the initial setup on the remote console you’ll be able to access the web site using https://your-omivv-server-fqdn/ and login using your newly created admin password. Next step is to connect the vCenter Server with the OMIVV appliance.
After the registration it shows up on the vCenter Server panel.
The whole setup and installation instructions are located at the Dell Technologies Knowledgebase as PDF or website. More documents and handbooks available here.
Prepare hosts for use with OMIVV and create profile
As the plugin will need to collect hardware and system information you’ll need to provide:
- Credentials for ESXi hosts
- Credentials for integrated Dell Remote Access Controller ( iDRAC )
If not already started you’ll need to enable the CIM agent on your host to allow hardware inventory collection. The CIM (Common Information Model) is provided to monitor the system health. To enable the agent run this command on your host ( VMware KB1025757 ):
esxcli system wbem set –enable true
In the OpenManage Plugin Dashboard open the “Initial Configuration Wizard” to create a host profile, bind the needed credentials to it and define settings to when to pull the data from your hosts.
OMIVV Plugin Initial Setup Wizard Start:
Select your registered vCenter Server instance.
Click on “Create Host Credentials Profile” and insert the needed credentials as mentioned earlier.
Enable the inventory and warranty schedule and set up events and alarms.
Edit settings in the OMIVV dashboard
Schedule settings may be edited later in the dashboard as well:
Don’t forget to enable the warranty expiration notification in the dashboard:
Start collection and view inventory
If you can’t wait to collect the information you may want to run the collection directly through the dashboard. Select the vCenter at “Jobs – Inventory – Host Inventory” and hit the blue “Run Now” button.
Done right you’ll be able to see a new option at the “Monitor” tab in Cluster as well as the hosts.
Under the “Firmware” tab in the OpenManage plugin is an option to start the Firmware wizard. This enables you to define specific firmware version and schedule installations just like host updates using the vLCM!
Update host firmware using OMIVV wizard
Start the Firmware Wizard:Selecting the appropriate repository and bundle:
Select components to update:
Define schedule settings:
Review and finish the wizard:
Update OMIVV appliance
In the dashboard select the “Settings” page and click on “Start Admin Console” which will open a new tab with the management interface of the OMIVV appliance itself and login using the appropriate credentials.
Select the “Appliance Management” and check for update information.
Click on “Update Virtual Appliance”, review the details and start the update process.
I want to share my personal view and opinion on this very underrated plugin. Screenshot details were altered. Don’t forget to review license details and how to buy. It is easy to set up and has a huge benefit on a daily basis. No need to switch between different panels or tools. Export of information into *.csv available. And many more…
For a full list of features and even more details on what is accomplishable view following links:
Dell Technologies OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter
Getting Started with OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter
OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter Features
OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter – Manuals Version 5.2
OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter – Manuals Other Versions
OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter – Downloads