How to Install and Configure Dell’s OpenManage Integration for vCenter v3.x

Important Note – I was updating this for v3 of the OM tool, and I cannot make it work with vCenter 5.5 U3a.  I do not see U3 or U3a in their compatibility list so that may explain it.  Much of the article has in fact been updated but it has not been finished due to this issue.  I will keep an eye on it, and try and make it work, and will update this as I learn. Update – version 3, 3.1 of OM works with U3 and 6.0.

This is a wonderful tool that I last used as a plug-in for the vSphere Client.  This is the first time using it in the vSphere Web Client and of course I am impressed.  I have talked to a number of people who have worked for Dell and while they know of it, they have not seen it.  So I figured it is a good idea to have an install / configure post on getting this great tool working.  The prices on it have dropped seriously as well – I paid around 450 US$ for a 3 year subscription for four hosts.  But I thought before the install / configure I would talk about why.

Installing OpenManage for vCenter

Things to gather before you start

  • If you are using 12th Generation servers (like R720) you do not have to install the OpenManage VIB first as it will be install automatically.  If you are using 11th Gen servers like the R710, or older you can use OpenManage (OM) to install the VIB I am told.  Not sure how however – although this may help. Update – using the VUM depot and VIB mentioned in that article allowed me to connect to older generation servers – but not all of them.  Still investigating that.
  • Make sure your iDRAC are all configured and you have the credentials for them.
  • You need an IP address and DNS entry.  Do the DNS entry before installing as I think it saves on watching a few error messages.
  • Service account for vC connectivity.  It should be a member of Domain Users, and a vC admin level account.
  • It looks like for 5 hosts or less there is no license or license file.  This was confusing for me as I found a bunch of conflicting information on this subject and finally had to install to confirm!  Update: not right, maybe 1 or 2 free.  Confusing. Update: nothing free but 90 day trial.
  • The documentation for 3.1 is here (3.0 is here 2.1 here and for 2.3 here).
  • You do need the bits – which you will normally download via a link in the email after your purchase but you can download from here too.  Note – when I bought the license info email was sent to someone else in the company that bought something from Dell a long time ago.  When you get the bits you will need to extract them to find the .ovf / .vmdk files.  See below what you are extracting down to.  BTW, the Dell_OpenManage_Integration.exe file – seen below – needs to be run to extract everything you see below.  It extracts to the same folder it executes in.

FilesExtracted

  • Here is a link to a central point of info on OpenManage.  This is a major useful link and is very useful!  Documentation, bits, and videos.  Plus more.

Deploy Appliance

You would deploy the appliance as per normal.  However be aware that you do not set password or network info during the deployment.  I was so surprised, I did it twice!  The documentation was not always exactly what I needed!  After you have deployed the VM you access the VM console and set the password and network info – see below for the main screen you see after logging in (as admin on console with no password) and changing the password for the admin account.

ConsoleConfig

Once you have finished with Time Zone, network, and likely Hostname too you should log out.  You will be told to access a particular URL but ignore that. If you forget to do DNS, you will have troubles registering your vCenter.  The error will be about not being able to contact, or certificate errors.  After you add DNS info, you will need to reboot the appliance.

Configure Appliance

Once logged in at HTTPS://FQDN you will need to do a couple of things.  When you log in the first time you will see something like below.

configure1

  • The first thing we will do is to configure the OM to vC connection.  Use the Register New vCenter Server button to start this process.
  • You will see a dialog like below you will need to fill in.  My service account is svcom but use whatever yours is. Update: as of later versions you need to do domain\user_name.

Configure2vCReg

Once this is done, and the Register process works, you should see something like below.

Configure3vCRegSuccess

Notice at the bottom of the screen where you can see my license info?  That is with no license applied.  I add my license (you can see the Upload License in the screenshot), and after a day or two, and after my inventory is being scanned by OM, this screen looks a little different.

LicenseInUse

Now you can see that my four hosts are using up licenses.

We need to configure NTP now so select Appliance Management in the list in the top left corner of the screen  – it is likely already done, but just in case you can do it here.  After you do that, and scroll down the new screen you will see NTP Settings and will be able to configure it.  You may have done this in the console already.

ConfigAppManNTP

BTW, at the top of the Appliance Management screen you can do pretty easy upgrades.  I have pointed at the Update version info, and the update button in the screenshot below.  I will do an article about upgrades the next time I do an upgrade (here it is).

updates

The next section is Alert Management and normally I do not make any changes there until after I have had things running for a while and actually know why I would make a change.

We do need to make changes in Backup and Restore. I do suggest you setup a CIFS share that the appliance can access and do a backup too.  I use the same service account I use to connect to vC to secure the folder that the appliance will backup to.  See what the configuration looks like when it is done (Note: I had troubles with the URL for my backup location below when I used a capital D for Dell.  When I changed it both in Windows and the URL to a small d it worked fine.)

bu

You can see I setup the schedule backups too.  This is particularly important as you use OM more and have more and more configuration that you don’t want to lose.  Also note that I tested things?  Important to do that.  BTW, the location where you specify the backups to be written too will look like below once you have some backups.  One very nice improvement I appreciate, which I think came out in 3.0 is the ability to do a manual backup but use the settings that you have configured and not have to type them in again!

OM backup location

OM backup location

The appliance is now configured and we are ready to move forward!

Configuration in vSphere Web Client

We have some interesting things to do in the Web Client now.  Lets get started!

  • Log out of your vSphere Web Client and log back in.
  • When you log back in you should see a new icon in the Home page.

vSphereWebClient1

See it in the bottom row on the right?  You need to click on it now and you will see a popup about the initial setup.

vwcinitial2

This starts a wizard to help you get things configured.

The first screen is just a welcome screen but I suggest you also check and enable the Do Not show the Configuration Wizard again as that will be irritating and you can always start it again.

Starting to work through the Initial Config Wizard

Starting to work through the Initial Config Wizard

After you press Next you will see the next screen.

icw2

You should see your vC already selected.  After Next you will see an informational screen which is followed by a Connection Profile screen.  When it is filled in it will look something like below.

icw3

There is some important things to understand on this form.  Note in the iDRAC Credential section I am not using AD but I have a blank user name and yet a password defined?  That password is for the root account in my iDRACs.

Update: while the above was true for the version of Dell used in this article, in a later version – 2.1.0.23 you need to put root in the account info above.

As well, the Host Root section is similar.  See below for that example.

icw4

For the root account on the hosts you need the password as well.  On the next screen you select your Dell hosts.  In my case my whole Gold cluster is Dell hosts.

Update: as of – I believe 2.1.0.23 there was an additional screen added to the wizard.  This screen allows you to test the credentials before you continue.  You can see below in the screenshot the screen and the button to use to test.

Test your iDRAC and ESXi credentials

Test your iDRAC and ESXi credentials

icw5

The next screen just confirms information.  On the next screen however you need to enable and configure Inventory Data retrieval.  This is important.  Check out what mine looks like.

icw7

The next screen is about configuring Warranty Data retrieval. I do not think it needs to be done often at all.  See how I configured mine below.

icw8

The next screen is Events and Alarms and I do not make any changes there at this time.  I do later on after I am more familiar with how things work with this product.

icw9

When you are finished with this wizard you will see something like below.

icw10

The configuration is now finished!  We need to wait until the Inventory and Warranty details are retrieved but at least things are ready now.

Tour Time

So some time has passed, enough so my Inventory retrieval has run.  Lets go look.  You should see something at the Cluster level, and on Monitor / Dell Cluster Information.  Like below.

Tour1

Or if you change to the Firmware option you will see something like below.

Tour2

There you have it.  Things are good.  You now have OM installed and can see a lot more info on your Dell servers and you can now start doing other things like firmware updates without an outage – which I will show you how in a new article soon.

Have a great day – and don’t forget questions or comments are welcome!

Updates:

  • 8/17/16 – updated this after testing the referenced article in supporting older hardware.  It worked on one but not the other.   So curious!
  • 8/11/16 – update for using this with 3.1, updated links for 3.1, making some of the screenshots bigger and misc cleanup.
  • 11/4/15 – started to updated and got a lot done before I discovered that it appears vSphere vCenter 5.5 U3 or U3a is not supported.  Cannot make OM visible in the vSphere Web Client.  And who would NOT use U3a with that amazing CIP fix in it!?  Will update as I learn.
  • 5/13/15 1714 – more on 2.3 – just making things more clear.
  • 4/2/15 1019 – more on the 2.30 release.  Nothing major but just cleaning it up.
  • 4/1/15 1628 – updated for the 2.30 release.
  • 3/31/15 1925 – found this handy link for things OMVV.
  • 1/27/15 – added a note about that even as current as 2.1.0.23 you will not see your day or time when you set a schedule to do a BU but it will work.
  • 1/27/15 – added a note that as of 2.1.0.23 you need to specify the root account in the connection profile and not leave it blank.
  • 1/27/15 – added a screenshot to cover off credential testing in the initial config wizard that was added in – I think – 2.1.0.23.

Michael

=== END ===

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Posted in Dell, How To
11 comments on “How to Install and Configure Dell’s OpenManage Integration for vCenter v3.x
  1. Robert says:

    How did you set the backup time (HH:mm)? I always get “You must enter a time of backup in the valid 24 hour time format (HH:mm)”. I tried with 18:00, 06:00, 6:00, 6:01 and none of them is accepted in version 2.2.

    Any idea?

    • Hi there,

      I just tried it again, in the current version and one back and no luck. So I think I did it some time back and since then it has broken. I will try and raise a support case when I have time. Thanks for mentioning this!

      Michael

  2. asdasd says:

    Did you have to configure firewall rules or anything to be able to connect to the vcenter?
    The documentation is … well it is missleading specially when it comes to firewalling and such…

    • I had to do no firewall stuff. I will be doing another install this coming week of this tool, and I will reconfirm all my info and see how it goes and update my article as necessary.

      Michael

  3. asdasd says:

    Another stupid question:

    Have you defined hosts with the hostnames inside vsphere to resolve to iDRAC? I am currently having trouble configuring profiles as the hostnames i defined do not match the FQDN for the iDRAC and it seems that there is no option to configure an alternative hostname, therefor the test to see if the profile with the config fails.

    I am i missing something?

  4. forbsy says:

    I successfully register the plugin to vCenter, but it doesn’t show up in the Web Client. When I went into the thick client and opened Plug-In Manager, I see it’s there with a familiar download plugin link. I click on the link and it never gets past 0%. Eventually, it times out and says “An internal error occurred in the vSphere Client. Details: The underlying connection was closed. An unexpected error occurred on a send.”
    Not sure how to resolve this…vCenter and the Dell Management server are on the same subnet.

  5. forbsy says:

    Actually, I did get it to install the plugin. Now, it errors out in the thick client (error #2048) and doesn’t even appear in the Web Client. I’m wondering if it’s supported with vCenter 6.0U1?

    • I have not seen this exact error with Dell but I have with other products. First make sure DNS is healthy for the Dell appliance. that means short, long, forward and reverse. Also, after that unregister Dell, and register it again.

      After all that I would say you need to call support if it doesn’t work. Be patient with them as it might take a bit to find the right group, and then the right guy. If you need to call them, and they do solve it please let me know.

      Michael

  6. Olivier says:

    Hi there,

    We just tried to use OpenManage Integration on our Dell R720, to upgrade what has to be.
    The check tell us that some firmwares have to be upgraded.
    We apply the the “To be upgraded” for some firmwares. Dell ftp is reachable. Download
    seems to be Ok on Dell Appliance.

    But after, here is the issue :

    ERROR,05/01/2016 13:24:42 (GMT+1),”[Firmware Update] Fichier : Network_Firmware_PX6V4_WN32_7.12.17.EXE, Condition : échoué, iDRAC : 10.20.6.36, Hôte prod36.esx.cric.xxxxxxxx.fr,
    Actions de résolution recommandées : iDRAC –
    1. Verify that the path to the share is correct and that the parameters to the call are correct.
    2. Verify that there are no network connectivity issues.
    3. Verify that the mount point exists.”

    ERROR,05/01/2016 13:24:42 (GMT+1),[Firmware Update] File: Network_Firmware_PX6V4_WN32_7.12.17.EXE – Status: Failed – Message: iDRAC – The remote share location that has the ISO/DUP image did not mount correctly.

    Our OpenManageIntegration serveur is at : 10.20.8.19
    Orders to upgrade from 10.20.8.19 to 10.20.6.36 are received well
    Any idea where to check ?
    Issue about ftp between 10.20.8.19 and 10.20.6.36 ?

    Thx for your help

    BR
    Olivier

    • Olivier,
      This seems very odd to me. It does mention about a remote share that did not mount properly. That seems to be a clue but I am not sure what. I often do as you do and it works. I would say you need to talk to support. Sorry not more help. I would love to hear what you learn from them.

      Michael

  7. Olivier says:

    Hi Michael.
    It seems (to be confirmed) that the VM with OpenManage Integration can’t see yet some other VMs which need to be reachable thru the lan (pb with all existing VLANs).
    We’ll see after some modifications, i’ll tell you what about.

    Thx
    BR

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