How to install and configure Dell OpenManage Integration for vCenter v4

If you would like to know why I like this tool so much, check out this article. This is an important tool if you have Dell servers.

Upgrades from 3.x to 4.x

There is no upgrade from 3.x. However, you can turn off the old v3 appliance, and deploy the new v4.x version, and use the same IP address with it, and after it is running you can restore from a v3.x backup. For this to be successful ONLY turn off the old appliance and do not delete it or unregister it.

Once you have restored, run the inventory again to make sure things are good.

Installing OpenManage for vCenter

Things to gather before you start

  • If you are using 12th Generation servers (like R720 or later) 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. In fact using the VUM depot and VIB mentioned in that article allowed me to connect to older generation servers.
  • 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.
  • Have your license XML file hand.  It may have shown up as a zip so extract it to the .xml file.  If you have no license you have a 90 day free trial.
  • The documentation for 4.0 is here. I had some trouble access the PDFs from that link but I suspect it will be fixed soon.
  • 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.

extract

  • 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.
  • Of note, there is no longer any vSphere Client (C#) support as of this release.
  • BTW, I am using vSphere 6.5, and OpenManage 4.0, and Dell R730 hardware.

Deploy Appliance

You deploy the appliance as per normal.  However be aware that you do not set password or network info during the deployment. The boot process talks a fair bit of time.  It is a little interesting and I think it even uses SELinux.  This is like a build process or first boot, and after it CentOS boots.  This takes a while.  There second or third boot is much quicker.

After you have deployed the VM you access the VM console and set the password, and you then are at a config screen.  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 Date / Time, Network Configuraiton, and Change Hostname, you should use the option Reboot Appliance. 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 svcdom but use whatever yours is and use the format of domain\user.

regnewvc

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 confirm 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.

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.  Doing updates is pretty easy and you can find out how here .

update

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 SMB 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.

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

The appliance is now configured and we are ready to move on.

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.

newconnection

There is some important things to understand on this form.  Note in the iDRAC Credential section I am not using AD but I have the iDRAC root account specified, and a password defined?

On the next screen you select your Dell hosts.  In my case my whole Gold cluster is Dell hosts.

This next screen allows you to test the credentials before you continue.  You can see below in the screenshot what the screen looks like.  If you are using vSphere 6.5 like I am, then you need to use the button below labeled 1, before you do the test using button 2.  You can skip this on earlier than 6.5. I used button 1 on each line, before I did button 2 on each line.  Very worth doing this before you move on. If there are problems you can deal with them right away!

connect

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. You can find all of the Dell OpenManage technical articles using this tag.

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

Updates:

  • 6/27/17 – am updating the Dell OM appliance from 4.0 to 4.0.1.1503 with hope it helps. Go through the config wizard after this.  I didn’t at first and there was some issues. So to avoid that, run the config wizard.
  • 6/27/17 – starting to see a trend of issues with patching firmware with this tool.  For the second patch cycle time, I can only do firmware on one machine at a time.  And I need to use the un-recommanded choice of reboot without maintenance mode.  Which of course, I make sure the host is in MM before I start the job.  Plus I just had to do 3 patch jobs (and restarts) on a single host.  Not impressed.
  • 3/5/17 – added clarity around testing connections.
  • 3/5/17 – first release.

Michael

=== END ===

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