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Installing Dell OpenManage on ESXi 4

One of the advantages ESX had over ESXi was the ability to install Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator software in the service console. While reading the VMware ESXi Chronicles blog I came across the following, which made wonder how I was going to manage an ESXi host.

“In the future, ESXi’s superior architecture will be the exclusive focus of VMware’s development efforts.”

Without OpenManage if a drive in the RAID array fails I would need to reboot and use the PERC firmware to initiate the rebuild.

VMware has responded by making it easy for OEMs to add vendor-specific CIM providers to ESXi 4. These CIM providers allow remote applications to communicate with the host.

By installing the OpenManage VIB for ESXi 4, you can now use a remote machine with OpenManage Web Server installed to communicate with the ESXi OpenManage VIB.

The easiest way to do this is with the VMware Management Assistant. You will need to download and deploy this to a 64bit ESX/ESXi host. Upon first boot VMA will walk you through configuring the appliance’s settings. Once setup use the vihostupdate command to install the OpenManage VIB.

vihostupdate --server esxhost --username root --password yourpassword -i -b oem-dell-openmanage-esxi_6.1-0000.zip

ESXi has two boot banks so you can rollback in case of an update failure so you will need to reboot for the update to be loaded. Once ESXi comes back up open the vSphere client as you need to enable OEM CIM providers.

  1. Choose the Configuration tab on the host
  2. Click Advanced Settings under the Software section
  3. In the dialog that appears click “UserVars” on the left
  4. Change the value of CIMOEMProvidersEnabled to 1
  5. Click OK

From here if you have access to the ESXi console hit and select Restart Management Agents. Otherwise you will need to reboot the host again.

Now all that is left is to install OpenManage Server Administrator 6.1.0 on a Windows or Linux server. After the install completes open a browser to https://yourserver:1311/ and enter the host, username, and password for the ESXi 4 host. You will be greeted with the familiar OpenManage Server Administrator WebGUI.

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  1. roman
    October 16th, 2010 at 16:51 | #1

    How do I activate alerts in OpenManage for ESXi?

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