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HOWTO: Fix Dell Lifecycle Controller Update issues

September 29, 2014 2 comments

Let’s say you’re in the middle of upgrading some Dell 11g hosts. They all have iDRAC 6 and Lifecycle Controllers, and you’ve downloaded the latest SUU DVD for this quarter. Then you want to update everything. You reboot the host, you press F10 to enter the LCC, you tell it to use the Virtual Media mounted SUU DVD ISO that it recognizes, it finds your updates, and you say go… only to get this:

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Uh. So who authorizes them, because this is from a Dell SUU DVD, that’s about as good as I can get.

Turns out, I’m not the first person to have this problem, though it’s an older issue:

http://www.sysarchitects.com/solved-updates-you-are-trying-apply-are-not-dell-authorized-updates

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/177/t/19475476

http://frednotes.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/the-updates-you-are-trying-to-apply-are-not-dell-authorized-updates/

It looks like the issue is that the LCC is at 1.4.0.586 currently – and needs to be 1.5.2 or better. 1.6.5.12 is current as of my SUU DVD, as you can see above. The other problem, is that Dell provides updates “in OS” for Linux and Windows – which doesn’t really help ESXi hosts at all. Seems the solution for this is a “OMSA Live CD” which I’ve never heard of until today. This can be found at: http://linux.dell.com/files/openmanage-contributions/om74-firmware-live/ and really good instructions on its use at: http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2014/03/20/centos-based-firmware-images-with-om-7-4-with-pxe

Now, the other alternative should have been to mount the SUU ISO as Virtual Media ISO and boot from it. But for whatever reason, this isn’t working and after selecting it, it just boots the HDD. I’m assuming, this is because the firmware on the iDRAC/LCC is too old and having some issues booting the ISO. That’s fine. I didn’t troubleshoot it too much after it failed 3 times in a row. I dislike hardware reboots that take 10 minutes, which is why I like VM’s, so I went looking for an alternative solution, and was happy with it.

When the system boots from the OM74 Live CD, it will auto-launch the update GUI:

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Right now, you only need to do the Dell Lifecycle Controller. You could of course do more, but the point for me is to get the LCC working, then move back to doing the updates via that interface. So we’ll ONLY do the one update from here.

Click UPDATE FIRMWARE, and then:

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Click UPDATE NOW in the upper left corner. You can see the STATUS DESCRIPTION showing it is being updated.

When the update is complete, you can then reboot the system and retry using the Unified System Configurator/Lifecycle Controller to complete the rest of your updates. (HOWTO- Using Dell iDRAC 7 Lifecycle Controller 2 to update Dell PowerEdge R420, R620, and R720 s would be a good place to look)

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Dell VMware Related Updates for 2014Q1

March 17, 2014 Leave a comment

As you know, I both work for a Dell shop and have some Dell servers at home.  Also, VMware recently release vSphere v5.5.0 U1.   As such, it’s a good time to go and check for vendor updates and support.

If you go to the Dell Support site and choose a common server – such as the PowerEdge R720, and choose VMware vSphere v5.5 from the OS list and 0-90 from the Release Date list, you’ll get the following results:

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/Product/poweredge-r720

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As you can see, we have 19 relevant updates.  The ones you most likely care about are:

Dell OpenManageServer Administrator vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB) for ESXi 5.5, V7.4
Useful if you want to have OMSA working on the host (see my other post about updating this)

Dell OpenManage MIBs for PowerEdge,v7.4
If you update to OMSA VIB v7.4, any SNMP monitoring you’re doing may require MIB updates.

Dell OpenManage Essentials 1.3
If you’re using Dell OME, update to v1.3.  Specifically this adds:

  • Windows 2012 R2 support for the Management Station
  • Support for “Dell OEM Servers” (C6100/C2100?  One can only hope!)
  • Support for OpenManage Mobile, an Android app to connect to OME and iDRAC consoles (I’ll have to find my Tab 7…)

VMware ESXi 5.5 Image

This is the Dell Customized ESXi v5.5 Build #1331820 ISO.  Note that this is NOT v5.5.0 U1 at this time. 

Note that there really aren’t any updates for the C6100/C2100 other than:

Dell Support Live Image Version 2.0
Which might come in handy when troubleshooting.

Good luck, and see you in another 3 months!

HOWTO: Dell OMSA v7.4 VIB updates for ESXi via vSphere Update Manager (VUM)

March 17, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m sure that I’ve covered this before, but maybe it a similar post on my blog: https://vnetwise.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/dell-omsa-v7-0-is-out-for-esxi-v5-0u1/

Dell Open Manage System Administrator (OMSA) is the tool installed on ESXi to allow access to the system directly vs via the iDRAC. As ESXi is neither Linux or Windows, it requires VIB’s to install software created by certified partners of VMware. This will cover the process to get the new update installed and available to update hosts during the next maintenance window.

1) Download the latest OMSA VIB – v7.4 for ESXi v5.5. This can be found at: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails/Product/poweredge-r720?driverId=YCYN1&osCode=XI55&fileId=3351566865&languageCode=EN&categoryId=SM

2) Open the vSphere Client and browse to HOME -> SOLUTIONS AND APPLICATIONS -> UPDATE MANAGER.

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3) Click on the PATCH REPOSITORY tab and then click IMPORT PATCHES on the upper right corner:

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4) Select the OMSA v7.4 file you downloaded in Step 1:

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Click NEXT

5) When the file is finished importing, click FINISH.

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6) Click FINISH to confirm the import:

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7) Click on the BASELINES AND GROUPS tab:

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You can see previous “Dell OMSA v7.x.x” baselines we’ve created. We’re going to create a new one for v7.4.0 so click CREATE.

8) Name your baseline “Dell OMSA v7.4.0” and ensure you select “HOST EXTENTION”:

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Click NEXT.

9) Type “openmanage” in the search box and sort by Release Date:

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Select your option and click the DOWN ARROW to add it to the lower EXTENTIONS TO ADD window. Click NEXT.

10) Click FINISH on the READY TO COMPLETE screen:

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11) Next, on the right hand side of the BASELINES AND GROUPS tab, expand your Baseline Group (you should always have created one – that would be another topic).

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Note that if you select the pre-existing DELL OMSA v7.3.0.2 the <- arrow turns green so you can remove it. Do so. Then select DELL OMSA v7.4.0 and click the -> right arrow.

12) Note that your Baseline Group is now updated:

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13) Click the COMPLIANCE VIEW link in the upper right hand corner.

14) Click SCAN in the upper right corner to scan your hosts for upgrades, patches, and extentions.

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15) Check box boxes and click SCAN.

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16) Let your SCAN complete:

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17) Once the scan is complete, you’ll see your list of hosts now show the EXTENTIONS column as “non-compliant”:

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At this point, the next time your have a maintenance window, you can simply click REMEDIATE and choose the BASELINE GROUP. If you have vSphere Patches, ESXi Upgrades (eg: v5.5.0b to v5.5.0 U1), or Extensions (eg: OMSA VIB’s), all 3 will happen automatically in sequence as or if required.

Configuring OMSA v7.0.0 on ESXi v5.0 for use with Dell OME

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

In a previous post (https://vnetwise.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/dell-omsa-v7-0-is-out-for-esxi-v5-0u1/) I had indicated that the OMSA v7.0.0 VIB’s were out, and how to install them.  While this will certainly get you to a usable OMSA web page (via a proxy install with the full OMSA Web server installation), it is not terribly useful beyond an interactive experience.

As I’ve been working on getting my Dell Open Manage Essentials (OME) installation working, I was running into some errors:

  • Inability to discover/scan/inventory ESXi systems
  • If I was able to discover them, they were being mis-classified.

Working through the issues, I determined:

1) You need to configure SNMP on ESXi.

I found this post – http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/177/t/19442142.aspx which led me into the right direction.  The critical portions here are:

  • Ensure you have the vSphere CLI installed.  This is a good idea anyway, and reminded me that I didn’t have it on my management station.
  • Make sure you configure SNMP on each host.  The commands below use the root username and password to configure COMMUNITY=”nw_public”, TRAP DESTINATION of 10.0.0.14 (my OME server) and community of “nw_public” and then actually enables the configuration.  Repeat below for each host in your environment.
    • vicfg-snmp.pl –server nw-esxi1 –username root –password <password> -c nw_public
    • vicfg-snmp.pl –server nw-esxi1 –username root –password <password> -t 10.0.0.14@161/nw_public
    • vicfg-snmp.pl –server nw-esxi1 –username root –password <password> –E

After this, I was still getting hung up on authentication.  Seems that ESXi uses something called WS-MAN, which is not IPMI, SNMP, etc.  So a little digging brought be to a Dell TechCenter post (http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/f/4494/t/19436722.aspx) where a poster indicated the settings he used with success:

In the OME Discovery Wizard:

  • populated the single IP address of my ESXi Server’s management network (I used my management network range…)
  • checked enable WS-Man Discovery
  • populated User ID, and Password
  • Checked Secure Mode, and Trusted Site
  • Left all others default, including the SNMP Config (on)

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It took me a bit to confirm that the WS-MAN credentials should be the root login for ESXi.  This was my assumption, but until I was able to use the troubleshooting tool to verify, I couldn’t be sure.

As you can see, I’m now able to see properly classified ESXi hosts in Dell OME:

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I am not, however, showing any Service Tags, Warranty info, etc.  I’ll continue to work with it:

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What I do find a little frustrating, and similar to IT Assistant is that it classifies non-OMSA instrumented devices as “Unknown”.  I understand why, and there is an option in OME to only detect instrumented devices.  But I don’t think it would be that hard to determine that the scanned system is Windows Server 2008 R2, etc.  Also there is a category for “Microsoft Virtualization Servers” – why not provide the same for vSphere?  Better yet, because of the instrumentation and inventory it knows which “Unknown” systems are living on which vSphere host as a VM – why not nest them under the appropriate vSphere ESXi host?

Ultimately, I understand that Dell OME is only really intended to monitor and inventory Dell hardware devices.  There is no particular need to identify other non-Dell servers, as my goal with OME is to push out firmware/BIOS/driver updates, and be notified of hardware failures, etc.  At at that much, I think I have that working so far.

Another thing that is frustrating – Dell indicates that they won’t have the ability to push updates to ESXi until Q3/Q4 of 2012.  I understand that ESXi has bigger challenges given the lack of service console to install things into, or run the normal Linux based bundle updates.  But ESXi itself isn’t new.  Even if this was just a v5.x thing, I was on the beta team and I’m just ‘a little guy’.  Why wasn’t Dell ready out of the gate with OMSA/OME complaint VIB’s, etc?  You’d think a vendor as large as Dell, with partnerships with VMware, would have been ready on release date.  But that’s a rant for another day…..

Categories: Dell, ESXi, OMSA, SNMP, WS-MAN

Setting Windows SNMP parameters via GPO

May 12, 2012 2 comments

Recently, while working on a Dell Open Manage Essentials (OME – the replacement for Dell IT Assistant) installation, I found myself wishing there was a way to set SNMP parameters via GPO.  Over time I’ve found that usually these parameters only get set during first time installation, if at all.  They certainly don’t often get updated.

A little digging found me another post about it – http://www.lucidsolutionsgroup.com/blog/bid/65800/How-To-Configure-SNMP-Settings-With-Group-Policy

I can’t possibly lay claim to it.  But I did have to do a face-palm at how simple it was, and how I overlooked the Registry settings option of GPO’s.  Now that I’ve found it, and tested it, and found it to work, I suspect I’ll need to go through various other scripts I have and see if I can’t find a better way to keep my other tasks up to date.

There is of course a catch – isn’t there always.  You need to have 2008 Domain Controllers.  At least one place where I would like to use this, is in a 2003 based domain to be migrated, and clearly – it won’t work there.

Categories: AD, GPO, OMSA, SNMP

Dell OMSA v7.0 is out for ESXi v5.0U1!

April 23, 2012 5 comments

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/555/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats?DriverId=VPTVV

Fresh as of 4/18/2012.  Required if you are using ESXi v5.0U1 and OME v1.x (which I now am).

For those who haven’t done this before, a quick summary:

  • OMSA for ESXi without the console is installed as Host Extension via a VIB, provided by Dell.  The above link will provide you a ZIP file – and the actual Host Extension is a zip file within that ZIP.
  • In the vSphere client, click on View –> Solutions and Applications –> Update Manage
  • Click on the Patch Repository tab:
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  • Click on Import Patches.  Browse and select the unzipped file provided by Dell:
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  • Click Next and let it import the patch.  Click Finish
  • Click on the Baselines and Groups tab.  Click on Create
  • Name your Baseline – something like “OMSA v7.0.0” would be appropriate.  Ensure you select the radio box for “Host Extension” vs. the default of Host Patch.
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    Click Next
  • Select the OpenManage 7.0.0 for ESXi and use the down arrow to add it to the Extentions to Add window.
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    Click Next twice.
  • In Update Manager, click on Compliance View on the top right hand corner:
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  • At this point, you still will not see the new Baseline – you will need to ATTACH the baseline:
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    Click Attach in the top right hand corner
  • Select your new baseline, and click Attach:
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  • You will now see the baseline and your hosts, as well as current compliance:
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    You can now Scan, Stage and Remediate just like any patch, only with one quick extra:
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    When you click Remediate, you’re going to want to select “Host Extension” vs “Patch Baseline” and select your newly created OMSA v7.0.0 Host Extension Baseline.
Categories: Dell, ESXi, OMSA, Uncategorized, vSphere