This chat will focus on scripting OMCI. After installing OMCI, you can programmatically manage properties of OMCI. For example, you can change the BIOS admin password, change the boot order, disable desktop message alerts, and more.

The Dell OpenManage Client Instrumentation (OMCI) software enables remote management application programs to access information about the client system, monitor the status of the client system, or change the state of the system, such as shutting it down remotely. OMCI exposes, through standard interfaces, key system parameters that allow administrators to manage, inventory, monitor the system health of, and gather information on deployed Dell client systems.

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Chat Transcript

DELL-ScottH Getting excited for VMworld?
depping Yes, I am; will be a lot of fun, but also hard work I guess
DELL-ScottH Yeah, 100 percent work and play, no time to sleep—that's how I always attack VMworld :-) Was just starting to use twitter at the last one in the states—this year will be nuts
depping I guess it will be the same for me. I hope I do have the time to meet up with some people
esloof Hoi Duncan
DELL-ScottH The VMware dream team in the house :-)
esloof Wat een enorme file vandaag vanaf Amsterdam, ik heb er ruim twee uur over gedaan
depping Hehe, VMware is taking over the Dell chat
cshanklin esloof and depping? The standards of this forum have really dropped; they let anyone in these days
DELL-ScottH I should just start having Tweet chat ups :-)
woookash Seems that everyone knows each other here :p
depping I've been on most chats the last six months. Carter, where were you?
DELL-ScottH Always room for more!
cshanklin I was incognito
DELL-ScottH He's been busy playing with PowerPoint and Microsoft Paint :-)
cshanklin Not true, I got Paint.net. It's like stepping into the bronze age
depping Hehe
DELL-ScottH Hey Roger
depping Zeker een file Eric, man man man. Ik kwam uit alkmaar... drama. So do you guys understand Dutch? ;-)
depping You Dell guys should discuss a naming convention!
DELL-ScottH Hey, English only at the tables :-)
cshanklin Certainly a traffic-jam, Eric, man man man. I ended up but…drama
depping Hehe, Google Translates works great
DELL-ScottH Naming for which products?
esloof Carter, you’re really speaking Dutch great
woookash For nicknames I guess :p
depping Naming of chat nicks
DELL-ScottH Ah, but that takes out all the fun
cshanklin I tried to learn a few Dutch words at one point, I gave up almost immediately. Too hard.
depping It's not that hard, even my 3-year-old kid can speak Dutch without a problem ;-)
DELL-ScottH When I used to travel a bunch I would put phrases on 3x5 cards with English/foreign on both sides and was enough to get me around town
woookash Any chance of asking a tech question to you guys? Seems that you know a lot about virtualization
DELL-ScottH They always seem to have beer and bathroom on them :-)
DELL-ScottH Ask away
woookash Well, it's not about machine virtualization, but about application virtualization
DELL-ScottH Carter (cshanklin) invented it
cshanklin Beer or virtualization (I'm practicing for VMworld Europe)
woookash We're having a lot of issues because of Web sites using Java; we're a financial company and our users have to frequently use Web sites from various banks, with various JRE versions
DELL-ScottH Ah, sounds like you need to encapsulates applications and present them to the desktop
woookash And of course Windows *** at handling that
woookash Jep, something like that sounds great
DELL-ScottH Hello Brian, Paul, Nathan, Angie
BrianMason How-d
woookash Any suggestion of directions to look at for that?
angie_dell ::big grin
DELL_Nathan Hello
esloof Okay, here’s a question for the Dell guru’s: how is ESXi 3 embedded in a Dell server? Are you still using the motherboard USB stick?
DELL-ScottH So who wants to take a quick stab at woookash’s question? Many opinions I bet…
DELL-ScottH Hey vmdoug
DELL-ScottH FYI, use Action, Recent Room History to catch up
DELL-ScottH @esloof, yes—and no
depping I'm most definitely not an application virtualization guy
VMDoug Hey Scott! I finally got the chat, I think, working now that I'm running a Dell laptop (on Firefox)
DELL-ScottH Congrats on the Dell Latitude E; nice box. Wish I had one
cshanklin Woookash, you should look at ThinApp—I'm not sure it can do what you want; it's more about bundling traditional applications
depping Hard part would be getting Internet Explorer to work with the different versions of virtualized Java
ramseyg_Dell @wookash, Java can be a tough one
cshanklin But you may be able to handle it with something like bundling up the whole browser with a particular version of Java
esloof Don’t you think the USB stick will become corrupt of VMkernel logs over the long time?
woookash @ramseyg_dell, I don't have kind words to describe it
ramseyg_Dell Different requirements for different sites is tough
woookash Well, if it's possible to package IE + Java version, using one package for each application, that would do the trick
ramseyg_Dell As cshanklin mentions, if you can virtualize your Web browser, and include Java in it (and have multiple virtual applications), you can probably get there
DELL-ScottH Couldn't you use Citrix to bundle up an entire environment?
cshanklin Woookash, that may be possible, but we need a ThinApp expert to know for sure
ramseyg_Dell But Microsoft will tell you that they don't support wrapping IE as a virtual application :(
woookash Well, for the moment, we're running a lot of VMware machines, but only server virtualization; on the application level we're nowhere
depping http://blogs.vmware.com/thinapp/2008/10/using-ie-7-on-v.html
DELL-ScottH @esloof, hadn't really thought about that. I can forward to Dell Virtualization Engineering team to see if they tested or have thoughts—e-mailing now
DELL-ScottH Alright, appreciate all the pre-chatter...time to hand it over to Dell IT to discuss the real topic of the day: OMCI scripting
woookash (Thanks :-) )
DELL-ScottH Feel free to jump in anytime with questions; we can short everything out as we go. And you always have the option of right-clicking and using private chat to continue any discussion
DELL-ScottH Welcome Greg and Angie from Dell IT. Please introduce yourselves and anyone you have joining, and take it away. As always, when a link is posted, right-click or you'll get exited from the chat :-)
ramseyg_Dell Hi, Greg here. I'm a ConfigMgr administrator for Dell IT, managing internal Dell systems. Angie is my colleague. We have a few others here as well. I'll point out Dell_nathan, as he knows All things OMCI! :)
angie_dell And I’m Angie. I work on the same team as Greg, but this chat today is all his
ramseyg_Dell So we're glad to have him, as OMCI is the topic today
angie_dell And Nathen's
ramseyg_Dell OMCI = OpenManage Client Instrumentation. This is a client application supported on Windows XP, Vista (and probably Windows 2000 also; can't recall off the top of my head)
DELL_Nathan Yes, 2000 as well, for now
ramseyg_Dell OMCI allows you to dive into Dell hardware information that's on your system. As for Dell hardware, this is for Latitude, OptiPlex, and Precision workstations.
ramseyg_Dell A couple of weeks ago, we chatted about DCCU (Dell Client Configuration Utility). DCCU allows you to create a package to query/modify hardware settings. OMCI allows you to make some scripting magic.
ramseyg_Dell (Caution, right-click on links): www.delltechcenter.com/page/openmanage+client+instrumentation+%28omci%29
ramseyg_Dell This is our landing page for OMCI in the Dell TechCenter. Lots of good information there.
ramseyg_Dell First thing to mention is installing OMCI. You can see on that link we've provided an example silent installation. It is an application that runs on the local system. Once it's installed you can script against it
woookash A quick question: I've been testing Dell Client Manager 3.0 for a couple of weeks; where's the difference in a few words?
ramseyg_Dell Nathan has done a great job of putting together documentation. Check out the OMCI User Guide, OMCI white paper, and for the deep dive, OMCI Reference Guide
ramseyg_Dell Nathan can probably answer this one better than I can. I believe DCM is the server-side application and interfaces with OMCI
DELL_Nathan Yes, DCM provides a console for administrators
woookash Okay, makes things clear; thanks!
ramseyg_Dell So you can use OMCI separately as well. We have a link on the page also for using OMCI with ConfigMgr. OMCI populates WMI, so that's where we do the scripting
DELL_Nathan It also has an agent on all systems that communicates with OMCI to provide a good amount of the management capability
ramseyg_Dell Also, for you ConfigMgr administrators, in the "OMCI and ConfigMgr" link we discuss how to inventory information collected from OMCI
ramseyg_Dell So, into scripting...if you're familiar with WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), scripting with Dell OMCI will be fairly straightforward
ramseyg_Dell We have a page on the Dell TechCenter for scripting and OMCI: www.delltechcenter.com/page/omci+sample+scripts
ramseyg_Dell For VBScript, we reference the two white papers mentioned previously. You'll find several sample scripts in there that you can run on a local system, as well as remotely
angie_dell Action, Room History
ramseyg_Dell For all things Dell OMCI, you'll connect to the root\dellomci namespace
ramseyg_Dell If you're scripting in PowerShell, we've also provided a few example one-liner's there also
ramseyg_Dell So let's talk about some of the cool things you can do
ramseyg_Dell Changing alert notifications (for hard drive space, etc.), changing a BIOS password, enabling the Wake-on-LAN bit in the BIOS, and you can even query and reset the chassis intrusion status if you'd like
ramseyg_Dell And if you have any OptiPlex 960s, you'll see a new feature that will be on all new enterprise systems, "manufacturedate," which will give you a better idea of when this system came out of the factory
ramseyg_Dell You can also perform remote BIOS updates and set/change the Boot password
ramseyg_Dell Anyone currently doing any scripting with OMCI?
ramseyg_Dell You can also query status of specific hardware components, like fan health, CPU temperature, and so on
woookash Not yet, but looking to implement that. We're using only OptiPlex/Latitude computers (+/- 600) and really would love to have WOL activated on them
DELL_Nathan I am :)
ramseyg_Dell By querying (or inventorying) status of hardware, you have the opportunity to be proactive on hardware failures
DELL_Nathan You can also check if an HDD password is set
woookash Just another quickie: is DCM a requirement to be able to do anything with OMCI? Or another hardware management system like SMS?
VMDoug Possible stupid question: are there any compiled tools or widgets taking advantage of OMCI to run on the client?
DELL_Nathan Just OMCI
ramseyg_Dell Good point, Nathan. I know when we send out mandatory installations that require a reboot, systems that have HDD passwords set will not complete the reboot process until a user logs in.
ramseyg_Dell @woookash, you can use OMCI completely standalone if you'd like, but if you're going to perform operations on hundreds of computers, you'll need to be a pretty good scripter, or use a more preferred method such as DCM or other systems management tools like SMS/ConfigMgr
ramseyg_Dell @vmdoug, not exactly sure what you mean.
DELL_Nathan @vmdoug, DCM uses OMCI; I don't know of any other products at this time that specifically use OMCI
ramseyg_Dell But I did want to mention that you don't have to be a scripter to look under the hood with OMCI (or WMI for that matter); take a look at the FAQ on the sample scripts page: www.delltechcenter.com/page/omci+sample+scripts
VMDoug I understand using OMCI to manage multiple systems, but I was wondering about a widget for my own—just curious
ramseyg_Dell You can use the WMI Admin Tools to look at WMI—just go to the root/dellomci namespace
VMDoug Aka, Vista widget
ramseyg_Dell And the two PowerShell links there do the same—just requires that PowerShell be installed.
ramseyg_Dell FYI: use the OMCI Reference Guide:  to look up values of settings. For example, Dell_battery class can tell you if the battery is charged, critical, and so on. You can also query information like CPU family, type of RAM, and so on.
ramseyg_Dell With OMCI, you can dive a little deeper into the hardware (from Windows), including looking at VPro/Amt settings
ramseyg_Dell Any questions on OMCI? Problems? Feature requests?
ramseyg_Dell On every Dell TechCenter page, you can add a thread for asking additional questions. Or if you're looking for more information and you don't see it, post there and we'll help you out the best we can
DELL_Nathan @vmdoug, I don't know of any Vista widgets that use OMCI
DELL-ScottH Sounds like an exercise for the reader
ramseyg_Dell Any other questions? OMCI, or anything else?
VMDoug I'll get right on that in my spare time
ramseyg_Dell :) -
DELL-ScottH Sure you will :-)
ramseyg_Dell (silence...must be after lunch...everyone tired... :)
DELL-ScottH Looks like today might be a short chat; any other topics anyone wants to raise?
depping Can we expect an OpenManage Client for VIMA (VMware Infrastructure Management Assistant)/ESXi soon?
DELL-ScottH I think the chance of that rounds to 0
depping I don't like to install clients with ESX itself, so running it in VIMA would be awesome
depping Why? Wouldn't you be able to communicate with DRAC or...?
DELL_Nathan There is no DRAC on client boxes
DELL-ScottH Sorry. Confused myself
VMDoug CIM/Smash is the future on ESX
DELL-ScottH U4 has OpenManage Client 6 in it...ssshhhh
ramseyg_Dell <Quick mention on next week's chat>
depping I know there’s no Drac on client boxes
depping Okay, that's what I wanted to hear, Scott
ramseyg_Dell Next week we're going to talk about the Dell Deployment Pack for ConfigMgr 2007, which gives you some cool new task sequences
depping My typing is really bad today, sorry
DELL-ScottH Actually, testing that right now on an 805; that's why I've been a little quiet on the chat
VMDoug @depping, it's late for you; we understand
ramseyg_Dell Allows you to deploy Dell servers with ease, use a GUI to configure RAID, BIOS, and so on
ramseyg_Dell My colleague, Angie, will be driving that one with some pretty 8x10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows on the back of each one
angie_dell I will what?
ramseyg_Dell Seriously, good stuff there. DDP will be releasing very soon, and it's free (just like OMCI)
DELL-ScottH Cool, I want an autographed one!
ramseyg_Dell So if you're deploying Dell servers, and you have ConfigMgr, definitely take a look next week
ramseyg_Dell Thanks everyone for joining the chat; we'll hang around for a while for general questions
DELL-ScottH Yes, thanks, and as always, the transcript will be on the page of the same link that got you here