This discussion focuses on the latest release of the Dell™ Systems Build and Update Utility (SBBU) tool for life-cycle management of Dell systems.

Technical Community - Background Reading

Chat Transcript

Dell-ScottH Yo, yo! Tight group
Dell-ScottH Cgreenoh, what is up, my man?
cgreenoh Hey Scott. Meh, same old. :)
cgreenoh Scott, off-topic question: you were playing with Xsigo, yeah?
Dell-ScottH Yes
cgreenoh Basically, is it a replacement for switching?
Dell-ScottH Kind of. It is virtual I/O; you put one adapter in your server, and carve it up into many NICs and HBAs
cgreenoh Well, that's pretty cool
Dell-ScottH And define QoS and can move the adapters around to other hosts. Yeah pretty neat; you see my demo?
cgreenoh Would be useful for multiple LANs, i.e. normal traffic LAN and SAN
JasonPowell /me waves
cgreenoh No, I didn't
Dell-ScottH www.delltechcenter.com/page/xsigo
cgreenoh Just your twitpic feed
Dell-ScottH Hey Jason, read your blog post on anniversary with your current employer...good read
JasonPowell Thanks :-) I need that reminder each year
cgreenoh Cool link Scott, gonna check it out :)
Dell-ScottH @chris, it's Chris right? Demo will help
cgreenoh Thank you. Yep, Chris
JasonPowell Glad it is helpful for others. Hey Chris
Dell-ScottH I always just call you "See Green Ohhhhhhh" :-)
cgreenoh Ha ha, I had to play on cgreentx since he's my bud
Dell-ScottH Welcome Grealish
Dell-KongY Hi Jason and Grealish
Dell-JeffS I was going to ask about that (cgreentx)
grealish Hi Lads
cgreenoh People think we're related—just old friends. :)
Dell-ScottH Ah, I thought you two were related somehow
Dell-ScottH Todd!
cgreenoh Who happen to have the same name...our Dads do too
Dell-KongY Virtualtodd living large in virtual space
Dell-ScottH Thanks for keeping our numbers up :-)
virtualTodd Hey TechCenter gurus!
virtualTodd Nice tweets on the joint CTO thing this morning
Dell-KongY Hi Mark!
Dell-ScottH Looks like VMworld is starting to warm up. Thanks. Tried to get some good quotes; there were a couple of things we couldn't tweet—where the guy said, "Don't quote me on this" :-)
Dell-ScottH Hey mark!
JasonPowell Scotth, we're loving the enterprise DRAC in our new PowerEdge R710s
grealish Yes, nice tweets ;) Hoping to get warmed up for VMworld too, once I get the G for Go!
Dell-ScottH Cool, give me your feedback. Use the form letter :-)
Dell-ScottH Threaten to quit :-)
Dell-ScottH Welcome d_glynn, how goes it?
Dell-ScottH Hey Hossier! Nice to see you
Dell-KongY Welcome D_glynn and Hoosiercab
HoosierCAB So, what's SBUU again? :)
VeeamMark Howdy TechCenter!
Dell-ScottH Oops, not hoser
grealish Was just about to RT there Scott ;)
Dell-ScottH Welcome Dan
JasonPowell Another hoosier :-)
Dell-d_glynn Hey Kong. Hey all
DanOCan Hello, hello
VeeamMark I saw a shirt once that was for Indiana Fathers...it said "Hoosier Daddy"
Dell-ScottH Was hoping to do intro to SBUU, but from this cast I think that would be insufficient :-)
HoosierCAB (Don't worry, I'm quite used to that typo, being an Indiana fan working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
VeeamMark I am disappointed that Kongy and Scott didn't
VeeamMark Get me an invite to the CTO call today
Dell-ScottH Was hard enough to get in; they said "bloggers and tweeters" weren't press :-)
cgreenoh Not yet, but soon
VeeamMark Good distinction...bloggers and tweeters work for a living
cgreenoh Hah
Dell-ScottH Lol, true
cgreenoh Like it or not, they're the new press. Gotta be dense not to see it
Dell-ScottH Not paid by anyone, so can have a *real* point of view
Dell-ScottH Welcome wuzzle
wuzzle Thanks
cgreenoh What I've learned since following so many folks on twitter—proof in the pudding
wuzzle What are we talking about?
VeeamMark Cgreen, plenty of people who are dense and think the best way to communicate to the masses is newspaper and the yellow pages
Dell-ScottH Alright, I think we have reached quorum
cgreenoh Yep Mark, days are a changin' for them
Dell-ScottH Today we are talking about System Build and Update Utility, aka SBUU, aka system management tools and documentation (SMTD) as listed on the support download site
Dell-ScottH So welcome to everyone; chats are very informal
wuzzle Works for me
Dell-ScottH Come and go as you please; as Dan just showed us how to do :-) Ask questions at anytime, and feel free to drift off topic
wuzzle Love SUU
DanOCan Yeah, careful where you click when in these sessions... ;-)
Dell-ScottH So with the new PowerEdge R710, PowerEdge R610, etc. systems we have built in the Lifecycle Controller, which allows you to configure and install an OS without any media (except for the OS)
cgreenoh Well, I didn't even know what it was, so I'm definitely going to learn something :)
Dell-ScottH But what about those of you that still have PowerEdge 2950, PowerEdge 2970, etc.?
cgreenoh *cough* PowerEdge 2850 *cough* PowerEdge750 *cough*
wuzzle PowerEdge 1800 cough, cough
JasonPowell I think wantmoore had a question about that on our PowerEdge R710
Dell-ScottH With OpenManage you can use the SBUU, which is a bootable DVD that will enable you to configure/update and install the OS using the one DVD (and works on PowerEdge 2850 and PowerEdge 750 too) :-)
Dell-ScottH Okay, so Jeff was asking all these questions (he should have typed them here :-) SBUU is bootable media; Lifecycle Controller is on the new systems (no need for SBUU)
Dell-ScottH @jason, so what question does he have?
cgreenoh Lifecycle is imbedded? Not a partition/device you can blow away?
Dell-ScottH I have some demos with the earlier versions, which are still relevant because the interface has not changed that much...link in a sec...
Dell-ScottH Yes Lifecycle is on Flash on the MB
cgreenoh Yeah, that's pretty cool
Dell-ScottH Here's SBUU demos: www.delltechcenter.com/page/systems+build+and+update+utility+-+sbuu
JasonPowell Wantmoore is on his way into this chat
wuzzle Any problem using in conjunction with virtual media?
Dell-ScottH And here's Lifecycle Controller demos: www.delltechcenter.com/page/lifecycle+controller
Dell-ScottH @wuzzle, virtual media is separate and works
Dell-ScottH Hey wantmoore
wuzzle Just making sure
wantmoore Scooottt!
Dell-ScottH How you liking the new PowerEdge 710s? Got ESX up and in production yet?
JasonPowell There he is :-)
wantmoore They're powered on
JasonPowell We have much white boarding to do before we go to production
wantmoore And one has ESX
wuzzle Running Hyper-V on two PowerEdge R900 servers, PowerVault MD3000i
Dell-ScottH Oh, I thought you guys were just going to put everything on it and go
JasonPowell Had to move my demo EqualLogic array to make rack space for them
wantmoore 1) Plan the work. 2) Work the plan
Dell-ScottH @wuzzle, what applications?
Dell-ScottH 3) Go to 1)
wuzzle File/print/Web—not a very demanding workload
wantmoore I work with two planners ;) They give me balance
Dell-d_glynn @wuzzle, it is good to start small and work up
wuzzle I agree. We use perfmon to monitor and the Hyper-V counters
Dell-ScottH I'll have some new demos on SBUU updated in a few days; there are a few new features that make it easier to use
VeeamMark I prefer the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants implementation technology (FBTSOMP)
Dell-ScottH You define everything up front: RAID, BIOS settings, firmware, updates, partitions, IPs, DRAC settings...the works. Then hit Apply and Run and it does everything including reboots until it is finished with the installation. Did one this morning and was just able to walk away
wuzzle @veernmark, nice change management
Dell-ScottH Good for single, one-off server installs
DanOCan That sounds really good. I can develop a standard form with all that information and then pass it to someone else to do :-)
Dell-ScottH You can also save these settings to a USB key and use them to replicate to an identical server; when the SBUU boots, you can then use this file to apply all the settings
VeeamMark Scott, what is the optimum number of servers where the CD approach becomes tough, and you add in an automation tool?
Dell-ScottH @dan, yes!
Dell-ScottH @veeam, I think you should always design your installation process with the thought of automating it...so 3
Dell-ScottH But others on the chat might have ideas. I think if you are getting >10 you should think about automating. The other advantage to automation is you avoid typos in configurations and you have a documented list of everything that was done to build the server
wantmoore Document...what?
HoosierCAB Right-click -> Deploy Template :)
Dell-ScottH So here is the link to the SBUU document: 
Dell-ScottH So read, download, use...easy enough
grealish SBUU scripting sounds good, but is it possible to get factory preformed orders? As in if one was to be a rack of servers, and a customer to provide the configuration, would it be possible?
Dell-ScottH @wantmoore, just take a picture of that whiteboard :-)
Dell-ScottH Yes, there is a service you can get so we configure it all at the factory with your custom configurations
Dell-ScottH Called "Custom Factory Integration”: www.dell.com/content/topics/reftopic.aspx/bsd/services/services_cfi?c=us&cs=440 2c&l=en&s=bsd
HoosierCAB Meeting time, guess I'll read the rest in the chat log
Dell-ScottH Tell everyone hey, or not
cgreenoh Heh
Dell-ScottH So that’s about it for SBUU; just wanted to let those of you with older machines know that we are still updating utilities to not leave you hanging out to dry
cgreenoh Which is cool—always like that Dell keeps us set up too
VeeamMark Old systems, like my PowerEdge 2550, that are still pumping as our Exchange box?
Dell-ScottH The shiny new toys are nice (Lifecycle Controller), but realize some of you can't afford them yet :-)
Dell-ScottH Oh my. We need a contest for oldest PowerEdge still in production
cgreenoh We've still got a PowerEdge 2650 as our PDC chugging away
VeeamMark You know what they say about the cobbler's shoes :) I have a PowerEdge 2400 tower in my garage that was just decommissioned
wantmoore I’ve got a PowerEdge 350 @ home :)
DanOCan Hmmm...checking my inventory...
VeeamMark If it was not such a power hog, I would use that 3 x 18 GB RAID-5 partition to store three or four photos
Dell-ScottH Oh, looks like you are winning
cgreenoh Hey man, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just keep it backed up and preferably HA :D
Dell-ScottH Lol
VeeamMark Did someone say backup? <perk> Not to be confused with PERC
cgreenoh Now I'm perked, mmm, PERC
DanOCan Hmmm, we appear to have a PowerEdge 350 that was purchased May 11, 2001 that is running in production. Ouch. :-)
cgreenoh Hah dang
VeeamMark If you can still automate that, we have our winner
cgreenoh Don't blow on that one, a stuff breeze might BSOD or kernel panic :P
cgreenoh Stiff*
Dell-d_glynn All that old hardware should be P2Ved. And put out to pasture :)
DanOCan That's our Linux guys for you; they never get rid of anything. :-) I always try to keep our Windows stuff under warranty
VeeamMark Says the man of infinite budget…
wuzzle @dell-d_glynn, SCVMM
Dell-ScottH Yes, P2V that thing and send it in so Michael can autograph it :-)
cgreenoh Lol
VeeamMark I bet Michael would give you a new one if he could use it in a case study :)
DanOCan No kidding. We'll have to have a ceremony when that one goes away
Dell-d_glynn @wuzzle, to each their own...
VeeamMark That server is like 50 generations old in Moore's Law years
cgreenoh Like that dude who just got a new...what was it...Chevy? Had a million miles or something, and they gave him a new one. Maybe it was a Volvo
Dell-ScottH Yeah, what is that like? A Pentium 200? Not even a Pentium Pro?
wuzzle Maybe Dell can start a program like clunkers for cash
VeeamMark Funny you say that, but they do—Dell Asset Disposal
DanOCan Believe it or not, my inventory list shows we have nine PowerEdge 350 servers from 2001 still kicking around. Like I say, they never get rid of anything. I have better servers in my basement at home
cgreenoh I'm a hybrid Linux person, and I see the virtues in the ability to run it on a toilet seat but yet say, “what's the point?”
wuzzle Well it has been fun
Dell-ScottH Thanks for joining, wuzzle, nice to meet you
wuzzle But I have to perform scheduled maintenance
cgreenoh People do that? :D
wuzzle On myself (i.e., working out) lol
VeeamMark Cgreen, because you can, man...
Dell-ScottH Is that code for "bathroom"?
wantmoore So who wants to tell me in 140 characters or less what the SD slot on my iDRAC can do for me?
Dell-ScottH :-) Right now, not much
wuzzle Too funny, scotth
grealish @cgreenoh, I think people have got a Lego mind storm kit to flush a toilet ;)
cgreenoh *cough* what's an iDRAC*cough* Ha!
Dell-ScottH Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller
cgreenoh Ah
VeeamMark It’s in the shoes, Mars
Dell-ScottH You can control your server with the power off
wantmoore aka "the sweetest part of the new 11th-generation servers"
cgreenoh See, I learn something every time I'm in here, whether I want to or not. Even if it's just keeping up with acronyms
wantmoore That thing really is amazing
Dell-ScottH Right now the SD card is just a bit bucket to put whatever you want on it, or pop it out and put it in your camera :-)
VeeamMark In the 12th-generation servers, you won't even need to have them plugged in to start up
grealish iDRAC is sweet in the latest firmware for the PowerEdge M1000e—saves hours!
Dell-ScottH 12th-generation comes with Rick Ashley pre-installed
cgreenoh Heh. Power over wireless will be here some day ;)
VeeamMark Never going to give you up...oh wait, that’s Rick Astley
wantmoore Dual quad-core Intel Xeons...nice…48 GB RAM...nice. iDRAC is just awesome
Dell-ScottH I was talking about his brother
cgreenoh I need new hardware. :( Must get these EqualLogic units pushed through
Dell-ScottH They have wireless power, just don't stand between the two big dish arrays
VeeamMark Cgreen, then you just need Veeam to back them up :)
cgreenoh Step 2: Virtualization :)
Dell-ScottH @wantmoore, so how many VMs do you plan on running on that beast?
VeeamMark @scott, you can leave your microwave popcorn in between the dishes
JasonPowell Scotth, all of them!
wantmoore Scott, not enough to make them sweat. We've got around 30 right now across our four hosts
Dell-KongY Witricity from MIT researchers: www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4220889.html and http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wireless-0607.html
grealish @wantmoore, tested the iDRAC beside an HP, IBM, and Fujitsu and found it far better
Dell-ScottH Cool! Shoot another video when you have them up...use the German voice over :-)
Dell-ScottH Wait, where is that link?
wantmoore We believe we could consolidate all these VMs onto one of the PowerEdge R710 servers without issue
JasonPowell Das ist gut
wantmoore Which is why we bought two :)
Dell-ScottH www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztn9tbnlvae
VeeamMark www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu_moia-ovi
cgreenoh I plan on seeing how many of our servers we can migrate into VMs on a couple of PowerEdge 2850 servers
cgreenoh Max out the RAM and beat the heck out of them
VeeamMark The answer will be quite a few
Dell-ScottH That's a plan
VeeamMark are they dual core PowerEdge 2850 servers?
cgreenoh I think so too, especially now that I'm getting developers to clean up *** code and SQL queries
cgreenoh Single-core, dual 3.4s
VeeamMark Oh, “danger Will Robinson…”
cgreenoh Orly
wantmoore I bet those things *** juice
cgreenoh Yes
VeeamMark Be very careful on how aggressive your test is on that
wantmoore With ESX running, the PowerEdge R710 is drawing a total of 212 W, I think
VeeamMark There is only so much the VMware scheduler can do
Dell-ScottH Is that with a load?
wantmoore Nope, 0 VMs
cgreenoh That doesn't sound as fun or diabolical as stressing the *** out of them on purpose :)
JasonPowell Scotth, do we need to do any BIOS tweaks for the PowerEdge R710 servers to do their power and "over clocking" magic?
cgreenoh Actually, I wonder if I could convert them to the dual-core CPUs. Can't be terribly expensive
Dell-ScottH @jason, Kong is looking right now
VeeamMark It would be worth looking into, cgreen; I mean, you are likely going to talk a 4–10 times improvement
cgreenoh Good to know, I appreciate the advice for sure. We're just getting into virtualization
wantmoore Sell the PowerEdge 2850 and buy an RX10. That’s my advice :)
VeeamMark I was at VMware when the PowerEdge 2850 servers went dual core
cgreenoh I'd prefer to stay with PowerEdge 2850 only because we have so many of them; it's nice to have parts and standardized hardware
Dell-ScottH Yeah, or even at least hit the outlet site—some good deals on PowerEdge 2950 servers and a few PowerEdge R710 servers in there too
VeeamMark Want, that is the ultimate advice, but earlier he had a couple budget constraints
cgreenoh And $$$
wantmoore A budget? What’s that? :)
cgreenoh I'm trying to get two EqualLogic 6000 arrays approved. So you can understand if I'll have trouble with further purchasing ;)
wantmoore Currently drawing 245 W
JasonPowell Should have got your EqualLogic from me ;-)
Dell-ScottH Turbo Mode and C states are enabled by default—@jason and @wantmoore you are good to go
Dell-ScottH :-)
JasonPowell Sweet!
wantmoore Turbo!
Dell-ScottH Yeah, he has kids to feed
cgreenoh Jason, I got smacked talking to Dell first—they roped me. :)
wantmoore Bring back the Turbo button for 12th-generation servers!
JasonPowell Lol
Dell-ScottH Yeah, I lobbied for a Turbo button during the design meetings
wantmoore Yeah, those steaks are good
cgreenoh Lol
DanOCan Can't wait to get our first 11th-generation server in here and start poking around with it
JasonPowell Or at least a light on the front that shines when it goes into turbo
Dell-ScottH Alright, appreciate everyone joining. Have a meeting with VMware in four minutes
cgreenoh Hey Scott, do you know if a 2x single-core PowerEdge 2850 can be upgraded to the later dual cores?
Dell-ScottH It should pulsate a deep blue
JasonPowell And a sweet blow-off valve sound!
DanOCan Yeah, I guess I should bail too. TTYL everyone
cgreenoh Ha ha, bov
JasonPowell woooooooooosh!
wantmoore A PowerVault MD3000i-style blue LED would be sufficient and blinding
JasonPowell I raced with a bunch of STI dudes this weekend
wantmoore "Oh no! Turbo mode! Cover your eyes!"
Dell-ScottH @cgreenoh, send me an e-mail, and I'll dig—might not work; depends on exact processors and MB
Dell-ScottH scott_hanson@dell.com
cgreenoh Coolness. CYA
Dell-ScottH "_" in there
Dell-KongY In RX10 BIOS, there's also the Power Management option, which allows you to change power/performance management from OS control to Active Power Controller to Custom to Max Performance. The default is OS control, which allows Windows to control C states
JasonPowell Kong, hmmm...so if it's ESX we need to change that?
VeeamMark It also depends on when the rev of the PowerEdge 2850 motherboard happened
Dell-KongY Nah, default will be good for you, Jason
JasonPowell 10-4
cgreenoh The two I have set aside to start are the latest I have
JasonPowell I don't think of ESX as an "OS" :-) But I guess it is
Dell-KongY That BIOS option was put in place in case folks really didn't care about power and just wanted the processors to always be at the highest C state
Dell-d_glynn I believe so—maybe Scott could do up a document on the various different BIOS settings and recommendations for the different operating systems and hypervisors—if there isn't one already
VeeamMark It’s a console OS :)
cgreenoh I'd rather just get a big blade chassis and consolidate almost everything really
cgreenoh But I'll be selling old hardware just to pay for VM infrastructure when I get there
Dell-KongY Great suggestion, David
cgreenoh *if* I get there *sigh*
JasonPowell This will be our first step into bare-metal hypervisor...been running VMware Server 3+ years
VeeamMark Cgreen, have you discussed any of the jump-start funds available through Dell's partners?
wantmoore Second step!
cgreenoh Mark, no, never heard
VeeamMark So here is industry trade secret #1: certain business partners of Dell that want your business are willing to provide additional discounts or funding to assist in a new technology entering the market. Think of it like cash for clunkers, except it works, and sometimes they will use Dell as a vehicle for this
cgreenoh Interesting, I usually beat on my rep for discounts on what I'm buying, but this sounds different
VeeamMark Yes, this is different; a lot of times if there is a technology that Dell needs to train its services or implementation people on, they will offer the service at just travel and expense cost of the technician
VeeamMark Just to get the customer installed and get a "run or two on the board," to use baseball lingo
cgreenoh Very cool
VeeamMark So I don't know the specifics of your environment, but there is normally always an opportunity to try something new
cgreenoh Yeah, for sure. Dumb question: but how does one get started with one of these programs?
VeeamMark I would think someone interested in going from zero to 100 percent virtualized as a concept might be intriguing enough ;)
cgreenoh Yeah, nearly 100 percent is possible, IMO. We have one client bound by SLA for dedicated hardware, and a VoIP box that needs its own hardware
cgreenoh But everything else we have is fair game, IMO
VeeamMark Yeah, just sent you a PM. Some of the stuff is probably best left off the recorded chat :)
virtualTodd Later everybody!
Dell-d_glynn @cgreenoh, are you using ESX or Hyper-V? I missed that if it was mentioned
cgreenoh Neither :)
cgreenoh All hardware right now
Dell-d_glynn :) What are you planning on? Should you get the opportunity
cgreenoh We've built piecemeal, so now I'm trying to get us into centralized storage first (EqualLogic) and then virtualize
grealish Okay guys, didn't have much to contribute, but informative ;) Thanks see u
Dell-d_glynn Good luck with it, cgreenoh. I've been on your side of the fence implementing shared storage and virtualization in a company that was heavily siloed with its servers, and not free with the checkbook. It wasn't easy, but in the end it was well worth
cgreenoh Yes, I hope others here realize it too, but I'm starting to question given how long it's taking for traction
VeeamMark Selling a solution internally is sometimes much harder than us selling you on one :)
cgreenoh Yeah, and it's not even really being sold; I know what we're facing in the next one to three years, and if we don't do this now, it's going to be even more messy—me being sold, that is
cgreenoh Time for me to be off too—thanks all. Great as always
Dell-d_glynn Jason, can you turn off the lights?