The focus of this discussion is Dell Repository Manager , an application that allows customized bundles and repositories to be created on systems running the Microsoft® Windows® OS. Dell Update Packages (DUPs)—software utilities provided by Dell to update specific software components on Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers—that are based on specific criteria make up the customized bundles and repositories. Using Repository Manager helps ensure that a PowerEdge server is equipped with the latest BIOS, driver, firmware, and software updates.


Technical Community - Background Reading

  • TechCenter Dell Repository Manager page
  • Dell Repository Manager 1.0 Documentation Manual
  • Download Dell Repository Manager 1.0

Chat Transcript

erson /Me is awaiting Windows 7 Latitude E-Series drivers from Dell. I really do hope that native WWAN with Windows 7 will be supported so that you don't have to rely on ControlPoint Connection Manager
erson Hi Jeffs
Dell-JeffS Oh, and Scott too, I guess
Dell-ScottH Hey ya'll…thanks Jeffe, You the bomb :-)
Dell-JeffS (Scott is all of seven feet from me at the moment) eerily quiet in the lab as we type away
terpmeister Sounds like my wife and me at home; five feet away from each other, and we still text/IM each other. LOL
Dell-JeffS Lol
erson /Me VPNs to work to install repository manager
Dell-JeffS Hi Brett
Dell-JeffS We'll get started here in a few
Dell-ScottH @erson, such a workaholic! I like.
Dell-d_glynn Hey Jeff, a bit distracted here; trying to read diag files :(
erson Great to be back, though, since I missed the two latest chats
Dell-ScottH In Soviet Russia, diag files read you! :-)
Dell-ScottH Were you on holiday?
erson Yes on the first and no on the second
Dell-ScottH Hey Hoosier! Hello Wcnichols!
erson Had to help out with one of our horses that took a bad fall
wcnichols Hey
Dell-ScottH Ouch, everything okay?
Dell-ScottH Ok, I've got five after, time to get to the subject at hand
erson No, the horse died two days later
Dell-ScottH Thanks to everyone for joining this week’s chat on Dell Repository Manager. Couple of reminders…
Dell-ScottH Sorry to hear that
prof_ebral Saw Scott and the title and I thought: hey, I am working on a Repository Manager
prof_ebral Hey Scott! I got you on twitter. prof_ebral here
Dell-ScottH This chat is recorded; the transcript is posted tomorrow, so anything you say can and will be posted :-) Also URL links will be there so no need to write them down
Dell-ScottH Hey prof! Good to see you!
prof_ebral Thanks for the tweet. I sometimes get caught up in writing or something else
erson Scotth, except the juicy bits on G12 that will reveal of course... ;) +you
Dell-ScottH Welcome to the topic of the day - Repository Manager
prof_ebral That's awesome. I am working on an Update Manager for a distribution of the OpenRPG virtual table top. It uses mercurial
Dell-ScottH This is the replacement for Content Manager, which was a little great utility to sync DUPs from the support site: www.delltechcenter.com/page/content+manager
Dell-ScottH @prof, you are a true geek
Dell-ScottH I've set up a page on TechCenter for Repository Manager: www.delltechcenter.com/page/repository+manager
ceri Evening folks
prof_ebral Ah yeah. Dude, it's awesome, though. I am working on the control panel right now. It allows users to select any revision in a branch and update to that revision. Worthy
Dell-ScottH What it allows you to do is create customized bundles and repositories that can be kept in sync with the support site
terpmeister Sounds cool
ceri I see that the TechCenter page says that bundles and repositories can be created on Windows; can they be applied on servers running something else?
Dell-ScottH For example, say I have just PowerEdge R610 and PowerEdge R710 servers in my data center, I can create just a repository that downloads updates for just those platforms and just pick the Windows or Linux updates as well. The application just runs on Windows, but it can create bundles and scripts to be deployed on Linux. It also allows you to create an ISO image to apply the updates on a bare-metal machine with no OS. Full documentation is here: 
ceri Good news. ESX and Solaris as well, or are they ISO-type things?
prof_ebral OS?
wcnichols Cool
Dell-ScottH I am in the process of creating a demo that shows it in action
ceri /me reads the docs... ;-)
erson BTW, what are you using to make those demos?
wcnichols Does the iDRAC 6 Express give you a way to update the machine outside of the OS
erson /me one-ups Ceri by installing it :)
prof_ebral That is a good question, Erson
Dell-ScottH I am also hacking a way to get it to work with the Lifecycle Controller: www.delltechcenter.com/page/lifecycle+controller. If/when I get that working, I'll post it on the site
ceri Erson, I am unfortunately (?!) Windows-free at home; will have to wait to do that
wcnichols I just got two PowerEdge R610 servers; do they have the Lifecycle Controller?
Dell-JeffS We use Camtasia to make the demos
Dell-ScottH @ceri, Solaris no, ESX classic yes; the Linux DUPs work in the ESX console OS
erson Wcnichols, yes
ceri @dell-scotth, okay, good enough
Dell-ScottH @wcnichols, yes (like Erson said)
erson All PowerEdge R610, PowerEdge T610, PowerEdge M610, and PowerEdge R710, PowerEdge T710, and PowerEdge M710 servers have Lifecycle Controller
wcnichols How do I access it
Dell-ScottH F10 at boot. See my demo here: www.delltechcenter.com/page/lifecycle+controller
Dell-ScottH You can download Repository Manager here:

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

temid=pwe_r710&servicetag=&os=wnet&osl=en&catid=-1&impid=-1
Dell-ScottH Aaakkk! Should of bit.ly'd that
erson So hopefully you will be able to update the Lifecycle Controller flash with Repository Manager-created DUPs?
prof_ebral I don't have any of this, but like I said, I am working on something similar for my software. I am in awe :)
erson So, the design of the software, is that something we can expect on any other software that comes from Dell?
ceri It is safe to run the ISO stuff on a machine that has an OS installed?
Dell-ScottH @erson, that's what I'm trying to hack right now
Dell-ScottH @ceri, the DUPs on the ISO are the exact same that you would run from within the OS, so it’s safe to run them on a running machine; the ISO feature just creates bootable media to run them if you have no OS installed
Dell-ScottH @erson, can you clarify that last question?
Dell-ScottH Hey Cathcam! Missed saying hello the first time
ceri @dell-scotth, I'm thinking of a situation where I have Solaris installed. Can I boot the ISO to apply the DUPs without harming the Solaris installation?
erson Scotth, I'm thinking of the look of the program. The graphics. Dell doesn't have any utility with that kind of interface, right?
Dell-ScottH So that's really about all there is to Repository Manager. Read the manual, download it, and try it out. Works fine on workstation or laptop to create the bundles
cathcam Hi, just watching in to understand the types of questions people are asking, the Repository Manager has some cool functions for building baselines out of bundles, versioning updates, etc. Am starting to think about next release
cathcam @erson, it's part of our e-clarity UI design; we are working to get that across all management products
Dell-ScottH Ah, yes, everyone say hello to Cathcam. He is Dell and now is your chance to have some input into product futures...throwing you under the bus :-)
terpmeister Downloading now :)
erson Cathcam, great, it feels quite smooth
ceri I just want to add that this kind of functionality is exactly what makes the difference (other than $$$ naturally) when selecting vendors, so keep it up
Dell-ScottH I was a huge fan of Content Manager (I like simple tools), and if you read my blog (like my mom does) you would have seen several posts on my love for it :-) Repository Manager really takes it to another level
erson I like the direct use cases that you've made in the documentation as well. One of the most obvious use cases would be to create a bundle for all servers of type X and then export the bundle with a lightweight deployment script and deploy that to your server to upgrade the drivers
Dell-ScottH I should have a demo up by the end of the week or first part of next week; if you all have questions in the meantime, just ask them on the site
prof_ebral Pretty informative video
Dell-ScottH @erson, yes which is exactly what it does
ceri Presumably, there is a mechanism by which the deployment script works out what needs applying, or does it just update everything in the bundle whether it needs it or not?
prof_ebral That's a good question, Ceri
Dell-ScottH The DUPs have checking built it
cathcam @erson, you might want to look at baseline within Repository Manager. They can be created out of tailored bundles, so for example for all of a given model of a server and then you can name baselines as versions, giving you the ability to version baselines that include various bundles... all very neat
Dell-ScottH If you have firmware/BIOS, anything else that is already newer it will not update, but you could force with a switch. But you usually wouldn't do that
erson When can we expect support for Windows Server 2008 R2?
terpmeister Looking through the documents right now; man, this looks pretty slick!
ceri Okay. I'm thinking puppet; if it would be possible for a puppet module to check the status then we could push them out that way. But, if puppet can't check, then it would just keep running the script
Dell-ScottH I am not sure on the R2 support date; Cathcam can you chime in on that?
cathcam No, I don't think I'm able to give out that information, but can probably contact one to one
wcnichols Scott, do you have any tips on benchmarking my PowerVault MD3000i. I just got this set up
erson Hmm, supported platforms contains "PowerEdge Per910." All the other R servers are just called "PowerEdge R###." Might want to correct that
erson Wcnichols, some information here I believe: www.delltechcenter.com/page/the+dell+powervault+md3000i
cathcam @erson, if you want to e-mail the question about Windows Server 2008 R2, I'll reply as best I can and copy @dell-scotth so he can post on TechCenter
cathcam @erson, I'm mark_cathcart@dell.com
Dell-ScottH @wcnichols, what are you running on it? How many drives? What type of drives?
wcnichols I have six 450 GB 15K, two in a RAID-1, four in a RAID-10. Then I have five 1 TB Nearline SAS in a RAID-5
prof_ebral Wow. That's cool. The Figure 6 snapshot. That is exactly what I am working on. This is cool software, Scott. I don't have a server, but it's still pretty nice
Dell-JeffS On that page Erson just posted, there is a link that goes into a little bit of detail on performance: www.delltechcenter.com/page/md3000i+performance+monitoring
Dell-ScottH @wcnichols, above all, please, please, please don't do an xcopy with a stopwatch—please, please, please
Dell-JeffS If you have any specific question/challenges; send me an e-mail: jeffrey_sullivan@dell.com. I'll query the PowerVault MD3000i engineering team
wcnichols Ha ha k
Dell-ScottH Can't tell you how many times people do a simple timed copy operation from one server to the box (single threaded I/0) and say how much better their $100 drive from Fry's performed
wcnichols Lol
erson I believe Iometer could probably do a good job testing raw performance. Although, real-word benchmarks would be preferable
wcnichols Yeah, I've seen some stuff about Iometer, but I am not totally sure how to use it and how to compare it to our types of uses
Dell-ScottH Yes real world, or at least Iometer...this is actually my favorite analogy on benchmarking—which is faster? A school bus or a Ferrari?
Dell-d_glynn Depends on the task...
Dell-ScottH Depends on the task...is the task taking one child to school, or a hundred?
HoosierCAB Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes barreling down the highway
Dell-d_glynn Lol
Dell-ScottH Latency versus bandwidth. Linux cluster guys will tell you to just use 100 Ferraris :-)
cathcam Actually, the best bandwidth is a 747-400...full of DVDs
Dell-ScottH Lol
wcnichols I just want to make sure I configured it correctly. I don't think there is anything I can really do other than the MPIO and Jumbo frames
Dell-ScottH Yeah, check out those two pages linked previously, and ask questions on the site. We have a ton of PowerVault MD3000i users in our ranks on TechCenter, and they love to chime in and help
wcnichols Okay
Dell-JeffS What switch are you using?
wcnichols Two PowerConnect 5424 switches
erson A lot of threads on Dell TechCenter about it as well, just search for “MD3000i”
wcnichols I followed the instruction on MPIO/configuring the switches/doing Jumbo frames on ESXi 4
Dell-JeffS Did you see the scripts I posted? Guys in the interoperability lab said this and FW update do wonders: www.delltechcenter.com/page/configuring+a+powerconnect+5424+or+5448+switch+for+use+with+an+iscsi+storage+system#clearstyles
Dell-JeffS 2.0.0.36 is the latest (we updated ours yesterday)
wcnichols If I added a management VLAN, is it still okay to get rid of the iSCSI optimization lines?
wcnichols Management VLAN of one port
Dell-JeffS Good question. I'll go back to the guy that sent that my way and ask
wcnichols I can e-mail it to you; I was just wondering if you knew off the top
Dell-JeffS Do you want to e-mail me so I have a way to get back with you?
wcnichols Yeah
wcnichols I’ll have to check my FW; I just received these switches earlier this month
Dell-ScottH Okay, any other questions on Repository Manager, or anything else in the world of Dell Enterprise products?
terpmeister Scott, any issues running Repository Manager in a VM? Didn't see anything in the documents, so I assume it is fine
Dell-ScottH anybody making it to VMworld in a few weeks
ceri I declared myself too busy, stupidly. :(
Dell-ScottH It's just an application on Windows; I haven't tried, but I see no issues running it in a VM
Dell-JeffS They are probably fine. It was the early, early versions they were referring to
terpmeister Okay, thanks. I will report back if I have any issues
prof_ebral Thanks for the tweet again, Scott! This was really informative, and now the gears are turning. I thought I could implement a similar design with branches (that is, the packages would be on different branches)
cathcam @terpmeister, I run it under Windows 7 on VMware ESX; have not had any problems
terpmeister Cool, thanks, @cathcam
Dell-ScottH Couple of ways to keep up with us at VMworld: www.delltechcenter.com/page/vmworld+2009. We'll keep you informed directly from the show
Dell-ScottH @cathcam, that's an official endorsement; I will tweet that you will take all the calls :-)
Dell-ScottH Thanks again to everyone for joining; post any questions on the site, or hit me up on twitter
prof_ebral /me laughs. Bring your BlackBerry :)
Dell-ScottH You may now hang out and spew insanity; or join your regular life already in progress :-)
prof_ebral Peace all. Much learned! Back to work for me :)
Dell-ScottH Thanks! L8R
ceri Night folks
erson Jeffs, Scotth, isn't there a chat planned for next week?
Dell-JeffS Yes, hang on. Need to update the site. I think we are having a pre-VMworld discussion. Talk about what we are showing, the user meeting we're having. Yes, we are doing a pre-VMworld chat
erson Nice
Dell-ScottH Then no chat the next week. Then a post-VMworld chat
erson /me just peeked on his first lightweight deployment bundle for the PowerEdge M710. Nice. Need to get my hands dirty with vSphere
Dell-ScottH That's right; you're the Hyper-V guy :-)
wcnichols I tried to enable Jumbo frames on my ESXi 4 free version, and it wouldn’t let me. I had to enable the SSH console to do it
Dell-d_glynn Erson, I thought you were a Hyper-V guy?
erson I wonder how far off the PowerEdge M910/PowerEdge R910 can be if you already have it in Repository Manager
Dell-d_glynn That would be correct, wcnichols
Dell-ScottH @erson, ask Intel :-)
Dell-d_glynn There are still some quirks like that with ESX/ESXi
wcnichols At least it’s really easy to enable SSH
erson d_glynn, I am since we're a Microsoft partner. But some customers want to make sure that we have some continuous VMware experience
wcnichols I haven't tried Hyper-V Server yet. I tried out XenServer 5.5. I didn't like it as much as ESXi
erson Scotth, I just might. I just got five SSDs to try out from the Intel enterprise manager here in Sweden :) Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V is excellent. Not as full featured as vSphere
wcnichols I like the idea of how small ESXi is and that I can run it on a USB stick
Dell-ScottH Nice. We need eight more to fill out our EqualLogic PS6000; can you send them over? I like that in R2; you can now do more than one VM per LUN with the live migration
erson But it's gaining market share steadily since it's pretty much for free if you already run a lot of Window servers
wcnichols Is Hyper-v Server R2 live?
erson Scotth, I'm afraid not, we're going to use them to benchmark SQL servers and see if they can improve performance for developers
erson wcnichols, yes. Available since the 14th of Augusti on MSDN/Technet
wcnichols Oh cool
erson And, yes, that's the Swedish spelling of August :)
Dell-JeffS Okay folks, gotta run. Take it easy!
wcnichols Any idea where I can get a list of what they changed?
erson Smorgasbord, ombudsman = both are Swedish words BTW, in case you didn't know :)
Dell-ScottH Was in Sweden about three years ago—loved it
erson Spelled smörgåsboard in Swedish, though. On vacation?
erson Wcnichols, check our 4sysops.com. Lots of information there about what’s new with Windows Server 2008 R2
erson Bye Jeffs
wcnichols Wow, they have boot from flash now; I’ll have to check it out then
erson Yes
Dell-ScottH Was my last gig at IBM; did training on X440s and blades, and then took a few days vacation
erson Dell needs to get that as an option
wcnichols Yeah
erson Didn't realize that you were so "new" at Dell
wcnichols How do you back up your Hyper-V files?
erson Microsoft System Center DPM right now
Dell-ScottH Yeah, been here only since January 2007; was at IBM from '93 on
erson Hopefully, soon with the DPM 2007 R2 beta
erson Wcnichols, Backup Exec can handle Hyper-V pretty nicely as well. Used it before but since we got DPM for free from Microsoft we switched
wcnichols Can they back up the VM images while they are running? We have Backup Exec 11d
erson Scotth, you started with Dell TechCenter right away?
erson Wcnichols, of course. I'm looking forward to see what Veeam is going to release for Hyper-V
wcnichols Erson, is this with Microsoft Hyper-V Server or is this with Windows with Hyper-V on top?
erson Wcnichols, both
wcnichols Oh, hmmm, I would be interested in seeing how that works
erson Hyper-V Server is good when you're not running Windows VMs, since it’s free and gives you clustering and live migration as well
wcnichols That would help simplify our backups if we went with Hyper-V. I am running mostly Windows VMs, but I have no 2008 servers yet
erson If you're going to run window VMs it's cheaper to install a Windows Server 2008 Core with Hyper-V and use the free copies that you can run virtualized. You get one free virtualized copy with Standard, four with Enterprise, and Infinity with Datacenter
wcnichols You get those without Hyper-V also
erson Of course. Hmmm, doesn't Natalie work at Dell? Feels like I remember that nick
wcnichols Got disconnected. I’ll have to try out the Hyper-V Server. Thanks for the information; I’ll download it from our Technet and see about making a flash drive
erson I need some beauty sleep; got a date with a PowerEdge M1000e tomorrow :) It’s 23:24 here in Sweden
wcnichols It’s quitting time here: 5:25 EDT
erson See you all next week for the pre-chat about VMworld. Bye