Dell TechCenter Hello everyone, welcome to the Dell iDRAC XML Configuration chat
Dell TechCenter we'll get started in about 33 minutes
Alejandro Valenzuela ok
Dell TechCenter welcome everyone
Dell TechCenter @hypervfan - hello Tom
hypervfan Hi :)
Dell TechCenter Before we start, how familiar is everyone with the Configuration XML features of iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller?
Alex Coulonge Un
James Not at all
Alex Coulonge I have basically used iDrac as RDP that works during POST
Dell TechCenter @Alex @James - OK thanks for your feedback.We'll start off the chat then from the very basics
Dell TechCenter To help teach you all about XML Configuration through iDRAC, we have several iDRAC with Lifecycle controllersfrom Dell on the chat today
James Great, ty
Dell TechCenter we have Pushkala, a Software Engineer working on iDRAC
Dell TechCenter and Doug and David, Product managers for iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller
Dell TechCenter we also have Vance, who is a technologist for the Configuration XML feature of Lifecycle Controller
Dell TechCenter Pushkala will be leading the chat today, so she will take over from here
PIyer Hello everyone - let's get started by introducing the Configuration XML feature of LifecycleController.
PIyer This is the easiest way to get a configuration snapshot of a system in a human readable XML format.
PIyer There may have been occasions where you needed to tweak some BIOS setting, check some NIC configuration setting or change RAID configurations - during system setup
PIyer These might have involved several operations, looking up profiles for the right commands to use, issuing them in right sequence etc
PIyer So now with iDRAC 1.40.40, you have this cool new feature where you issue one command, and you have a system configuration snapshot in XML format
PIyer There is only a single command, and you have all BIOS, NIC, RAID, IDRAC and FC settings available
PIyer You can then tweaksettingsand apply them to other systems via an Import command
PIyer Any questions so far?
Dell TechCenter To the guys who are unfamiliar with the feature, does this make sense so far?
Alex Coulonge yes
James Yes
Abev Yes
Dell TechCenter awesome
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell I have a question - how many of you are automating your server deployments today?
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Our goal with this feature is to make it easier to automate systems management
James I am not automating system deployment at this time.
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Thanks @James.Do you make many BIOS changes or RAID changes during your setup?
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell ...I would guess that you perform these by hand
Alex Coulonge sometimes RAID, not usually BIOS
James Opposite for me
PIyer Thanks, James. What operations do you consider automating - RAID?
PIyer Thanks Alex - what RAID operations do you use most frequently?
jesse goodier can you script the pull of all the bios setttings?
jesse goodier is that in RACADM?
James Currently, I do not deploy enough servers simultaneously to warrnt autmating setup.
Alex Coulonge @James, smae here
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell @James - understood.You might consider using Configuration XML to store a snapshot of your server settings.
Alex Coulonge same
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Once complete with your setup, you can "get" the xml file and save it for future reference
James I definitely will use it for that.
Vance @dell Jesse there is one commnad to pull all configuration in RACADM
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell @James and @Alex, you can use a simple diff tool to compare two different versions of the xml file.Pretty simple way to make sure nothing has changed :-)
Vance @dell Jesse that is one command to pull the configuration XML
James That is useful as well.
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Here's a use case that might be useful even for a few servers
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Set up your first server the way you want it...use the racadm tool to get the file, but use the --clone flag and it will format the xml file for replication to other servers
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell That means it will remove the identity information from the file
PIyer What RAID operations do you most frequently use?
DavidSchmidt_at_Dell Then, use that file to configure your other servers.
James Do I have RACADM?
PIyer You can combine multiple RAID operations like Reset Config, Create a VD and Initializing the VD all into one XML excerpt and import it onto a target system
PIyer Yes, you have the feature exposed both via WSMAN and RACADM
PIyer @James - If you have OMSA installed, you should have RACADM
James ok
PIyer So going back to the RAID example, -- the REset Config, Create VD and Initialize VD would be 3 separate operations using normal RAID commands
PIyer Configuration XML gives you a way to do all of this via one command and one excerpt
PIyer You could extend the RAID example to also setting BIOS or NIC configuration at the same time; all via the same job
jesse goodier what version of racadm and idrac are the minimum to get this functionality?
PIyer Now, considering you have a mix of servers, you might have questions if settings on one system are applicable to another
PIyer Thanks Jesse. iDRAC FW version 1.40.40
doug@dell @james - Racadm is on the OMSA DVD, as well as part of the DRAC tools download.It is continually being updated
doug@dell link to latest version
doug@dell http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails/Product/poweredge-r733?driverId=V64KV&osCode=WS8R2&fileId=3267268288&languageCode=en&categoryId=SM
PIyer If you have a disparate mix of servers, you can "test" if your snapshot on one system would apply to a different target system via a Preview of the Configuration XML
PIyer Preview tells you if a given Configuration XML file would succeed on your target system, the time it would take to apply the changes and whether it would need a system reboot to apply the changes
James I will get OpenManage and teh DRAC tools installed this weekend.
Dell TechCenter @James - to give you more ideas of different XML configuration use cases, we have a white paper called "Configuration XML Workflows"
Dell TechCenter Configuration XML Workflows white paper - http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/33269586.aspx
James Got it, ty
Vance @dell Would you like to see this feature- configuration XML added to the IDRAC GUI sometime in the future?
James Absolutely
Dell TechCenter @James - would you be more likely to use the XML feature through the GUI?
PIyer This is a general question - what do you all use to initially configure and setup your systems? what are your most common operations?
James II'm guessing it would be easier to start with however, my servers are in a datacenter.I was under the impression that for security reasosn I should physically segment the DRAC controllers.I am thinking it may be easier to build applets with Powershell to do some of this and for that reason, the command line would be better.
PIyer Thanks James - if you use PowerShell, you are probably familiar with WSMAN
Dell TechCenter And for other users, are you guys are using the iDRAC GUI interface to perform system configuration?
Abev Yes I am using the GUI
Dell TechCenter @abev - what parts of the iDRAC GUI do you utilize?Which operations do you perform?
Abev I use it to set up the network, RAID, and user authentication
PIyer Thanks Abev. You can do all of that via Config XML - in one operation
Ashok Hi
PIyer You can also propagate the User configuration and RAID to multiple systems also
Abev That is useful
Dell TechCenter @James - speaking of WSMAN, we've created a video outlining iDRAC XML configuration through WSMAN @ ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQLP6hHxG2g
James Does the configuration XML functionality apply to devices other than servers?
PIyer Thanks James - no, but it applies to all components (devices) within the server.
James @Dell TechCenter - Thanks, I'll review that as well.
Dell TechCenter @James - Cool.We also have one more blog post that discusses how to configure BIOS, RAID, and NIC using XML via RACADM @ http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/3313/01/04/idrac7-now-support-configuring-server-idrac-bios-perc-and-nic-using-xml-file-and-racadm.aspx
Dell TechCenter that should give everyone plenty to experiment with when evaluating the Configuration XML feature
James I'll say
PIyer That pretty much covers what we wanted to discuss - from what you've all heard so far, do you think you'd give this feature a try?
PIyer Also, what can you think of for enhancemnents?
James @Plyer - I for one definitely will.I appreciate all the great information.
Abev I will check it out for sure.
PIyer Thanks James and Abev. we look forward to your suggestions
Dell TechCenter If you want to make sugguestions for future features, feel free to create a post in the Dell TechCenter Systems Management forum
Dell TechCenter http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/f/4469.aspx - A lot of us are watching this and we would like to hear what you have to say
Abev Will do. Thank you for your time.
Dell TechCenter Thank you everyone. We will stay online for a few more minutes if you have additional feedback.
Dell TechCenter Thank you for joining us today.We will have more iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller chats in the future, so keep checking your inbox for those chat announcements!
Dell TechCenter Thanks @James @Abev @Alex for your great questions