Lance Boley:Welcome everyone, just getting everything setup ... we will get started in a few minutes
Lance Boley:Welcome everyone to todays chat.
Lance Boley:Today we are going to talking about the Dell Lifecycle controller and OS deployments
Lance Boley:We have the team with us today and I will turn it over to them to kick things off
Vinod-Dell:i am from LC team
Vinod-Dell:we have a group experts to help you on OS deploment from Lifecycle controller
Vinod-Dell:Before we start, just want to understand how familiar is everyone with Lifecycle Controller?
Don Williams:I have just used it for firmware/bios updates
Matthew:Not very. We use SCCM for OSD.
Daniel_Bowers:Never used it personally, but familiar with the features & concepts.
Paul M:hello all, no voice?
John Abrams - Dell:No, this chat is text-only today
Paul M:ahh ok
Vinod-Dell:for those who are not familiar with Lifecycle controller here is the summary:
Vinod-Dell:Dell Lifecycle Controller is UEFI based Pre OS utility which simplifies server lifecycle management— from provisioning, deployment, patching and updating to servicing and user customization—for servers located both locally and remotely. It comes embedded with all Power Edge servers from Dell. It has two interfaces 1) 1X1 UI 2) WSMAN based remote access interface.
Daniel_Bowers:What is "1X1"?
Vinod-Dell:one to one Graphical User Interface
Paul M:we use lifecycle controller just as a management interface to connect to the server if the host management port is unavailable.
DavidAtDell:Hi everyone, I'm the product manager for Lifecycle Controller. I'd like to understand how everyone deploys their OS today?
Daniel_Bowers:Well, I pull out my OS/2 Warp diskettes, and just start swapping.
Don Williams:virtual CD via idrac
Paul M:We deploy OS to Client machines through SCCM
MichaelD:Attach ISO via iDRAC
Paul M:Servers we use Templates in VMM
DavidAtDell:Thanks. One of the advantages of LC is that it contains the very latest Dell-supported drivers. It can present these drivers to the OS install process.
Paul M:ok maybe im missing something, is Lifecycle controllers different from iDRAC?
Daniel_Bowers:How are the drivers presented? E.g. does LC repository show up a drive or key?
DavidAtDell:LC is the F10 application. You access it directly from the console.
DavidAtDell:They are presented as a special partition called OEMDRV
DavidAtDell:We have worked with our OS partners to recognize this drive during the install process
DavidAtDell:@Paul_M, the LC application contains wizards for hardware configuration, OS deployment, firmware update, etc.
Daniel_Bowers:So LC runs on the main CPU as a UEFI application, right? It's not running on the iDRAC 'controller'?
DavidAtDell:Some features, like fw updates, are made available via the iDRAC Web UI
DavidAtDell:the iDRAC has the ability to interact with LC and therefore it can present features even when the F10 application is not running.
DavidAtDell:These are presented through WS-MAN
Paul M:Do these work with OME? is this where the repository is stored for the FW and drivers?
Paul M:sorry OME (Open Manage Essentials)
Vinod-Dell:@paul , no, this is a independent data store present in iDRAC
Paul M:so the LC poles a server at dell on installation?
Paul M:like WSUS
DavidAtDell:@Paul_M: No, it contains a local data store. It can be updated periodically from ftp.dell.com, but that is not necessary to start an OS install
MichaelD:Does the server require an SD card to make use of the LC's driver repository?
Daniel_Bowers:...where is the local data store? On flash attached to iDRAC?
Nagaraju_s Dell:@ Michael : No SD card is needed
Don Williams:what are the features accessible from idrac?
Nagaraju_s Dell:@ bowers : No it is on Internal eMMC card
DavidAtDell:@Don: You can update firmware from the iDRAC.
Don Williams:just the idrac firmware right?
DavidAtDell:No - everything :)
Don Williams:oh, is that just with newer idrac versions? I have 6
DavidAtDell:It's easier to say what you CAN'T do in iDRAC.
Don Williams:ok, that is why i have not seen that
DavidAtDell:The LC Application can configure storage, BIOS, FW. This cannot be done in iDRAC Web UI
Daniel_Bowers:When a server arrives from the factory, what revisions / age OS drivers are on the 'driver' store?
DavidAtDell:Actually - storage CAN be configured via iDRAC UI :)
Vinod-Dell:@daniel, the factory updates the latest OS driver packs
Paul M:does Dell provide any hooks into SCCM to utilize these functions? is it something loaded in SCCM from Dell?
DavidAtDell:Yes, we do. It is called Dell Lifecycle Controller Integrations for Configuration Manager
DavidAtDell:DLCI for short
DavidAtDell:You can perform OS installs using LC via SCCM
Vinod-Dell: @all: another cool feature which LC provides is the unattended OS installation
Paul M:Currently i build my own driver packages with sccm and use wmi queries to pull specific model information like "SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystem WHERE Model LIKE '%Optiplex 7010%'" will this interfer with the structure i built?
John Abrams - Dell:For those of you who are interested in more information on Lifecycle Controller, the Dell Technceter has a host of infomation. For example, a collection of whitepapers can be found at http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/4317.white-papers-for-idrac7-with-lifecycle-controller-2.aspx
John Abrams - Dell:Paul, the OptiPlex system is not covered by Lifecycle controller.
John Abrams - Dell:Lifecycle Controller is available on PowerEdge servers.
John Abrams - Dell:We do have people (not on today's chat) who would be happy to discuss client systems management (such as your OptiPlex) with you.
Matthew:We have PowerEdge servers, but I'm also curious if any of the LC functionality will be extended to Optiplex in the future.
John Abrams - Dell:@Matthew, at this time, we have no plans for that
John Abrams - Dell:There are alternates though for client systems.
Matthew:Yeah, we're probably using some of those, like CCTK etc.
Daniel_Bowers:Are there any significant OSes or versions of OSes that LC can't handle?
Paul M:i understand, i will have to look deeper into the server build side of sccm since we deal more with client builds then servers.
Vinod-Dell:@daniel, all the popular Oses in the industry are supported by LC
Lance Boley:@Paul M we will try and get something setup for our client systems in the future.
Deb:Vinod, is the unattended install feature supported by all OSes?
Vinod-Dell:@daniel, no, it is curreently supported only for windows.
Vinod-Dell:sorry it was for deb
Paul M:Since i have OME stood up and installed monitoring our server datacenter and we build servers every so often i am trying to see the advantage of using LC in SCCM...
John Abrams - Dell:@PaulM, how often?
Paul M:new server gear shows up maybe every 3-5 months.
John Abrams - Dell:how many servers?
John Abrams - Dell:how long is your OME-based process taking?
Paul M:We have a dell m 1000 blade container with 8 blades and 5 other hyper visor machines. All Fail over clustering with somewhere around 150 servers running at any given time.
Paul M:OME based processing is slow and reboots Virtual Hosts so it becomes a manual process..
John Abrams - Dell:@Paul M..at that scale, it may not make sense to switch. If you were scaling up, I think you'd realize benefits (time) by using LC-based methods
Paul M:gotcha.. what i was getting to understand.
Paul M:@John. Thanks.
John Abrams - Dell:sure, any other questions?
Daniel_Bowers:There's no licensing for LM is there? It's free / included w/ the server.
DavidAtDell:@Daniel: Yes, it's included with the server
DavidAtDell:Free depending on how you view your server purchase :)
DavidAtDell:included is probably the better term :)
Daniel_Bowers:Good point @David :)
Lance Boley:We have a little less than 10 minutes left, does anyone have anything else they would like to ask before we wrap it up for today ...
Lance Boley:If not ... thanks to everyone for joining today and we will talk with you all next time.
Daniel_Bowers:Yes. Are you buying IBM's server business? :)
Matthew:At what scale does OSD with LC start to make sense?
Lance Boley:Remember to check our calendar on http://www.delltechcenter.com
DavidAtDell:@Matthew: LC is actually useful for any scale
Paul M:@Matthew good question.
DavidAtDell:probably more useful for the single digit cases
DavidAtDell:Once you need to deploy 10s, 100s, you should consider automating via WS-MAN
DavidAtDell:to clarify: LC UEFI application makes sense for single digit.
Daniel_Bowers:Thanks @David @Vinod @Nagaraju for the chat today
Matthew:Got it. Thanks.
Lance Boley:@Daniel_Bowers ... guess we will have to wait and see
Deb:For those not familiar with LC, are there any plans to check out the utility?
DavidAtDell:You can set up OS install via WS-MAN too. Good examples on delltechcenter link above.
Vinod-Dell:thank you all for the great questions
Lance Boley:For more information, please check out the LC page on TechCenter - http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1979.lifecycle-controller.aspx
Paul M:Anything that saves time and effort is worth a look in my eyes..
Lance Boley:Thanks everyone ...
Paul M:Thanks all!
DavidAtDell:Our pleasure. Thanks for choosing Dell!