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Should I just get rid of OMSA? Why not?

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Should I just get rid of OMSA? Why not?

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I am managing an environment of Dell hardware and prefer to use OME as much as possible. So far we have had the practice of installing OMSA on servers because I thought that was necessary for OME to do the job we need.

I am no longer sure. Could I manage with just iDrac?

I have these types of hardware:

11G, 12G and 13G servers

Switches

An Equalogic SAN

A SonicWALL firewall

Some Dell IAP access points

We keep the IDracs up-to date.

This is what I want to achieve with OME (I am using SNMP and WS-man):

  • receive alert emails when there are hardware problems
  • Use System Update to see precisely which updates are available for which non-compliant system. This is view-only. We do not push anything out from OME.
  • Have an overall indication of Health for each device
  • View hardware logs
  • View hardware inventory

Will I be able to do that in OME without OMSA on the servers? Including 11G servers?

Is there something else that I should absolutely be doing that OMSA enables?

My motivation for getting rid of OMSA is that we are not very good at keeping OMSA up-to-date and we find that doing this is a lot of work.

I realise that very similar questions have been asked here before, but I have found the answers to be somewhat contradictory.

All Replies
  • A specific case:

    I have a T410 with OMSA 8.5. It shows up in OME with a warning symbol. Some digging around finds this on the OMSA website:

    Under System->Logs-Alert I see this:

    LOG323 Mon Jun 05 17:46:37 2017 Instrumentation Service Severity: Warning, Category: System Health, MessageID: LOG323, Message: The log size is near maximum capacity. Log type: ESM.

    Oddly I cannot see his warning in OME or in IDrac. Which log is it even talking about?

    I see that the usual advice is to clear the log. But what would have happened if I had not had OMSA on that server in the first place:

    Would I not have seen a warning health status in OME at all?

    Or would I have seen the warning status, but not have been able to finde cause?

  • I find that I get better results with OMSA installed, even though supposedly it is not "required" on the 13G servers.

    We enable PowerShell remoting on all our servers and I wrote a PowerShell script that updates OMSA on our servers so it is pretty manageable for us.  That being said I don't think you have to worry too much about updating OMSA to the latest version every time they come out with an update.

  • Frequently when we update OMSA it messes up Hyper-V virtual switch configurations because it somehow reconfigures NICs when it loads a new Broadcom/QLink SNMP agent. That is a pain.

    Leaving OMSA alone for a long time also does not work well for us since the self-signed SSL certificates tend to conflict with newer browsers.

    What specifically would I be sad to miss on 11G, 12G and 13G without OMSA?

  • Hi, thanks for the query.

    You should be able to use all features stated in your first post by discovering servers through iDRACs for stated generations. We also recommend customers to have agent free management environment. :)

    You must use WSMAN protocol for discovery to have optimum functionality, and, configure SNMP trap settings on each iDRAC to receive traps.

    11G servers, you won't be able to update storage controller/peripheral related firmware/drivers.

    11G, 12G and 13G servers, you won't be able to update OS drivers.

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks,

    Shivendra

  • @Shivendra:

    OK. Thanks. I think that we will give it a shot without OMSA, then.

    Thomas 

  • Apologies for resurrecting my old thread...

    I have gone ahead and installed 4 new 13G servers without OMSA. It looks almost perfect, but one thing has me worried.

    If I look at "Sotfware Inventory Information" in OME for an older server with OMSA, I can see installed versions of a lot of drivers. Most of these is what I would characterize as "Intel stuff" and I would sort of expect to receive updates for those through Windows Update, so I am not too worried.

    But I also see version for a PERC H310 mini driver and a Broadcom NetExtreme driver family.

    If I look at the same "Sotfware Inventory Information" list in OME for one of my new servers without OMSA, I do not see any drivers at all.

    I suspect that OME uses this information to compare with the catalog it downloads as a basis for telling me which systems are non-compliant in System Update. And for telling me which specific drivers have newer versions available on the non-compliant system.

    Question: Is my assumptions correct that if I do not install OMSA on a 13G server with IDrac enterprise, then OME has no way of letting me know if I have badly outdated Dell supplied drivers?

    Question: Which drivers for a 13G system will not receive important updates through Windows Update?

    Please note: I am unmarking @Shivendras post as an answer since it now occurs to me that this statement is ambiguous: "11G, 12G and 13G servers, you won't be able to update OS drivers". I am not looking to UPDATE drivers from OME but I am looking to discover outdated drivers.

  • Savard. We are trying to automate as much as we can when when it comes to server support. We would like to implement OMSA update as well. Could you please share your script ?

    Thanks in andvance