Taking Advantage of Agent-Free Monitoring of Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers using HP Operations Manager for Windows

This post was written by Kalai MS of the Dell OpenManage Connections team

Overview                       

 This post provides details on the Agent-Free Monitoring of Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers. Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation servers are equipped with integrated Dell Remote Access Controller, version 7 (iDRAC7) with Lifecycle Controller (LC), an innovative agent-free systems management solution, which automates day-to-day IT management functions.  With iDRAC7, you can monitor, troubleshoot and remediate servers, receive server issue alerts with improved error messaging, and remove any dependency on operating systems or in-band management agents such as that provided by Dell’s legacy OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA). The Dell embedded technology, at the core of iDRAC7 with LC, empowers agent-free manageability that greatly simplifies IT tasks.

Agent-Free monitoring provides these benefits:

  • Monitoring servers even if an operating system is not installed.
  • Monitoring servers even when the operating system is down.
  • Monitoring servers without the need for OMSA or any other software agents.
  • Viewing server health status using iDRAC7.
  • Support for Dell PowerEdge 12th generation server traps through iDRAC7.
  • iDRAC7 console launch support to launch the appropriate console to further troubleshoot a particular server.
  • iDRAC7 console launch support to remotely install an operating system.

Agent-Free monitoring of Dell servers is a licensed feature in Dell Smart Plug-in (SPI) version 3.0. It offers out-of-band monitoring of 12th generation Dell PowerEdge servers via their embedded management component, the iDRAC7 with LC.

Dell PowerEdge Servers’ Trap Support                              

The HP Operations Manager (HPOM) framework provides SNMP interceptor policies for monitoring managed nodes that support SNMP traps. Dell Smart Plug-in (SPI) uses the SNMP Interceptor policies to support server SNMP Traps. The SNMP Interceptor policy “Policy management->Policy groups->SPI for Dell Devices->Dell OOB Server Traps” is used for supporting server traps. Server SNMP Traps are intercepted by this policy, then the corresponding alert messages are generated in the HPOM console, and associated to the corresponding iDRAC7 Managed Node in the node hierarchy.

Instantaneous Health Monitoring                     

Once a trap is intercepted by the “Dell OOB Server Traps” SNMP interceptor policy, the health status of the corresponding server is retrieved and a status message is generated and associated to the “Global System Status” service of the corresponding iDRAC7 managed node in the service hierarchy. If the server is down, you can view the status of the server in the iDRAC7 Global System Status service.

Knowledge Base:

            All the Dell server alerts contain detailed knowledge articles with causes and resolutions to assist in troubleshooting the received alert.  Customers can utilize the knowledge articles to do a root-cause analysis of the alert and take appropriate steps to resolve the problem.

To open a knowledge article page of a received alert, do the following steps:

Double click the alert -> Navigate to Instructions tab-> click the htm link provided.

The knowledge base article contains the cause and resolution of the corresponding alert.

Periodic Health Monitoring                  

The scheduled task policy “Policy management->Policy groups->SPI for Dell Devices->Dell Server->Dell Server Scheduled Status Poll” is used for monitoring the health of servers.  Once the policy is deployed and scheduled, the health of the server is retrieved using the iDRAC7 node and the generated health message is associated with the Global System Status service of the corresponding iDRAC7 nodes. In case of bare metal server or if the server is down, you can view the status of the server in the iDRAC7 Global System Status service.

Troubleshooting through iDRAC7 console                      

You can launch iDRAC7 console from Node Hierarchy, Service Hierarchy, and messages. When a server is down or not reachable, you can launch the iDRAC7 console; from within that tool, you can launch an actual server/system console to troubleshoot the issue. Also, when the system is not installed with an operating system, you can use the iDRAC7 console to launch the system console and remotely install an operating system.

 In Node hierarchy, the DRAC console tool is associated with the iDRAC7 Managed Node.  To launch iDRAC7 console from node hierarchy, perform the following steps:

Right click on Managed Node -> All Tasks -> Launch Tool -> Dell Tools-> Dell DRAC -> DRAC console.

 

 

 

In Service hierarchy, the tool is associated with both the iDRAC7 Node and Global system status service of the corresponding iDRAC7 node.  To launch iDRAC console from service hierarchy, perform the following steps:

Right click on the iDRAC7 Managed Node -> All Tasks -> Launch Tool -> Dell Tools-> Dell DRAC -> DRAC Console.

 

 

To launch iDRAC console from SNMP traps and health messages, perform the following steps:

Right click on a message of the iDRAC7 node->Launch Tool-> Message-> Tools-> Dell Tools-> Dell DRAC-> DRAC Console.

 Troubleshooting through OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) console                            

You can launch the OMSA console from an iDRAC7 node in both Node Hierarchy and Service Hierarchy. Whenever a Critical/Warning trap is received or the Global System Status of the server is Critical/Warning, you can launch OMSA console from its corresponding iDRAC and can further troubleshoot the issue.                               

During classification of iDRAC7 devices, “OpenManage Server Administrator Console” tool will be associated with the iDRAC7 devices in Node and Service hierarchies. In Node Hierarchy the tool is associated with the Managed Node, and in service hierarchy the tool is associated with the managed Node service and Global System Status service. You can launch the corresponding OMSA console from an iDRAC7 device.

To launch the OpenManage Server Administrator Console from Node and Service hierarchies, perform the following:

Right click on Managed Node -> All Tasks -> Launch Tool -> Dell Tools-> Dell DRAC -> OpenManage Server Administrator Console

To launch OMSA console from SNMP traps and health messages, perform the following:

Right click on a message of the iDRAC7 node->Launch Tool-> Message-> Tools-> Dell Tools-> Dell DRAC-> OpenManage Server Administrator Console.

Launch OpenManage Power Center (OMPC) Console                               

Dell OpenManage Power Center (OMPC) improves the ability to monitor and manage power usage and energy consumption across your entire data center. You can launch OMPC console from Dell Smart Plug-in (SPI) through messages.

To launch OMPC console from SNMP traps and health messages, you need to perform the following steps:    

Configure the OMPC tool as per the instructions in Dell SPI Installation guide.

Right click on a message ->Launch Tool-> Message-> Tools-> Dell Tools-> OpenManage Power Center Console.                                 

Launch Warranty Report                        

You can launch warranty information page from iDRAC7 node which shows the warranty information of the server in the dell support site.

Warranty tool is associated with the iDRAC7 node in both node and service hierarchy.

To launch the Warranty information page from Node and Service hierarchies:

Right click on Managed Node -> All Tasks -> Launch Tool -> Dell Tools-> Warranty Report.

To launch Warranty information page from SNMP traps and health messages, perform the following:

Right click on a message of the iDRAC7 node->Launch Tool-> Message-> Tools-> Dell Tools-> Warranty Report.

Launch OpenManage Essentials (OME) Console                         

OpenManage Essentials (OME) is a hardware management application that provides a comprehensive view of Dell systems, devices, and components. You can use OME to discover, monitor the system's health, perform system updates, and view hardware inventory and compliance reports. You can launch OME from Dell Smart Plug In.

To launch the Open Manage Essentials console from the Node and Service hierarchies:

Right click on Managed Node -> All Tasks -> Launch Tool -> Dell Tools-> OpenManage Essentials Console.

To launch OME console from SNMP traps and health messages, perform the following steps:

Configure the OME tool as per the instructions in Dell SPI Installation guide.

Right click on a message ->Launch Tool-> Message-> Tools-> Dell Tools-> OpenManage Essentials Console

Appendix 

For more information see the following: