This blog has been sitting in my drafts for a while and I have edited it a number of times while I tried to work out my problems and then my trying of multiple different paths to fix the problems I kept encountering.
First was my attempt to install ESXi5 onto my test lab Dell Poweredge1950 server which had ESXi5 beta installed on it already. The server booted fine off on the disc but once it reached “loading /tools.t00” it would give me a PSOD as shown in the two screen shots below.
After making sure it wasn’t my disc I went to the place I really should have looked at first (VCP4 101 Gregg…) and looked to make sure my server was actually supported on ESXi5 by going to the VMware HCL . As shown below the server is supported but requires the latest BIOS revision, which is a real pain as this server as i mentioned, had the ESXi5 latest beta on it so obviously this requirement has only been implemented in the GA release.
The fun part of all of this is my servers are remote to me as they are sitting in one of EMC’s corporate Datacentre’s. Now here is the part where the steps I followed to get my BIOS updated has been changed a number of times as I tried booting off the system Build DVD and updating the BIOS that way but this requires a formatted USB stick/key with the BIOS software on it which is fine for my one server but not for the future upgrades I need to do. So I followed the Open Manage route. After speaking to Kong Yang at Dell via twitter, he pointed to me to the currently unsupported but the latest available OMSA package for ESXi5 and steps of how to do it. The difficulty for me originally was that OMSA 6.4 didn’t work for me on ESXi5 beta and the unsupported version isn’t on the dell website or FTP site due to it not being supported yet. The steps of how to install OMSA on ESXi 5 via ESXCLI are here:
Also as mentioned, the VIB for OMSA 6.5 isn’t available via FTP.DELL.COM so you need to download it from this link:
The page Kong pointed me to with the above two links is here:
Next is another snag I hit as now the old process of managing your dell server via openmanage on port 1311 isn’t supported for ESXi and Dell recommends you use the Dell Management Console, which requires a distributed web server, installed on a Windows server. Also you have to licence the Dell management Console.Due to my desperate need for my test server to be upgraded to the Ga version on ESXi5 I did the BIOS upgrade for my test server by quickly installing Windows 2008 and just running the BIOS upgrade application so as to make sure ESXi5 did install once the BIOS was at the correct version and it does install perfectly.
But for my future servers I expressed my amazement at this requirement to pay for a licence for the DMC to allow me to do something I used to be able to do for free on twitter and Jonathan Medd replied to me with a blog posting he has done with a work around (What a Legend). This route does work if your servers are ESX/i 4.x and then you can use OpenManage to update your BIOS.
For me installing the latest OMSA on my ESXi5 beta and now GA test server didnt bring up the UserVars.CIMoemProviderEnabled parameter unfortunately and so I created a VMware Communities posting looking for a way to connect to OpenManage by using OMSA6.5 and ESXi5 to allow me to manage all my future ESXi5 servers. I got a number of responses and as mentioned in the thread it looks like the new variable is now UserVars.CIMvmw_OpenManageProviderEnabled