My ramblings about all things technical

1 Comment

PSOD while trying to install vSphere ESXi5 on a Dell PowerEdge 1950 and OMSA 6.5 installation

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


Leave a comment

Dell Openmanage Installation


A few weeks ago I had to install OpenManage on some of my newer dell server machines and since some of the settings have changed since I last used it I thought I would write up a list of the steps required for our teams wiki site and write up a blog posting of the the steps for anyone who hasn’t done it before.So belatedly here are the steps and cool new tricks some of my friends on twitter showed me.

Firstly the standard steps:

  1. Download the tar file from the ftp site or the support site 
  2. Copy the file using winscp(this is what i use at least) to /tmp/openmanage on the server
  3. Log into the box either via winscp /via putty or onto the console directly and type in:

    cd /tmp/openmanage
    tar -zxvf OM_X.X.0_ManNode_A01.tar.gz (OM_6.2.0_ManNode_A00.tar currently)

  4. Once the files have unpacked type in:
    cd linux/supportscripts/
    ./ -x
      (-x is for express install and installs everything but if you only want to install specific features the commands you can also use are -d -w -r –s )

    -d = Dell Agent
    -w = web interface
    -r = DRAC services
    -s = storage management

  5. Once the files have unpacked and installed type: start
  6. When the various component services have finished starting type in: 
    cd /tmp
    rm -rf Openmanage
  7. To allow the Openmanage agent to function the following firewall commands need to be run, these open the firewall ports required: 
    esxcfg-firewall -o 1311,tcp,in,OpenManageRequest


While asking a few friends on twitter if the latest Openmanage worked well in their environments Arne Fokkema @afokkema of ict-freak-nl fame pointed to the automated scripting way of doing it written up by Scott Hanson @dellservergeek . As you may know if you’ve read some of my previous blog posting I’m trying to learn how to script more and more of my daily tasks to firstly build my powershell and scripting knowledge and skills as well as making my daily job easier. The script is really simple and is one I’m planning to test in my lab environment very soon. At the bottom of the script though was a comment by one of my powershell idols in Alan Renouf @alanrenouf. He had changed a few of the snmpd commands and so I got a hold of him via twitter and classic him he mailed me the script he spoke of. Only after this did I notice he wrote up a blog post about it,which is exactly what he sent me.

Thanks to all who replied to my twitter messages and hopefully I can get Alan/Scott’s scripts into my automated server deployments in the very near future.

Gregg Robertson