I have 6 new R720 servers I am setting up for a client. They will mostly be VM hosts. They have iDRAC 7 Express with a trial license for Enterprise. Since it is a trial license for Enterprise that will expire, I am not sure of the features that will be available in iDRAC Express when the trial ends.
Is it advisable to install Open Manage Server Administrator on these servers ... for hardware monitoring and diagnostics, log file access, RAID configuration and maintenance (rebuilds, hot-spare assignments, remote diagnostic of failed drives, etc) ... or will iDRAC 7 Express do all of that?
iDRAC and OpenMange Essentials are really two completely different entities that each serve a different purpose. However, they also can be used together to create a server management solution.
First, check out this licensing white paper. Pages 6 & 7 outline the difference between Express licensing and Enterprise licensing.
Second, OpenManage Essentials is a systems management console that provides simple, basic Dell hardware management and is available as a free download. Check out their link for more info:
Regarding your question about hardware monitoring and configuration, OME is basically an interface to the iDRAC (which is a dedicated service processor on each of your R720s) that performs the actual requested operations.
Finally, Lifecycle Controller technology enables the ability to perform embedded management tasks without the need to install a software based agent ( like OME). It is tightly coupled with the iDRAC and is part of the dedicated service processor mentioned above.
I know this is a lot of information to absorb. Please respond if you have additional questions.
Thanks for the list of links, but this does not really answer my question. I have iDRAC and understand what is does. Not sure of difference between Express and Enterprise, but will look at your link.
I guess after doing my own research, I am under the impression that OMSA and iDRAC can both do hardware monitoring, but OMSA is the only program that will let me do RAID configurations and rebuilds.
I am also under the impression that OME is more of a centralized server /network monitoring application for a more broad view (reports and general tasks like updates and patches) and less of a system management application with capabilities to manage specific hardware. Closer to HP OpenView than Microsoft's System Center.
Thanks for your post.
Regarding OME, it is one to many systems management application. It allows you to discover various devices on your network including servers, iDracs, switches, storage devices etc. You can receive SNMP traps, monitor hardware health, gather hardware inventory and send firmware/BIOS updates as well see various reports.
As you mentioned, if the device health is not normal, you can launch individual element managers OMSA/iDrac console by right clicking the device in OME and investigate the issue further.
The link provided by Steve will have additional information about OME.