Dell OpenManage 101

Dell OpenManage 101

This page is for Dell OpenManage beginners and serves quick start guide / reference for novices wanting to learn more about Dell Systems Management. To learn more about OpenManage products visit the main OpenManage page on Dell TechCenter.

What is Dell OpenManage?

Dell OpenManage is a collection of software developed by Dell that helps you discover, monitor, manage, patch, and deploy to Dell server (OpenManage can also monitor networking and storage as well). OpenManage is useful to administrators that need to manage multiple servers because it allows them to easily view the status of all of their servers and manage them from a single workstation.

The OpenManage console used to manage Dell servers is known as Dell OpenManage Essentials, which replaces the older Dell IT Assistant (ITA). In order for OpenManage Essentials or ITA to discover and communicate with servers on your network, you must have one of two things on each server, either a Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) or the OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) software agent.

Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC)

The first option that allows for out-of band or bare-metal monitoring and provisioning is to have an integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) card installed in the server to be managed. The iDRAC is a piece of hardware that sits on the server motherboard that allows Systems Administrators to update and manage Dell systems, even when the server is turned off. The iDRAC also provides both a web interface and command line interface that allows administrators to perform remote management tasks. Almost all current Dell servers have the option for an iDRAC with the exception of the PowerEdge C series (for cloud and HPCC).

Other advantages of the iDRAC include being able to launch a remote console session (similar to Remote Desktop but works even when the OS is not booted up), remote reboot or power on/off your system, and map a virtual disk drive to a remote file share. The Dell Lifecycle Controller, which is a component of the iDRAC, is another useful tool that allows for advanced functionality around updating, backing up and restoring firmware updates on your Dell Server either through a GUI or command-line interface.

The other option is to install OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node (OMSA) on the servers to be managed. OMSA is a software agent that allows for communication with ITA. OMSA installs on top of the Operating System present on the server you want to monitor. OMSA listens to and reports server events and allows Systems administrators to perform 1 to 1 driver and firmware updates (in-band management) via either an HTML console or a command line interface.

With an ITA console running in on a workstation browser and either OMSA or the iDRAC on your servers, you will be able to perform monitoring and management tasks with Dell OpenManage. To get ITA to work, the the workstation running Dell IT Assistant and the servers being managed need to be able to see each other on the network.

For more information on the components described above and to find direct OpenManage download links, please visit any of the hyperlinks on this page and watch the videos below.

Dell OpenManage Introduction Videos

For a great visual overview OpenManage products, watch the following video were Brian Summers mentions all of the OpenManage components we described above.

YouTube 1: Dell OpenManage Introduction Videos

High Level OpenManage video that serves as an introduction to OpenManage and other Dell Systems Management solutions such as iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller

YouTube 2: Dell OpenManage Introduction Videos

Article ID: SLN311079

Last Date Modified: 09/14/2018 03:37 PM

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