One note about discovery of ESXi 5.0 servers with Dell OpenManage Essentials

Even though we’re using the Dell Management Plug-in for vCenter, we use Dell’s OpenManage Essentials (OME) for physical boxes. I want to be able to view ESXi server info from OME, as well, though. After initial configuration, my ESXi servers were showing up as “Unknown” even though they were correctly categorized as “VMware ESX Servers” in OME. This irritated me because I had finally configured my physical servers to show nice green check marks to show all was well but I couldn’t get my ESXi boxes to play nicely. As the ESXi boxes sat as unknown, they also did not have detailed hardware inventories available.

Now, I’ve been unimpressed by Dell’s hardware management platform so far even though the idea of it promises to be a big time saver and monitoring tool. When I have it configured, not only will I get SNMP hardware monitoring, but I should be able to upgrade firmwares and BIOSs remotely. Mostly, I’ve been dissatisfied by the lack of clear and organized configuration steps for, what I consider to be, a pretty standard data center: mostly virtualized with a few physical servers scattered about. As a note, I haven’t yet configured Dell’s management and monitoring stack to keep track of our remote office hardware, but it’s on the list of things to do.

Real quick, let me show you what I’ve come up with.

It seems SNMP will only provide a somewhat basic health status – not a detailed hardware inventory for an ESXi box. The inventory comes from the installed OMSA 7.1 VIB (found here and here).

The OMSA VIB can then be queried, and thus the server inventoried, using WS-MAN, or Web Services Management. When working within OME, right click on your discovery range and select WS-Man Credentials. You’ll input your ESXi root credentials here. The key options are highlighted in the screenshot below – the most important being that you increase the timeout value to 10 seconds – up from the default of 4 seconds. ESXi seems to take a while to respond to these queries so you need to increase it. As of summer 2012, Dell didn’t have a ship date for an update that set this timeout to 10 seconds as a default.

After making this change, my ESXi servers show up with nice little green check marks and a full hardware inventory.

Before I go, I should mention that there was a lot more configuration to be done that led me to this point.  I may just make documentation of my own – I’ve been taking Microsoft OneNote screenshots and notes along the way so I just might do that and share it with y’all. Let me know if this was helpful.





7 Comments on “One note about discovery of ESXi 5.0 servers with Dell OpenManage Essentials”

  1. Peter Tsai says:

    Hi Mike, I am a community manager for Dell TechCenter. I found your post and noticed you were having issues. Hopefully you are still using OME despite the troubles. The OpenManage Essentials team at Dell have been working to improve the user experience since your blog was published.

    There’s now a white paper for ESXi configuration for OME discovery/inventory/monitoring on DellTechCenter. Hopefully this document captures all the configuration steps needed for monitoring your ESXi servers using OpenManage Essentials.

    Also, the OME 1.1.1 patch was released in December 2012. If you haven’t applied it yet, it might help alleviate some of your concerns with OME

    Also, if you aren’t aware, we have a vibrant OME community that is checked by Dell OpenManage engineering daily. Feel free to leave us feedback or ask questions at the following locations:

  2. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the note. I’ve since completed the installation and configuration of OME along with Repository Manager and the Dell Management Plug-in for vCenter. Together, they all work great and really help and admin 1) get visibility into the firmware/BIOS status of his hardware and 2) enable an admin to update his hardware remotely and in an automated fashion. This is basically, as advertised.

    I have the walkthroughs for my installation – I just need to format them in a blog post.

    Thanks and all the best,


  3. Mark says:

    Hi Mike,

    Have you posted your ‘build guide’ for OME on the blog? I am struggling through OME configuration myself, and have found posts like this extremely helpful. Any documentation you would be willing to share would be fantastic.

    • Hey,

      Thanks for reminding me. I wrote up a quick document on my way out the door on how I set up the environment with the intention of posting it at a later point. I’ve dug through my email (ok, I did a quick search) and found the doc, so I’ll sanitize it for IP addresses and hostnames and post it soon.

      All the best!


  4. >It seems SNMP will only provide a somewhat basic health status – not a detailed hardware inventory for an ESXi box.
    I note that situation changed in 5.1 with IPMI support in hrDeviceTable.
    From ESXi Shell, /bin/snmpd -S
    gives you a diagnostic listing of what can be pulled from IPMI by the agent.
    Also in 5.1 onwards, a formatted report of IPMI data can also be retrieved via the CLI command:
    localcli hardware ipmi sdr list

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