Getting a Customized Dell Installation Disk
The advantages of getting a custom Dell disc is that you get all of the bellow packed by default:
- IOVP certified drivers
- Relevant third party drivers and CIM providers
To get a ESXi customized installer follow the following instructions:
- Go to support.dell.com
- Click "Drivers & Downloads"
- Ensure you have selected the appropriate server hardware
- Once your product shows up and you are on the appripriate "Drivers & Download" page select your OS from the "Operating System" drop down.
- Expand the "Enterprise Solutions" drop-down.
- Download and Install the iso
- Burn the disc and install
For vSphere 5.1 below is a resource for customized/certified OEM drivers for various manufacturers:
Installing OpenManage Server Administrator and Dell VIBs ManuallyI have found that on occasion when installing a non-dell version of esxi you will not get the hardware information and stats you would expect in the hardware health tab. There are also a lot of other hardware interaction functionality that may be missing if you do not install Server Administrator (like snmp trapping for attached hardware)
This is due to the fact that the VIBs haven't been properly installed so vmware has no way of communicating with the Dell hardware to check on it's stats. This issue can be completely avoided by installing Dell custom esx iso's but not everyone either remembers or knows that these exist.
- Copy the downloaded zip to your datastore
esxcli software vib install -d (path_to_zip)/OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-6.5.0-542907.VIB-ESX50i_A02.zip
- Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective. Reboot Required: true VIBs Installed: Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_6.5-0000 VIBs Removed: VIBs Skipped:
- Go to the health status page and click "refresh sensors"
You can see the list of installed software by:
esxcli software vib getgets detailed software information
esxcli software vib listlists all installed software
~ # esxcli software vib list | grep -i dell OpenManage 6.5-0000 Dell VMwareAccepted 2012-11-01 ~ # esxcli software vib get | grep -i dell Dell_bootbank_OpenManage_6.5-0000 Vendor: Dell Summary: Dell OpenManage 6.5 for esxi500 Description: Dell OpenManage 6.5 for esxi500
Manually Installing Updated Hardware Drivers
Since I did not use the Dell disc I had to install 10gig NIC drivers manually. The process is as follows:
- Find the 10gig NIC drivers by searching your model number on the vmware site
- I'm using a Intel 82598EB NIC.
- Download the zip - https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI50-INTEL-ixgbe-39134&productId=285
- Extract the zip and copy the offline bundle in the zip to the esx host
- Install using esxcli
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ixgbe-126.96.36.199-offline_bundle-804416.zip
- Expected Results:
Installation Result Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective. Reboot Required: true VIBs Installed: Intel_bootbank_net-ixgbe_188.8.131.52-1OEM.500.0.0.472560 VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_net-ixgbe_184.108.40.206.2-10vmw.500.0.0.469512 VIBs Skipped:
vMA (virtual Management Assistant)
Not to be confused with virtual management agent. virtual management agent is used to connect to vCenter and vMA is used to manage a bunch of systems via command-line. It also provides centralized logging and other useful features like scripted backups of esxi configuration.
Is is a good idea to have a virtual management assistant installed on one of your esx hosts as well to allow you to access vSphere CLI which provides a standard and flexible way to backup, monitor, script and deploy VMs.
I will be writing a short blog in the future about what vMA is and what functionality it has.
The following are the steps that should be done if you get a Dell server and want to install esx on it
- Get a custom ESXi CD and install
- Install OpenManage drivers
- Bring up a vMA guest
- If you're using vCenter use Dell's vCenter management plugin (compatible esx 5.0 and above)