In part two of this three-part series, I’m going to dive deeper into the main components of the DMPVV, which are the various profiles and templates. Also, I’m going to show you an example on how to manage an individual server by updating the firmware.

Profiles and Templates

Profiles and templates are the beating heart of the DMPVV tool. They contain the various settings for deploying and provisioning a physical server.

Connection Profile

A Connection Profile (CP) is a profile containing credentials for the various methods of connecting to a host and is associated to a root, datacenter, cluster or host object in the vCenter inventory. The iDRAC credentials are used to connect to the iDRAC controller in a physical server. By default, this controller uses a ‘root’ account. There’s an option to check the certificate, but if you’re using the default self-signed certificate, leave it disabled. The second credential in the CP is for the OpenManage Server Administrator Agent (OMSAAgent for short). These credentials are in fact the ESX(i)-root credentials.

Hardware Profile

A Hardware Profile (HP) contains settings from the physical hardware. This profile contains all BIOS, iDRAC and RAID-settings. The settings are gathered from a reference server and can be customized to your liking. When this profile is applied to a physical server, the hardware is configured automatically using the settings contained in this profile.

Hypervisor Profile

A Hypervisor Profile is composed of two items: installation media and vCenter destination cluster. These settings are used to automatically install the hypervisor during deployment.

Deployment Template

A Deployment is any combination of a Hardware and Hypervisor profile.

Dell Server Management

The Dell Server Management components are used for individual server-related management.

Accessing ‘Dell Server Management’

There are two ways to access the individual server-related management components. The first one is rather limited in its use, but what can you expect from a context menu item. The second one is conveniently placed in the tabs bar at the top of a server object in the vCenter inventory.

There are actually a few interesting items in this list:

Firmware Update Wizard

Updating firmware and BIOS-versions on Dell PowerEdge servers has never been easier. It takes an incredibly good tool to make me say that, as I am usually forced do some head-desk exercises while trying to update firmware/BIOS-version on Dell PE servers. I couldn’t agree more with @DuncanYB‘s post, ‘Dell Firmware updates‘. Even if the tool did nothing else than updating BIOS and firmware like this, I would highly recommend it to any admin out there with vSphere and Dell hosts.

Concluding this post

In this post, I’ve screenshotted my way through the different profiles and templates and used the Dell Server Manager portion of the DMPVV to upgrade firmware. In the third and last episode, I’ll show you how to ‘import’ a crisp new host into the DMPVV so we can actually deploy Hardware and Hypervisor profiles onto the host using the Deployment Wizard.