There was recently a discussion in the communities about how to run the Dell DSET utility against an ESXi host. For the non-Dell readers, the Dell System E-Support Tool (DSET) is used to create a diagnostic report of the server. These reports are often requested by Dell support when working on  suspected hardware issues. If you want to know more about DSET, the download and information are both available from Dell. From my experience, I knew that the OMSA Linux LiveCD was always an option to generate the DSET reports, but this also meant taking the ESXi host down for an outage. In the discussion around using DSET, Nikhil Patwa posted a document from Dell that details how to create a DSET report for a remote ESXi host while the host remains up.

 

While the discussion and PDF from Dell are both available in the links above, the ultimate purpose of this post is to summarize the discussion and the posted PDF. This is mainly because I could not get the syntax included in Dell's PDF to work. I tested this with ESXi 5 build 721882 and 768111. I also tried the Dell offline VIB versions Dell_OpenManage_ESXi500_OM700-offline_bundle-643291.zip and OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-7.1.0-5304.VIB-ESX50i_A00.zip. The steps to download and install the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi and the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node are frequently requested in the communities, so I decided to cover them in this post as well. The remainder of this post will be split into three parts.

Part 1 - Install the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi

The first step is to install the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi. The Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi allows for server hardware monitoring, similar to what is available in Dell's OpenManage Server Administrator that is often used on Windows systems. The Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi is also a necessary component that must be installed in order to generate DSET reports from the ESXi host. At the time of this writing, the latest version is 7.1.0 and it may be downloaded here. Once the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi is downloaded, use the datastore browser in the vSphere Client to upload this zip file to a datastore that the ESXi host has access to. Place the host in maintenance mode and then use the ESXi Shell to issue the following command:

 

esxcli software vib install --depot=/vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE/OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-7.1.0-5304.VIB-ESX50i_A00.zip

 

Reboot the ESXi host and then exit maintenance mode. You may want to remove the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi zip file from the datastore, if it is no longer needed for installation on other ESXi hosts.

Part 2 - Install the OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node software

This step is optional in regard to generating an actual DSET report. If you want to get directly to creating a DSET report, then skip this part on installing the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node. At the time of this writing, the latest version of the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node is 7.1.0 and it may be downloaded here. Always check the Compatibility section at the Dell website when downloading these utilities to ensure they work with your specific version of ESXi. The Dell OpenManage Server Administrator Managed Node software is installed on a Windows system with a simple install wizard. Once the software is installed, open the following URL:

 

https://OpenManageWindowsServer:1311

 

The most important thing to know on this screen is that you will need to click the link titled Manage Remote Node listed at the bottom of the screen. This will change the view to that of the Managed System Login. This change will allow us to connect to the remote ESXi host that has the Dell OpenManage Offline Bundle and VIB for ESXi installed on it. Enter the management address of the ESXi host and a set of valid credentials. Note that if you receive a login failure due to certificate failure, login again and this time place a check in the Ignore Certificate Warnings checkbox. After logging in, it is a good idea to spend some time navigating this interface and getting familiar with it. If you have used Dell OpenManage Server Administrator before, then there will be nothing new here.

Part 3 - Install and run the DSET utility

C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\AdvDiags\DSET\bin>DellSystemInfo.exe -s [HOSTNAME] -u root -d hw -n root/dcim/sysman -r dset-test.zip

 

dset.png

As you can see in the image, the first thing that happens is the prompt for the root user's password. Then the DSET report is generated and saved. Note that if a full path is not specified with the "-r" option, the report will be saved to the current user's desktop. This file is a .zip file that you can send to Dell Support. You can also extract the files and view the information obtained by the DSET utility, if you like to see a lot of technical detail about your hardware.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Brian