Simplify Lifecycle Management with Dell EMC PowerEdge & VMware

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Co-author: Damon Earley

IT Admins can realize significant time savings with up to 98% less hands-on time to update hypervisor and firmware¹

We’ve often heard that the most precious resource is time. What if we told you that Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have teamed up to help your IT staff get a little more time back in their day? No, it’s not magic, although you may feel compelled to work on your next virtual party trick with all of the time savings that your IT staff will reap from using Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV) and vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM). Better yet, use the time saved to access more exciting content from the first-ever virtual VMworld 2020, including the PowerEdge and VMware on-demand technical session.

Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have jointly innovated to give your IT staff the virtualization mathematics that really add up to true time savings. Earlier this year, VMware launched VMware vSphere 7 as vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM), which enables IT to deploy, manage and update both software and drivers in conjunction with a hardware support manager for hardware firmware using a desired state model. Dell EMC PowerEdge was one of the first server manufacturers to implement this epic new feature with our own hardware support manager, Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV). The results include some pretty impressive time savings for your IT staff, who like the rest of the world, are strapped for time. We’ll dive into those time savings but first, let’s talk about OMIVV.

OMIVV is the systems management plug-in from Dell for vCenter, providing a unified view of physical and virtual servers for PowerEdge hosts running vSphere. With it, monitoring and lifecycle management of the physical server can be brought into the native vCenter user interface, helping provide a holistic view of your server resources. With vLCM and OMIVV, you can see a significant decrease in the total time it takes to run these updates. Benefits include:

  • Reduced manual steps by setting up templates
  • Repositories that can be used repeatedly across many servers
  • Communication with vCenter to work with its software policies, like ProActive HA, DRS, and vSAN
  • Capability to leverage live migration policies, including for VMware vSAN

Customers have maximum flexibility and control when patches and updates are deployed, with unified software and firmware lifecycle management. And they can do it simply within vCenter, a familiar and comfortable tool. With Cluster Profiles, both for legacy vSphere and with vLCM, monitor for compliance and drift automatically, and schedule updates from within vCenter.

Based on this report by Principled Technologies, with vLCM and OMIVV, it took 98% fewer steps to update the hypervisor and firmware on an 8-node PowerEdge cluster.

Number of steps to update both hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Fewer steps are better. Source: Principled Technologies

A lot of the steps to this process – defining the software image, what drivers are needed, what firmware needs to be applied – are generally done only a handful of times based on the specific servers are in the cluster. Leveraging vLCM’s new functions for setting the ESXi baseline and driver add-ons, along with hardware templates for server firmware, lets you set these things once, then use them across the environment. The overall time, as well as hands-on time, was also significantly reduced, per the chart below. Essentially, the admin time was reduced to under 4 minutes versus 3.5 hours manually.

Time (h::mm:ss) to update both the hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Less time is better. Source: Principled Technologies

While we cannot jointly innovate or engineer more hours in the day, our commitment to our PowerEdge server customers using VMware vSphere, vSAN and Cloud Foundation is to help simplify and accelerate your hybrid cloud with new features such as vLCM. Learn more about our approach to lifecycle management with this on-demand PowerEdge and VMware breakout session at VMworld 2020, or visit our PowerEdge and VMware website.

 

¹Principled Technologies report commissioned by Dell EMC, “New VMware vSphere 7.0 features reduced the time and complexity of routine update and hardware compliance tasks,” August 2020.

 

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