Postings in the same series:
Part I – Let’s Start
Part II – Know What’s In Place
Part III – Server Monitoring
In the last posting of this series I’ll take a look at the other Dell MP Suite monitoring functionality and come to a verdict of this MP Suite. When you haven’t read the previous postings you’re advised to do so before reading this posting.
Other monitoring functionality
The Dell MP Suite delivers besides server hardware monitoring also monitoring of other Dell hardware:
- Dell Chassis Management Controller (CMC)
Monitors Dell CMC and DRAC/MC devices. The required MPs are found in the folder C:\Program Files\Dell Management Packs\Server Mgmt Suite\5.0.1\Chassis Monitoring.
A nice touch of Dell is here that a MP especially for SCOM R2 is made (Dell.CMC.OM07.mp) and another for OM12 (Dell.CMC.OM12.mp). So depending on the OM version you run you import the MP which is relevant. For CMC monitoring four MPs must be imported.
Dependencies (limited to the CMC MPs only!)
As you can see is the Dell.Model.CMC.mp the foundation here. The SCOM R2 MP or OM12 MP depends on all other three CMC MPs. Basically meaning all four MPs must be imported otherwise CMC monitoring won’t work.
MPBA & MPViewer results
The Dell.Model.CMC.mp isn’t shocking. MPBA shows only one warning which was to be expected since this MP is really tiny. It only creates the foundation for CMC monitoring. It defines some classes and relationships. No Rules or Monitors what so ever.
The Dell.OperationsLibrary.CMC.mp is a library file defining the operations used by the Dell CMC MP. A small MP as well only containing four discoveries. No Rules or Monitors to be found here. MPBA is happy with the MP and finds nothing to report about. Didn’t expect otherwise actually with such a basic small MP.
The Dell.View.CMC.mp defines the views used by the CMC MP. It doesn’t contain any OM12 Console widgets which is why this MP fits SCOM R2 as well. The MP adds 5 basic Views to the console. MPBA finds one nagging issue which results into the Alerts to be displayed in the wrong order (not the newest Alert on top).
The Dell.CMC.OM12.mp is the one which does all the CMC monitoring. It contains 4 Unit Monitors (2 SNMP based) and about 25 Rules, all SNMP trap based.
So per CMC device you have about 27 SNMP based Rules/Monitors running against it. Something to reckon with in your OM12 environment. Make sure your MG is properly dimensioned to take this additional load of network device monitoring.
- Dell Remote Access Monitoring (DRAC)
Monitors DRAC devices. The required MPs are found in the folder C:\Program Files\Dell Management Packs\Server Mgmt Suite\5.0.1\Remote Access Monitoring.
Also here Dell differentiates between SCOM R2 and OM12 by delivering the Dell.DRAC.OM07.mp and the Dell.DRAC.OM12.mp. So depending on the OM version you run you import the MP which is relevant. For DRAC monitoring four MPs must be imported.
Dependencies (limited to the DRAC MPs only!)
As you can see is the Dell.Model.DRAC.mp the foundation here. The SCOM R2 MP or OM12 MP depends on all other three DRAC MPs. Basically meaning all four MPs must be imported otherwise DRAC monitoring won’t work.
MPBA & MPViewer results
The Dell.Model.DRAC.mp is a surprise. MPBA shows about 18(!) warnings which is bad since it creates the foundation for DRAC monitoring. Most warnings are about missing Display Names. So this isn’t a good start. The MP itself defines some classes and relationships. No Rules or Monitors what so ever.
The Dell.OperationsLibrary.DRAC.mp is a library file defining the operations used by the Dell DRAC MP. A small MP as well only containing five discoveries. No Rules or Monitors to be found here.
The Dell.View.DRAC.mp defines the views used by the DRAC MP. It doesn’t contain any OM12 Console widgets which is why this MP fits SCOM R2 as well. The MP adds 8 basic Views to the console. MPBA finds two nagging issues which result into the Alerts to be displayed in the wrong order (not the newest Alert on top) and another issue about missing Display Names.
The Dell.DRAC.OM12.mp is the one which does all the DRAC monitoring. It contains 10 Unit Monitors, 9 Dependency Monitors and 191(!) Rules, all of them enabled and generating Alerts.
Good to know is that 74 of these Alerts have an Informational Alert Severity. Personally I don’t fancy informational Alerts since they don’t really add value to SCOM R2/OM12. Many times they’re noise.
But still 67 of the 191 Rules do have a Critical Alert Severity which is really a whole lot. Don’t know how many of these are really critical.
And YES, all of these Rules are SNMP based. So per DRAC device being monitored by OM12 there are 191 SNMP based Rules in place. Again an additional load on your OM12 environment. Something to reckon with in your OM12 environment. Make sure your MG is properly dimensioned to take this additional load of network device monitoring.
- Chassis Modular Server Correlation
This MP (Dell.ChassisModularServer.Correlation.mp) doesn’t monitor anything – thus not a single Rule or Monitor to be found in that MP – but correlates the Dell CMC and DRAC/MC slots with Dell Modular Servers.
Not much to add here besides this MP is advised to be imported when you decide to monitor CMC and/or DRAC.
The Dell MP Suite on itself proofs Dell is truly dedicated to bring Dell hardware in to SCOM R2/OM12. The scale of the MP is rather huge since it covers many aspects of the Dell hardware. Compared to a few years back the Dell MP Suite shows progression in build quality.
However, the build quality is still one of the most crucial points of any MP and the Dell MP Suite isn’t an exception here. As shown in previous postings and this one as well, the Dell Suite MP and it’s set of MPs do have some issues, ranging from a nuisance (wrong sorting order of Alerts) to more serious issues many of them directly related to Core MP Functionality.
This new suit also introduces a new approach to importing the Dell MPs in SCOM R2/OM12. On itself, looking at the amount of MPs involved, an understandable idea. But the way it’s done (by adding the functionality in the Monitoring part of the Console) is a bad idea. This part of the Console is shown to the Operators as well and they don’t have any permissions to import/delete MPs. So Dell should bring this to the Administration part of the Console or skip it all together. For now my advice is to remove that MP (Dell Feature Management) from your environment, as described in the third posting of this series.
As seen with previous Dell MP Suites, the amount of Rules and Monitors using SNMP can be enormous. In SCOM R2 this can pose a real threat to the overall stability, scalability and availability of the whole MG simply because the SNMP module used by SCOM R2 is anything but robust and scalable.
But even when running OM12 there is still a lot going on SNMP wise. So be careful when monitoring CMC/DRAC modules since the additional load created can be (to) big for your environment. Testing is key here and also very important, tweaking and tuning.
Perhaps Dell should build the next version of the Dell MP Suite in a different kind of way: Most of all Rules/Monitors disabled and a few MPs only containing overrides to enable the most relevant ones. This way one can use a phased approach when deploying the Dell MP Suite.
Coverage of Dell hardware:
Overall build quality:
Amount of noise in certain MPs:
Overall progression compared to previous versions:
Quality of documentation:
Should I or not?
When you have Dell hardware in place it’s wise to monitor it by using the Dell MP Suite. However, don’t import all Dell MPs found in this suite but use a phased approach instead. Go about it like this:
- RTFM both documents (PDF and text file);
- Start with Dell Server hardware monitoring only and nothing fancy like OOB;
- Tuning, tuning and tuning is key here.
When that’s in place and functional AND OM12 is still OK, you can move on but only after you’ve tested these MPs thoroughly. The DRAC MP contains too many SNMP Rules for instance so tuning is really required here.
And for the rest take notice of the advice I have given in all the previous postings of this series.