I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical about installing and configuring Dell OpenManage 8.3 (OMSA) on my ESXi 6 hosts. I never really had a good enough reason to have OpenManage installed on the ESXi hosts in my backup site. After all it is a backup site and my servers were in RAID 5 and I could tolerate a degraded performance if/when something goes bad. Well…fast forward two (2) failed HDDs at the same time and here is my reason for OpenManage (OMSA). During the process of trying to recover my broken RAID 5 and save me from having to rebuild the array and lose all my data, I figured how to install OMSA on my host. It was surprisingly very simple and straight forward process.

SPOILER ALERT: It is super easy and I have the instructions for you below. Just keep in mind that I am not responsible for any system down-time or data loss that you may experience during this process. The process below worked for me and your experience may vary depending on many factors. Please make sure to backup your settings, configs and data before you begin.

  1. Download Dell OpenManage Server Administration 8.3
  2. Download and Install WinSCP if needed (free tool)
  3. Using WinSCP copy the VIB package (no need to unzip) to the ESXi host. I like to put these type of files in the /tmp directory
    1. You may need to make minor changes to your ESXi 6 host in order to connect to it via WinSCP
      1. Connect to your host via vSphere client
      2. Navigate to Configuration > Security Profile
      3. Click on Properties for Services
      4. Start the ESXi Shell and SSH services

***Note*** before installing the software, make sure that you vMotion off any running VMs to another host in your cluster as the install process will require a reboot.  Place the host in maintenance mode as well.

  1. Establish an SSH connection into the ESXI host and execute the following command:

esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-8.3.0-1908.VIB-ESX60i_A00.zip   (The file name may be different due to versioning of the OMSA)

  1. Once you execute this command the server may appear to be hanging or not doing anything. Give it a couple of minutes and you should eventually see the package installed successfully.
  2. Reboot the host
  3. Once the ESXi host is back up and running you can verify the OMSA installation with this command:

esxcli software vib list

  1. Download and install the OpenManage Server Administrator Management Workstation. This needs to be installed on a workstation or server other than the ESXi.

***Note*** for best results you want to match the OMSA installer version with the same Management workstation version. In my case they are both version 8.3.

  1. After downloading and installing the Management Workstation, simply start the application and add your IP address and credentials.  It is important that you check off the ignore certificate warnings in the login box.