The features of the Dell | KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance are exceptional for managing a distributed desktop environment. But what about managing the servers in your environment? Obviously, most of the K1000 features also work well for managing servers, such as automated inventory and machine labeling, server operating system patching, Dell driver and firmware updates for servers, OVAL and SCAP vulnerability assessment, scripted configuration management, and reporting. A key feature that’s often a requirement for server management that you may also need is active system monitoring based on protocols like SNMP or IPMI. While the K1000 can perform SNMP scans to assist in device discovery, it doesn’t receive SNMP traps to assist in identifying issues with those servers. However, Dell does provide a freely available tool that can capture SNMP and IPMI alerts, catalog and filter these alerts, and forward them to other services for escalation and remediation. This technical note provides step-by-step instructions to integrate Dell’s freely available Dell OpenManage™ Essentials console for system monitoring with the K1000 Service Desk for managing fault resolution.

At a high level, these steps are as follows:

· Install and configure Dell OpenManage™ Essentials, including device discovery.
· Configure Service queue in KACE
· Create an E-mail Alert action in OME
· Test E-mail Alert action in OME

Install and Configure Dell OpenManage™ Essentials.
Dell OpenManage™ Essentials is a Windows-based systems management console that replaces Dell IT Assistant. A physical or virtual server running Windows Server 2008 will be required to run OME. This installation is quite simple and largely self-contained. The one exception is if you plan to manage a large environment. OME includes Microsoft SQL Server Express for small deployments, but supports use of Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise if you plan to manage a larger deployment. The software may be downloaded here. You’ll find installation instructions and other documentation here.

Once you have OME installed, launch the OME console and select Manage -> Discovery and Inventory.
In the left pane, select Discovery Ranges-> Add Discovery Ranges to define an IP range for discovering your servers.
Enter the IP address / range or a list of DNS hostnames for the machines you want to monitor and click [Finish].



Configure Service desk and Service queue in KACE
The next step is to create your K1000 service desk queue so it can receive emails from OME. We’ll set this up before configuring the email alert in OME since we need the email address for the service desk queue to complete the OME configuration. To simplify this task you can download a sample queue as a kpkg here and upload it to your K1000 as follows:

Connect to the clientdrop network share on your K1000. On Windows, do this by going to \\< your K1000 host >\clientdrop and logging into the share using the password you have configured for the share within the K1000.
Copy the downloaded Queue-110.kpkg file to you clientdrop share.
Log into your K1000 and go to Settings-> Resources-> Import K1000 Resources.
From the dropdown on the left, select Choose Action ->Import Resources(s) from SAMBA Share.



Pick Queue-110.kpkg from the list of files and select [Import Resources].
You’ll now see a Queue resource listed called OME that is imported into your K1000.
Now go to Service Desk-> Configuration-> Queues. You’ll see the OME queue listed there. Select the queue by clicking on the name.

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Note the email address of the queue. This is the email address that will be recognized within the K1000 as the queue to receive email tickets from OME. If you wish to use a different email address that is externally defined in your email environment, and then forwarded to this address, you may specify that in the Alt. Email Address. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that the queue’s Email Address is being used. When you configure the email alert in OME, this email address will be the TO: address in the OME Email alert action.

Also note that there is no specification for Ticket Owners by Label. This is simply because user labels and the assigned users will be specific to your environment and cannot be assumed for the imported queue. Everything within the imported queue may be customized to meet your requirements.

To define custom fields, from within this Service Desk Configuration page select the Customize Fields and Layout link. Notice that the Category Values have the same set of default values supplied in the initial installation of OME. These category values may be used to manage ticket routing to different owners or to other queues depending on how to want to process incoming alert tickets. If you change or add categories within the OME console, you will want to make a corresponding change here to reflect the new category value by selecting the + button to create a new value, or the edit icon (pencil) next to a particular value if that value has changed.

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Also note that the Priority Values have been modified to match the Severity values provided by OME. Now when these values get mapped from the OME alert action we’ll create next, we’ll get the same values in the service desk ticket that were generated from OME.



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Comments

  • Anyway you can make the sample queue - Queue-110.kpkg - available again? The download link in this article does not work :-(
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Hi Bryan.

That is a great how to. I was wondering about that myself... I am trying to implement the OMES as you describe above. I received an error installing the OM Essentials on 2 different servers, both which are T610's using Windows 2008 R2 Server (X64). Both servers already have Server Administrator installed so I am wondering if that might be the issue. The actual error is:

'This Operating System or service pack is not supported. Please see the Dell OpenManage Installation and Security Users' Guide for more details.'

According to the compatibility notes on the Dell site, both the server hardware and OS version are supported. Would you have any suggestions I might try in an effort to get this working?

Thanks in advance Bryan.

--james
Answered 12/28/2011 by: jbowes
Orange Senior Belt

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James,

I apologize for not responding sooner. Are you still seeing this issue when attempting to install OME? Have you posted the error message to the user forum on the OME page at http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/f/default.aspx? The OpenManage team can probably help you better than I can.

I hope this helps,

Bryan
Answered 01/17/2012 by: bryan_brooks
Senior Purple Belt

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