Installing OpenManage Server Administrator 6.5 on ESXi 4.1

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring the capabilities of Dell OpenManage software. This post is about OpenManage Server Administrator. The install did not go 100% smoothly, so I decided to do a write up about my installation due to the large amount of chatter on online forums regarding this topic.

There are 2 ways to install the OMSA 6.5 VIB: through the ESXi service console, or remotely via vSphere CLI.


Procedure 1 – Install with esxupdate

  1. Open vSphere Client and connect to your host or vCenter server.
  2. Place the target host in maintenance mode.
  3. Under ‘Hosts and Clusters’ view click on the target host.
  4. Click on the configuration tab.
  5. Right click on the desired datastore with enough space for the downloaded OMSA VIB file.
  6. Choose ‘Browse Datastore’
  7. Create a new folder named “omsa65” (OMSA 6.5 was the latest version as of this post).
  8. Navigate to the new folder and click the ‘Upload files to this datastore’ button (silver cylinder w/ green upward facing arrow)

Now that the files are on the datastore, we can use them in the esxupdate command:

  1. Open a putty session to the ESXi system
  2. Find your installation files directory by typing “ls /vmfs/volumes/”. You should see a list of datastores. Append your datastore to the end of the ls command.
  3. Once you’re satisfied you’ve found the omsa65 directory, change “ls” to “cd”. For example: “cd /vmfs/volumes/ESX-SAN-1/omsa65”.
  4. Run: esxupdate update --bundle ./
  5. Reboot and then run: esxcfg-advcfg --set 1 /UserVars/CIMoemProviderEnabled 

Procedure 2 – Install with vSphere CLI

vSphere CLI is useful for installing multiple hosts at a time or in quick succession.

  1. Install vSphere CLI from the downloads link in the beginning of this post.
  2. Open vSphere CLI from the start menu.
  3. Run this command: --server <IP address of ESXi host> -i -b <path to Dell OpenManage file>

Installing the Windows Client

Next, install the OMSA monitoring interface on a windows system.

It’s a simple install; just click “Next” until finished.

When launched, the program opens in your default web browser. Now you can log in using the IP address and root username and password of you ESXi 4.1 system. You may need to check the “Ignore Certificate Warnings” check box. If your login is unsuccessful, see the troubleshooting section at the bottom of this post. The OMSA start page looks like this:

Once I was in, my home page looked like this:

On the left pane you can expand the categories and check hardware, software, and storage info. In the storage category, you can get access to your RAID controllers. Some of the items in contain tasks:

For more information on OMSA’s capabilities with ESXi, Dell has published this useful document:

Wrap Up

Dell OpenManage Server Administrator is a useful tool for monitoring the health of your servers. In addition to monitoring, it gives the ability to perform storage related tasks. The install is relatively simple and once installed it worked effectively without any issues. I would certainly recommend checking it out if you are looking for a tool that grants RAID access and an array of hardware monitoring utilities.


If you’re having trouble connecting to your ESXi server, you may need to start the OpenManage service (wsman). Try these steps in a putty session to your ESXi system:

  1. Check if the service is started: ps | grep wsman
  2. If not, start the service: /etc/init.d/wsman start
  3. Make sure it starts at boot: chkconfig --list
  4. Configure to start at boot if needed: chkconfig wsman on


This entry was posted in Dell, ESXi, OMSA, OpenManage, Server Administrator, VMware and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Installing OpenManage Server Administrator 6.5 on ESXi 4.1

  1. catherine says:

    Thanks so much for this guide. Really well written – great looking page as well – and exactly the information I needed. I really loved the screen shot of the messages that scroll as the initial install takes place. Great for relieving anxiety…

  2. Pingback: Connect to ESXi 4.1 with Dell IT Assistant (ITA) | Windows Stuff That Your Dreams Dreamed Of

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