Dell PowerEdge FX2 Management Gets a Boost with OpenManage Essentials 2.2

Dell OME Geographic View
Dell OME Geographic View

The Dell PowerEdge FX2 management received a boost today as Dell released new management updates. The new Dell OpenManage Essentials 2.2 software has been updated to provide users with additional capabilities to easily manage a greater number of systems. We had a chance to discuss the update with Dell and had a few key takeaways:

  • The Dell PowerEdge FX2 platform is selling extremely well. Its growth rate is much faster than the industry average as well as legacy Dell blade growth (e.g. the M1000e.) Dell is seeing strong FX2 adoption in segments beyond its traditional blade customers.
  • This growth is driving the PowerEdge FX2 into new customer segments in turn driving new management requirements.
  • Dell is seeing PowerEdge FX2 growth in the hyper-converged segment with organizations adopting VMware vSAN being a primary driver.

The messaging was clear, the Dell PowerEdge FX2 is performing well in the market and the flexibility of the platform is leading customers to use the FX2 beyond traditional blade installations. OpenManage Essentials 2.2 has several new features addressing this market focus including:

  • Template-based provisioning of IO Aggregators including the assignment of vLANs during the blade port mapping process. When blades are provisioned, automating the vLAN assignment within the chassis saves administrators time and solves scalablity concerns. We have seen competing blade products that do not have this template-based provisioning and there is an extra step involved in provisioning networking.
Dell IOA vLAN mapping in blades
Dell IOA vLAN mapping in blades
  • Dell is increasing the number of devices that can be managed from 4000 to 5500 devices.
  • Geographic View feature helps to quickly locate PowerEdge FX2 systems around the world. This helps administrators locate geographically dispersed systems.
Dell OME Geographic View
Dell OME Geographic View
  • Integration with Dell ProSupport Plus support, including SupportAssist to offer proactive, predictive support and automated case creation to resolve hardware issues up to 90 percent faster
Dell SupportAssist
Dell SupportAssist

Dell is also releasing an updated OpenManage plug-in for Nagios XI. The new plug-in can extract detailed PowerEdge FX2 infrastructure information from Dell Chassis Management Controller (CMC) and server embedded intelligence, iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller, delivering a unified set of alerts and health monitoring details to Nagios XI Administrators.

Overall, the discussion did make us want to get a PowerEdge FX2 in the Sunnyvale lab.

Excerpt from the original press release

Here is an excerpt from the original press release:

New Dell Systems Management Capabilities Bolster Customer Successes for Fast-growing Dell PowerEdge FX2 Modular Infrastructure

  • Dell PowerEdge FX2 drives industry blade server market with triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year in revenue and unit since its launch in 2014
    Updates to systems management portfolio help further maximize IT productivity and business continuity

Dell today announced updates to the systems management portfolio for the Dell PowerEdge FX2 modular infrastructure to help customers further maximize IT productivity and business continuity. The new features enhance provisioning and infrastructure visibility, plus add support for Nagios users and open source applications.

Dell’s overall blade server growth is bolstered by the PowerEdge FX2, which is significantly outpacing industry blade server growth. The PowerEdge FX2 has demonstrated triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year in unit and revenue over the previous four quarters, contributing substantially to PowerEdge blade server gains, since its launch in 2014. According to IDC, Dell PowerEdge blade servers experienced 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth and grew 17 percent faster than the industry in the first quarter of 2016.

“Our customers are interested in making their IT infrastructure more flexible and efficient to address evolving business and workload demands in real-time.” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, vice president and general manager, Dell Server Solutions. “With strong systems management capabilities, the PowerEdge FX2 can help customers meet their goals by supporting traditional applications and new workloads driven by social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing in a modular infrastructure. These attributes combined with recent customer successes is driving unprecedented growth.”

Improved Management and Industry Software Integration for Dell PowerEdge FX2
Dell has enhanced its systems management software to take advantage of the unique engineering of the Dell PowerEdge FX2 and is designed to simplify and automate critical hardware management tasks. New capabilities and updates enhance the user experience with improved ease of provisioning for virtualized workloads, plug-ins for Nagios users, and comprehensive infrastructure visibility and flexibility to run open source applications. This includes:

  • Dell OpenManage Essentials 2.2 enables fast provisioning of I/O aggregators with template-based processes that easily and uniformly replicate the assignment of vLANs during the blade port mapping process, which ensures simplicity and accuracy in network set-up. The new geographic view feature enables quick, easy location access to PowerEdge FX2 systems onsite or across the globe with manageability across 5500 devices. Additionally, seamless integration with SupportAssist provides proactive, predictive support and automated case creation to resolve hardware issues up to 90% faster with ProSupport Plus

  • The new OpenManage plug-in for Nagios XI 1.0 extracts detailed PowerEdge FX2 infrastructure information from the Dell Chassis Management Controller and server embedded intelligence, iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller, delivering a unified set of alerts and health monitoring details to Nagios XI administrators. As a result, customers can continue using their Nagios XI console to monitor Dell hardware without additional tools or training while achieving a higher return on their investment.

  • New Active System Manager (ASM) 8.2 capabilities enable fast and easy on-boarding and deployment of IT services across multiple chassis, server, storage and networking devices. The port view provides a visual mapping of physical and virtual infrastructures and any connectivity issues to allow for quick troubleshooting to help IT teams maintain business continuity and deliver more consistent, reliable IT services. Additionally, a new software developer kit (SDK) simplifies creating and deploying complex applications using readily available open source modules.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.


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