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Dell Embedded Systems Management Implementations

Enterprise Systems Group (ESG)

Dell OpenManage™
Systems Management

Dell White Paper

By Timothy T. Murphy


Executive Summary 3

Introduction 4

Introduction to ESM 5

Major ESM Components 7

Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) 8

The Evolution of Dell’s EmbeddedSystems Management 9

ESM3 - High Level Architecture & Features 10

ESM3 - Features 11

ESM4 - High Level Architecture 12

Platform Configurations 13

Embedded Remote Access (ERA) 13

Embedded Remote Access/Option (ERA/O) 13

Intelligent Systems Management for Dell Servers 14


Figure 1: Embedded Systems Management Infrastructure 6

Figure 2: ESM3Architecture for Interacting with the Platform Hardware 10


Table 1: ESM3 Supported Features 11

Section 1

Executive Summary

Embedded Systems Management (ESM) is an evolving computer industry architecture that encompasses both hardware and software features of computer systems, and plays a crucial role in the overall management of those computer systems within an enterprise’ssystem management framework.

This paper provides an overview of the major ESM components and related industry-standard architectures, and describes Dell’s implementation of ESM. It explains how Dell’s ESM integrates with those industry-standard architectures and supports effective management of modern Dell enterprise class servers in heterogeneous environments.

Thepaper also provides a differentiation between the major feature sets of recent Dell ESM architectures, and the remote access offerings that use them.

Section 2


Although the term ESM (for embedded systems management) may strike a familiar chord, many users may not be familiar with its benefits or capabilities. The following examples highlight a few of the advancedsystem management capabilities that Dell’s ESM brings to the table:

• Lights-Out Capabilities
In the event that a server has failed, Dell’s ESM can help support personnel to interact with the server and bring it back online, even when the base operating system (OS) and applications are inaccessible.

• Inventory Reporting and Management
ESM defines aninterface to Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) and server platform information that is integrated with the actual server platform hardware, supplementing inventory management systems.

• Ease of Server Upgrades
Dell’s ESM demands server management interfaces that are independent of the base server hardware, allowing for rapid deployment of server upgrades.

• ConsistentManagement Interfaces
The system management interfaces provided by ESM are consistent across Dell’s entire server line.

Although this paper contains technical information, its focus is to illustrate the practical applications and benefits that are made possible by ESM.

Section 3

Introduction to ESM

The principal objective for Dell’s Embedded SystemsManagement (ESM) is to provide a base infrastructure that is the means for controlling, monitoring, and generating appropriate responses to changes in the operational state of a computer system’s board set and associated peripheral systems. Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) are used to interact with ESM, and – as shown in Figure 1– Dell OpenManage™ IT Assistant, and Dell’s Remote Access controller(DRAC) are fully integrated with Dell’s ESM offerings.

Dell’s ESM is a building block for higher levels of systems management in that it:

• Is scalable, from low-end servers to high-end.

• Supports multi-chassis and modular configurations.

• Supports feature integration without requiring hardware modifications.

• Supports a common...
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