Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Theoretical Limits for Dell In-Band & Out-of-Band Monitoring with SCOM

Although I work for Dell at the time of publishing, this post is not official Dell documentation.

Dell has SCOM management packs (MPs) that allow In-Band and Out-of-Band monitoring of Dell hardware.  There are some possible limits I want to make you aware of before you begin your testing and implementation of these solutions.  We will start with the background and describe the different options.

First, there are 2 primary MPs for monitoring Dell server hardware.
  • In-Band: This requires the installation of OMSA and the SCOM agent on the systems that you want to monitor.  Processing of data is done on the monitored system by the SCOM agent.  This is also much easier to setup.
  • Out-of-Band: This does not require OMSA or the SCOM agent, but does require setting up SMASH discovery through the iDrac, a license from Dell, and the Dell Connections License Manager.  Processing of data is done on the SCOM Management Server.  I have another post on how to set this up in a single SCOM management server environment.
Inside each of those MPs are 2 monitoring levels.
  • Scalable: Inventory and monitoring of component groups and also displays the presence of the iDrac. For Reports, only OpenManage Windows Event log is available.
  • Detailed: Detailed inventory and monitoring of the following components: memory, processors, network interfaces, storage controllers, disks, volume, power, temperature, and BIOS information.  For Reports, availability of BIOS configuration, firmware and driver versions, and RAID configuration reports.
    ***Note: More details on these in the Dell SCOM MP User Guide.

There are other factors that can blur or move these theoretical limits up or down.  Factors including whether the SCOM management servers are physical or virtual, specs of those physical/virtual machines, how much other monitoring is being done and the load on the SCOM servers, bandwidth, etc.

Please remember that these are not hard limits and are not official Dell documentation.

# of Dell servers supported per SCOM Management Server

Scalable Detailed
In-Band (Agent-Based) 1500 500
Out-of-Band (Agent-Free) 150 50

Your mileage may vary.  Please test before rolling out into production.