OMSA email alerting without ITA

It goes without saying that if you’re not monitoring your server for hardware failures you’re asking for trouble. Most hardware vendors have an agent that runs on the system. These agents generally are built for 1-to-1 management, but also conform to open standards (such as MIB’s on SNMP) for many-to-one management.

With Dell the agent is called Open Manage Server Administrator (OMSA) and the one-to-many software is IT Assistant (ITA). Both are free downloads. The rub? OMSA does not have an email component, so most customers set up ITA to capture those alerts for email distribution. Well, for people with only a handful of servers, setting up ITA might be overkill.

So thanks to Paul Murana, this is REALLY easy. Here’s how:

So basically what you’re going to do is put OMSA on your server so it has the MIB‘s loaded into SNMP. Without going into too much detail, MIB’s are interpreters that tell SNMP how to understand what hardware is on your system, and how to read the status of that hardware. Then you’re going to download a script, modify a couple of lines to fit your environment, run a test to be sure you get email, then run an install script that Paulie has built into the script which will configure OMSA to send you email when something goes wrong.

  1. If you haven’t already, download OMSA from the Dell website and install it on your server (this link usually points to the latest version).
  2. Download and extract to c:\ on your server
  3. Edit the file (DellAlert.vbs) and change the following to fit your environment:
    • EmailFrom: change this to the address you want to show up as the from address
    • EmailTo: change this to the email address you want to get the alerts
    • SMTPServer: change this to the name or IP address of your mail server
    • MailSubject: change the word SERVERNAME to your server’s name, leave the rest of this line alone
      *NOTE: if your mail server doesn’t allow relay on your local network or from the IP address you’re installing this on, you’ll need to add a username and password to the SMTPUser and SMTPPass fields as well.
    • Save the file.
  4. Run:
    cscript dellalert.vbs testemail
    from a command prompt on your server. You’ll get a test email if you configured everything correctly. If not you’re probably going to need to edit your mailserver to allow relay or you entered an invalid username/password combo.
  5. Run:
    cscript dellalert.vbs setup
    This calls a bunch of “omconfig” commands (a command line utility used for managing OMSA)_which will set up all of the alerts to send email.

Now, you’ll want to test the setup – so let’s do that without impacting the server. The easiest way is to change the temperature thresholds so the server thinks it is in trouble. This takes the risk out of pulling a power cord or some other real-world test.

  1. Log into OMSA (when you installed it, a shortcut called “Server Administrator” was placed on the desktop)
  2. Expand Main System Chassis and click Temperatures. Click System Board Ambient Temp. You’ll notice the “OK” temperatures are listed – we’re going to fool the server by changing these temporarily.
  3. Change the radio button from “Set to Default” to “Set to Values” and change the Maximum Warning Threshold to 9 degrees (or anything less than the “Current Reading” in the graphic).
  4. Click Apply changes. If everything is working you should get an email almost immediately.
  5. Change the radio button to “Set to Default”, click Apply Changes (to put everything back to normal)

Congratulations! If you made it this far you’re all set up! You should get email alerts on any of the conditions listed below. If you don’t want any of them, you can manually turn them off one at a time inside of OMSA under the alert management tab. Just un-tick the “Execute Application” checkbox on any of the alert actions you’re not interested in.

Power supply failure
Power supply warning
Temperature warning
Temperature failure
Fan speed warning
Fan speed failure
Voltage warning
Voltage failure
Chassis intrusion
Redundancy degraded
Redundancy lost
Memory pre-failure
Memory failure
Hardware log warning
Hardware log full
Processor warning
Processor failure
Watchdog asr
Battery warning
Battery failure
Power warning
Power failure
Peak power
Removable flash media present
Removable flash media removed
Removable flash media failure
Storage System warning
Storage System failure
Storage Controller warning
Storage Controller failure
Physical Disk warning
Physical Disk failure
Virtual Disk warning
Virtual Disk failure
Enclosure warning
Enclosure failure
Storage Controller Battery warning
Storage Controller Battery failure

Serious props to Paulie for designing this awesome little script!! Read more about it and his other tips and tricks here:

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