HomeLab Stage XLIX: Dell + VMware Integrations

In the last episode I have written about my Nvidia environment including the Mellanox (now Nvidia Networking) parts. Let´s talk a little bit about my absolute favorite Hardware Server vendor:

Bildergebnis für dell technologies logo

Dell! Why? Because they offer simply the best integration into the VMware cosmos from my perspective. Let me explan the details:


The UEFI settings can be easily changed from UI and it is simple to use:

Straigt forward configuration options, but what are the best for VMware?

What have that do to with virtualization? Many other vendors also use UEFI platforms, with various tuning options. But what are the best UEFI settings for vSphere?

The default? NO!!!!

The Performance option: NO!!!!

I always use these custom options:

You can find it on an official VMworld 2017 presentation


The hardware management options from Dell are also very easy to consume. Another simple and nice looking UI (fully HTML5). What makes this unique? I love the option to configure UEFI settings from here and than export it. You can import those settings to all of your other Dell servers in minutes.

But that is not all: When you install the Dell ISM vib module inside ESXi, you got information about the machine displayed directly within iDRAC.

The ISM module is can be found in the Dell Baseline inside your Lifecycle Manager

Another very useful integration from Dell into the VMware Eco-System is the LogInsight Content Pack:

All iDRAC messages in one place

Are you using VMware vRealize Operations Manager? I do and I really like the Management Pack from Dell / EMC:

Find the Management Pack inside VMware´s Marketplace (via the Cloud Console)


Dell´s OpenManage is the centralized HW platform for all your stuff (most Dell of course, but also integrations for other vendors and setups):

Yes, you can manage also your Raspberry PI ESXi cluster…..

What about VMware integrations of OpenManage???? Read the next chapter…..


When ordering a new Dell server, please, please always order the very cheap OMIVV software. What is that? OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter = O M I V V

What does that software? It is also another virtual appliance, which hooks up to your vCenter and if you have also to your vROPs system.

Dashboard (Overview) within the plugin
HW Infos directly from your vSphere Client

It registers the VMware vSphere Proactive HA provider inside your vCenter:

Now, you can configure your vSphere HA level with more options

Sounds nice, but wait…. Now comes the best part: Firmware Updates via the vSphere Client:

Simply click the Run Firmware Wizard
Choose your Source and Select your Firmware Components
Schedule it for example on Next Reboot

I LOVE that feature!!!


When using Dell servers in conjunction with vSAN you need a dedicated Boot device. The solution from Dell is BOSS:

BOSS utilizes one or two read-intensive (Boot Class) M.2 SATA Solid State Devices (SSDs) which can be used in “pass-thru” or two devices in Hardware RAID 1 (mirroring).

BOSS Device Generation 1

Reliable Memory:

Introduction to Dell Fault Resilient Memory (FRM)

Fault Resilient Memory (FRM) is a new Memory Operating Mode available on Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers. The mode establishes an area of memory that is fault resilient and can be used by an Operating System supporting the FRM feature to load critical Applications/Services & the OS Kernel to maximize system availability. VMware ESXi 5.5 and newer supports FRM through its Reliable Memory (ReM) Feature.

Benefits of enabling FRM

FRM creates a highly resilient memory zone for the hypervisor, protecting it from all but the most severe of memory errors. With the VMware Reliable Memory feature, vSphere v5.5 and newer is able to take advantage of this zone, providing the hypervisor with a strong protection from memory faults that would otherwise bring down the entire system.

Enable FRM mode wihin UEFI
My hosts have 768GB RAM, with FRM enabled are 669GB usable for ESXi


When configuring a vSAN with Dell make sure to configure options that are on the HCL. Here is one example:

R740xd configuration options
Quick vSAN HCL check
Sizing example

Now, you have an idea, why I think Dell is the best hardware vendor for VMware environments. I really like the integrations into the different VMware products and solutions.

Check out my 50th HomeLab Blogpost here: Stage L 100GbE