Install Emulex CIM Provider in VMware ESXi

As a part of VMware vSphere administration, you all will came across this term “CIM Provider” let see what it is …

The Common Information Model (CIM) system: CIM is the interface that enables hardware-level management from remote applications via a set of standard APIs.

The CIM is an open standard that defines how computing resources can be represented and managed. It enables a framework for agentless, standards-based monitoring of hardware resources for ESXi. This framework consists of a CIM object manager, often called a CIM broker, and a set of CIM providers. CIM providers are used as the mechanism to provide management access to device drivers and underlying hardware.

Hardware vendors, which include both the server manufacturers and specific hardware device vendors, can write providers to provide monitoring and management of their particular devices. VMware also writes providers that implement monitoring of server hardware, ESX/ESXi storage infrastructure, and virtualization-specific resources. These providers run inside the ESXi system and hence are designed to be extremely lightweight and focused on specific management tasks.

The CIM object manager in ESXi implements a standard CMPI interface developers can use to plug in new providers. The CIM broker takes information from all CIM providers and presents it to the outside world via standard APIs, including WS-MAN (Web Services-Management). Figure 3 shows a diagram of the CIM management model.

So the Hardware vendors like Brocade, HP, DELL, IBM, EMC, Qlogic, Emulex etc will provide these modules and we have to install in the ESX/ESXi hosts.

 

image

Now let’s see how we can implement Emulex CIM in the vSphere infra. There are 3 main components in the Emulex Software solution for device management in the vSphere environment.

1- Emulex CIM Provider : This we have to install on the ESX/ESXi hosts, it will be available in offline bundle in ZIP format or in the VIB format.

2- Emulex OneCommand Manager  (OCM) : This we can install in any windows virtual machine or in the vCenter server itself

OCM for VMware vCenter Server and Emulex CIM provider for ESX/ESXi host is free to download from the Management tab on the following pages.

3- Emulex vCenter server plugin : Once every thing configured and ready, you can see the OCM plugin in the vSphere console and just enable the plugin.

Installation Steps

1- Download the corresponding CIM provider for the ESXi based on your version, in my case it is vSphere 5 update 2 and download the file “CIM Provider Package 3.8.15.1” and extract the ZIP file.

http://www.emulex.com/downloads/emulex/drivers/vmware/

http://www.emulex.com/downloads/emulex/drivers/vmware/vsphere-50/management/

The release notes and user manual are there for more information

2- Upload the offline bundle ZIP file (VMW-ESX-5.0.0-emulex-cim-provider-3.6.12.1-01-offline_bundle-799300.zip) to any of the Datastore via Putty or vSphere Client Datastore browser, to an ESX/ESXi host.

image

3- Login to the ESXi shell via SSH, and first check the files are copied correctly and their location

~ # cd /vmfs/volumes/Templates/emulex/

/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex #

/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex # ls -l

-rw——- 1 root root 7629804 Mar 5 2013 VMW-ESX-5.0.0-emulex-cim-provider-3.6.12.1-01-offline_bundle-799300.zip

/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex #

4- Now install the offline bundle and you will get a SUCCESS message if it went properly.

/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex #
/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex # esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex/VMW-ESX-5.0.0-emulex-cim-provider-3.6.12.1-01-offline_bundle-799300.zip
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Emulex-Corporation_bootbank_emulex-cim-provider_3.6.12.1-01
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:
/vmfs/volumes/50bd9d4d-adf00e08-78e9-002655e66551/emulex #

 

image

4- Now reboot the ESXi host and you can see the Emulex Hardware details in the vSphere client

image

ESX/ESXi – Administration TIPS

How to disable or Stop the CIM agent on the ESX/ESXi host ?

Note: The CIM agent is the process providing hardware health information. Disabling this service will disable the hardware health status.

To disable the CIM agent on an ESXi host: Log in to the ESXi shell as the root user.

    chkconfig sfcbd-watchdog off
    chkconfig sfcbd off
    /etc/init.d/sfcbd-watchdog stop

    Note: Changing the chkconfig disables the sfcbd service and is persistent across reboots.

To re-enable the CIM agent on the ESXi host, run these commands:

    chkconfig sfcbd-watchdog on
    chkconfig sfcbd on
    /etc/init.d/sfcbd-watchdog start

    Note: To check the status of the agent on ESXi, run the below command.

    /etc/init.d/sfcbd-watchdog status

For troubleshooting purpose you can use the below commands to restart the CIM related services in ESXi host

#/etc/init.d/wsman restart
#/etc/init.d/sfcbd-watchdog start

Disabling a Single ESXi CIM provider when it fails or is unstable.

To see the CIM providers installed on your ESXi host:

  1. Log in to the ESXi shell as the root user.
  2. Run the command:
    esxcli system settings advanced list | grep CIM
  3. You see output similar to:
    Path: /UserVars/CIMEnabled
    Description: Enable or disable the CIM service
    Path: /UserVars/CIMLogLevel
    Description: Set the log level of the CIM Service
    Path: /UserVars/CIMWatchdogInterval
    Description: Set the watchdog polling interval for the CIM Service
    Path: /UserVars/CIMvmw_sfcbrInteropProviderEnabled
    Description: Enable or disable the CIM vmw_sfcbrInterop provider
    Path: /UserVars/CIMvmw_hdrProviderEnabled
  4. Disable a CIM provider by running the command:
    esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/CIMProviderName -i 0
    Note: To re-enable the CIM provider, run the command:
    esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/CIMProviderName -i 1
  5. To allow the changes to take effect, restart the SFCBD agent by running the command:
    /etc/init.d/sfcbd-watchdog restart

I will post a details blog regarding the use of OneCommand manager

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About GK_RAJ

An enthusiastic IT person, with an intense passion towards Datacenter technologies. I am a VMware vExpert Title holder and working as a Technical Consultant, in Qatar. I am exposed to VMware vSphere, Storage, Bladecenters, Datacenter operations, Symantec Backup, Deduplication technologies and carry rich and diversified experience in these domains. I specialize in Designing & Consulting on VMware VSphere, the integration of Storage and Network Stacks to VSphere. With my experience, I help Organizations/Enterprises to achieve their CAPEX & OPEX savings, develop DR and BCP strategies, Consolidation services with Virtualization using VSphere, and prepare them to move to Cloud. In the meantime, I would like to share my knowledge and do a good contribution to the community. I am an Indian citizen, and have a Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication. I have certified in VCAP5-DCD, VCP-Cloud, VCP 4 & 5, MCITP, MCSE.

Posted on November 19, 2013, in ESX, ESXi, VCenter, Virtualization, VMware. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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