Dell Adds Multi Blade Chassis Management, But Wait – There's More

Dell recently notified me the latest version – ver 3.1 – of the Dell Chassis Management Controller (CMC) added multi-chassis management capability.  In other words, you can have one IP address to manage multiple chassis.  Now you may ask, so what?  Other vendors have had this feature already, so what’s the big deal.  Here’s what’s big about this announcement:

#1  Management of Up to 9 M1000e Blade Chassis – that equals 1 parent plus 8 “children” chassis

#2  It’s Agentless – the chassis don’t need any agents, the software is a component of the 3.1 CMC firmware

#3  Single-Sign On – If you have LDAP or Active Directory in place, you sign on once and then you have access to the other chassis. 

#4 Single Web Page Visibility – all chassis visible in a single web page

#5 No Cables Required -Yes, that’s right.  Some other blade vendor offerings provide you with the ability to manage multiple chassis, but you have to cable them together.  With the 3.1 CMC firmware release, Dell has broken the cable barrier and allows you to connect to other M1000e chassis globally, anywhere on your network.  Imagine having a Dell M1000e blade chassis in 2 datacenters and 7 regional offices – now you can manage them through a single web site!  Pretty cool stuff.

One of my other Dell contacts also sent over a video showing the new multi-chassis management feature:

Here’s the direct link for those having trouble viewing:

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7 thoughts on “Dell Adds Multi Blade Chassis Management, But Wait – There's More

  1. Pingback: Kevin Houston

  2. Pingback: Kong Yang

  3. Pingback: Arseny Chernov

  4. M. Sean McGee

    Hi Kevin,
    Lots of great posts lately. Thanks!

    My take on this one is that this permutation should be called “multi-chassis monitoring” rather than “multi-chassis management”. I may be wrong, but it looks like their feature only allows monitoring of multiple chassis with a single IP. To make configuration changes to any of the other chassis, you have to go to that chassis. Granted, they do provide a single sign on link to make it easier – but you are still individually managing multiple chassis via each of their IP addresses, not a single IP. SSO is just making the login process easier.

    Roger points this out at 7:00 into the demo found on this page:

    “Note: The lead chassis has visibility to member chassis and their status but no overriding authority to affect change on a member or its blade servers”

    Don’t get me wrong – I like the new feature that Dell customers have. I’m just being nit picky about calling it “multi-chassis management” just yet. I’d look for that in a future release.

    Your take? I may be completely wrong and I’m open to correction.

    Best regards,

    (Disclaimer: I work for Cisco.)

  5. Pingback: Michael Gray

  6. Anonymous

    today this is primarily a display capability, but it is a foundation that will enable much more interaction over time. each chassis and blade still has its own IP address so admins can go to them directly if they want without being forced to go through the lead. the fact that each chassis & node still has an IP wont change as it is important that each can be accessed directly if needed. What will be added over each release is the capability to do more control directly from the lead. hope everyone out there takes a look and lets us know what they think about it

  7. Pingback: Kevin Houston

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