Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dell PowerEdge Perc 6 Alerts

Ok. What is it with Dell Perc controllers? The Perc 5 came with the Audible Alert disabled and unusable. Why would we not want to have all possible means of knowing if a drive goes down in the RAID? With Perc 6, still no audible alerts. Not only this, but it has been a hassle to get some sort of notification...especially email.

In the DRAC cards, we can get email for all sorts of alerts. For one of the most common failure in servers - hard drive failure - NO.

Version 5.5.0 of the Dell Server Administrator program, we can finally get alerts easily for virtual drive warnings and failures..Can we get an email alert....still NO. You can get a broadcast message sent out (this only goes to local network), a console alert?.(I'm hardly ever at the console since my servers are over 2K miles away from me..I'm usually in an RDP session), or execute an application.

SO I used bmail.exe which is a simple command line app that will send SMTP email to our SMTP server. Here's my cmd file with the names and IPs changed to protect the innocent.

REM This is called via the Dell System Administrator in case of storage alerts
REM using bmail to send logs via email to the recipients listed in toaddress
REM when calling email.cmd, use first parameter "%1" as subject
REM use second paramater as full path to log file then alter command line to include -m "%2".

SET toaddress="jrd@ntwc.com,alert@mj.com"
SET fromaddress="MJWDM@mj.com"

c:\bmail\bmail -s %SMTP% -t %toaddress% -f %fromaddress% -h -a "%1"

SMTP is the IP of the SMTP server that will allow you to relay.. ..so this is of course a local SMTP server. toaddress is a comma-delimited text with the email recipients. Fromaddress I usually create bogus email address with the domain name of the client and the name of the server sending the alert.

So I store this as email.cmd in C:\bmail folder along with the bmail.exe. Then under Server administrator under Alert Management, I set each to Execute Application. For example for a Virtual Disk Warning, the command line would be

c:\bmail\email.cmd "VirtualDiskWarning"

The email will now have the subject of "VirtualDiskWarning" I can't use spaces for some reason..not interested in troubleshooting that.

Be aware if you are interested in creating a vbs script, you have to encapsulate it in a cmd.exe command line...see Dell's manual for details.

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