Dell has restructured their DRAC (Dell Remote Access Controller) model features.
On DRAC version 5 remote console KVM redirection was included out of the box.
With the advent of iDRAC6 we now see two versions of the product:
- iDRAC6 Express
- iDRAC6 Enterprise
Since out-of-band remote console KVM access is absolutely critical for those of us that manage a lot of servers at remote locations, we need to be absolutely sure that the server’s remote access product meets our needs.
We will be quoting some information from the following Dell document:
On page 49 we find a comparison between the iDRAC6 Express and the iDRAC6 Enterprise products:
Note bullet item number 2 under iDRAC6 Enterprise states:
- Remote video, keyboard, and mouse control with Virtual Console.
So, we now know that all of our remote clients that order Dell servers must have the iDRAC6 Enterprise product installed on the box to give us full out-of-band BMC and console access.
Why Out-Of-Band Access?
We require an iDRAC, DRAC, RMM3, iLO with Advanced license, and other out-of-band management abilities on our remote servers for some of the following reasons:
- We can fully recover a server by booting to OS DVD or USB flash and restoring from attached backup without client intervention.
- We can manage the server from the console (sitting at the keyboard and mouse) when running updates so we don’t lose our connection via RWW or TS/RDS Gateway.
- We can remotely power cycle a server that has an OS that is not responding.
- We can remotely update server component’s firmware.
Essentially, with an out-of-band management device we have the same access to the box as we would if we were standing in the room with it.
- Dell Support: Console redirect with iDRAC 6 Express v1.10 (PowerEdge R710)
- User asking about why they cannot find the KVM/Console feature on iDRAC6 Express. Dell’s response was “iDRAC6 Enterprise required”.
- Dell Enterprise Technology Center: 03-25-09 Dell Enterprise Launch Chat Transcript
- Chat transcript quoted in the above support question that talks about what features are tied to which iDRAC6 version.
- Exploring the iDRAC for Dell PowerEdge Blade Servers
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book