C6105 - Management

Jens Dueholm Christensen Jens.Dueholm at r-m.com
Mon Feb 21 05:28:10 CST 2011

Newer DRAC cards use VNC for console access and access are provided via Java Web Start (.jnlp files) that runs well under both windows and *nix and connect to the DRAC cards virtual KVM.

Yes, older DRAC cards (v4's) used a windows-only ActiveX plugin, but as new servers doesn't have v4 DRAC cards that's no longer an issue.

Also a DRAC card has a dedicated NIC and can be used to access the hardware out-of-band (where as IPMI is sise-band). This makes it possible to turn on devices that would otherwise require physical contact (ie. it is NOT wake on lan).

For high-availability and production-grade systems I would always go for something with DRAC. 

If your needs are not that high and you can live with something that's not totally controllable by remote then you should be fine.

Jens Dueholm Christensen
Survey IT

-----Original Message-----
From: linux-poweredge-bounces at dell.com [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at dell.com] On Behalf Of Adam Nielsen
Sent: 21. februar 2011 01:47
To: Tom Brown
Cc: Linux-PowerEdge at dell.com
Subject: Re: C6105 - Management

> So i see that this box does not have a DRAC it uses IPMI for
> management. I have been playing with it a bit and so far so good
> however does anyone have any expereince of getting a remote console to
> it? I'd be interested to hear how it compares to a DRAC based box.

As far as I'm aware the DRAC is essentially just a front end to IPMI to 
make it easier to use.  I think you could get much of the functionality 
without the DRAC if you're prepared to write the necessary monitoring 
scripts, and have them run on another machine.

The only major difference is that I *think* the DRAC has hooks into the 
video card, so you can use it to get a graphical console without 
installing any software.  But as you can only see this console in a 
browser by using problematic plugins, many people (at least those 
running Linux in text mode) don't seem to bother and stick with the 
standard text console you can access over SSH...which I believe works 
with IPMI's serial-over-LAN.  (Or you could just plug a serial cable in 
to the server.)  That part is handled by the console redirection option 
in the machine's BIOS.


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