drac4's uses

Stroller stroller at stellar.eclipse.co.uk
Thu May 20 00:56:26 CDT 2010

On 19 May 2010, at 05:27, Matthew Lenz wrote:
>> ...
>> IMO the significantly cool thing about the DRAC4 is the remote access
>> screen viewer / console. You can see whatever is on the screen and
>> operate the mouse from across the network, independently of the   
>> operating
>> system. So you can do so even whilst the system is booting,  you  
>> can enter
>> the BIOS and you can even install the operating system  across the
>> network, using the virtual media facility. So if your  server needs
>> booting from a live CD, you can just put that in your  laptop and  
>> use the
>> laptop to control the server's screen.
> The virtual CD and console support are very interesting.  Primary  
> reason I'm
> looking into them.  Our servers are in a data center that is 25  
> miles one
> way.  I like to avoid it at costs.

Rest assured, it works really very well indeed. I've used a couple of  
external network KVM units, or "KVM-IPs", whatever you prefer to call  
them, and the DRAC4 is really top-notch.

>> As far as operating system support is concerned, it doesn't matter   
>> what
>> o/s is installed on the server for using the remote access. But  the
>> machine you use to do the controlling / viewing will *probably*   
>> have to
>> be using Windows. Macs certainly don't work. When the DRAC4
> Windows desktop isn't a problem.

It's the only downside of the DRAC, IMO. The 3rd-party KVM-IPs I've  
used have at least supported Macs; my current one allows viewing with  
a standard  VNC client, which the DRACs do not, but does not offer any  
remote media. My last one (actually I still have it here, I need to  
sell it) offered remote media (including booting) by pasting the URL  
to a Samba share into its web-interface. You might have success with  
the Firefox under Linux, but only a specific version, on Redhat, was  
officially supported.

> Does anyone know what the last DRAC 4's version's part number was?   
> Looks
> like there was at least 4 versions of them released over the years.   
> Does
> dell have a place on there site that lists all part numbers  
> available for
> replacement?

The one I have is the DRAC 4/I, don't know the part number, on a  
PowerEdge 2800. I would *assume* that different models of the 4, i.e.  
the 4/S or the 4/X or whatever, would be basically the same, offering  
the same facilities but for different models of PowerEdge.

Not addressed to you, specifically, but for the benefit of others:  
watch out for the 2650s, which offered a DRAC option, but came with a  
"RAC" as standard. The RAC is rubbish, a poor relation to the DRAC,  
although not too bad as a freebie - the viewer is really inadequate,  
and IME may not work when you need it to; the remote power functions  
are all I've found it good for.


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