[Linux-PowerEdge] Very basic question - OMSA, IPMI, iDRAC and BMC

Elie_Jreij at Dell.com Elie_Jreij at Dell.com
Thu Sep 19 23:03:30 CDT 2013

Dell - Internal Use - Confidential
Slight correction: BMC, like iDRAC is running on an independent processor and implements the IPMI specification. OMSA uses IPMI commands (as a client) to communicate to iDRAC or BMC. On Dell 12th generation of servers, BMC and iDRAC are the same firmware and hardware with iDRAC functionality enabled through software licensing. The dedicated NIC is always present on series 600 and higher servers but it is an add-in card on 500 and lower servers. I included answers to your questions below.

From: linux-poweredge-bounces-Lists On Behalf Of Ray Robert
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:28 PM
To: Mauro Antivero
Cc: linux-poweredge-Lists
Subject: Re: [Linux-PowerEdge] Very basic question - OMSA, IPMI, iDRAC and BMC

Sounds about right.
The iDRAC is an independent processor usually with its own NIC that can be reached independently of the operating system.

The IPMI and BMC are lower-level software layers on the operating system. OMSA is a higher layer.  The OMSA includes agents for dealing with iDRACs, including a GUI (port 1311) and tools for reporting on and configuring iDRACs on the current or other systems.

Ray Robert | Senior Administrator
503.284.7581 ext 242 | ray.robert at rentrak.com<mailto:ray.robert at rentrak.com>
RENTRAK | www.rentrak.com<http://www.rentrak.com/> | NASDAQ: RENT

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On Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 4:22 AM, Mauro Antivero <mauro.antivero at gmail.com<mailto:mauro.antivero at gmail.com>> wrote:
As the title says, this is a very basic question.

Can anyone help me to understand what exactly are OMSA, IPMI, iDRAC and
BMC? As far as I know:

- OMSA: Utility to monitor and manage the server. In Linux for example
you have a web front end to do this things.

- IPMI: Common interface to computer hardware and firmware which system
administrators can use to monitor system health and manage the system.
Open source tools like ipmitool make this management simple. It is an
open standard which is maintained by the IPMI forum.

- iDRAC: A more advanced service processors that enable system
administrators to fully monitor and troubleshoot their servers. Two
questions about this:

We can say that iDRAC is more powerfull than IPMI? Yes
iDRAC  covers all the features of IPMI plus many more? Yes

- BMC: The controller behind IPMI. One question about that:

The BMC controller is only for IPMI? Yes. However, you can upgrade BMC to iDRAC via software licenses in Dell's 12th generation servers. Previous generations required hardware upgrades

Sorry for this basic questions. I'm now searching information about
that, but I find that the info is very spread and take time to understand.

Thanks a lot and regards.


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