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Dell's iDRAC. Questions Answered.

 

A big part of Dell PowerEdge servers is the remote management tool, iDRAC (Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller). We've covered the basics of iDRAC before; we thought it would be helpful to share some of the support questions we've received when it comes to iDRAC. 

"Hi, Mike.  Last weekend, I set up the server, and everything was fine, except I couldn't find the iDRAC port. I see a black plastic cover in the spot it should be. Is the port missing?"

No, the covered port you see is only activated when you have an iDRAC Enterprise license.  Since you only have an iDRAC Express license, the port you need to use for the iDRAC is on the NIC.  If you enter the F2 iDRAC settings menu, you can configure the settings for your iDRAC Express.  Note that the main feature of the Enterprise version provides over the Express version is the Java KVM console. 

"Hi, guys.  I ordered an R320 from you guys about a week ago.  I just realized I foolishly forgot to confirm if this comes with iDRAC Enterprise.  Is it possible to get it after the fact?  Is this something I have to get directly from Dell, or can I get it from you?"

Thanks for reaching out.  We can help you procure an iDRAC Enterprise license for your R320.  Note that both the R420 and R320 have these discrete iDRAC7 Remote Access Cards (as opposed to the R620, R720, 820, and above have the dedicated iDRAC port integrated with the iDRAC logo). 

Our records show that the R320 did not have this "discrete" iDRAC7 port; we will include that with the license order. 

 

"I just placed an order for a server.  Would it be possible for you guys to configure iDRAC to a specific IP address?" 

Yes, we can do this for you.  Please provide the IP, Subnet Mask, and Gateway IP address that you would like us to configure iDRAC. 

"Dear TechMikeNY team, I ordered a Dell R630 server from you last Spring, and it's working great.  I have one issue, though -- I tried upgrading the BIOS and Firmware from the iDRAC and Lifecycle controller.  I downloaded the BIOS and Firmware.  I tried both .BIN and .EXE files.  I followed the procedures, but it did not work.  Is there something I am missing?"

According to our technician's firmware, updates applied through the iDRAC can be unreliable. They suggest updating through Windows Server. 

"Mike, I could have sworn my server came with an IDRAC Enterprise license, but I'm not sure how to confirm.  Can you help?"

Our records show that the server shipped with Enterprise already. If you wish to confirm on your end, please go to the iDRAC setting in the system BIOS to verify.

  1. Press (F2) during post
  2. Go to iDRAC Settings
  3. Select information.

You should see iDRAC Enterprise listed.  

"Hey Mike, I received everything I needed to fire her [the server] up. I am trying to get into the iDRAC with the default login, but it is not working. Would you know of a different login to get into the iDRAC? Thank you!"

If for whatever reason, the default login values are not working, you can reset the iDRAC settings by:

  1. Pressing (F2) during boot
  2. Selecting iDRAC Settings
  3. Scroll down to "Set iDRAC to factory defaults."

You can then try again with the default login user and password. 

"Hi Mike, I'm taking some of the parts from an R520 and looking to move them to an R720.  Since I am keeping within the same server generation, I assume I can probably move the CPUs, memory, and LAN cards across…  But can I also move the iDRAC across?"

Unfortunately, even though they are the same generation server (Dell 12th), the CPUs will not be compatible as the R520 uses e5-24** processors (LGA 1356) while the R720 uses e5-26** processors (LGA-2011).  The RAM and NIC cards should be compatible – with the caveat that if you are adding modules to RAM already installed in the R720, you will need to be mindful of compatibility when it comes to rankings and speed.

The iDRAC is part of the motherboard, and the enterprise license is tied to the service tag – so, unfortunately, that cannot be transferred to another machine. 

Do you have a question you don’t see answered?  What are you waiting for?!  Email us at info@techmikeny.com or leave a comment below.  We love hearing from our blog readers!

 2 comments

  • Thanks for sharing this tip below, Austin. Good to know.

    TechMike
  • More tips:
    If you are in a NIC-connections limited environment, you can piggy back the DRAC onto the LOM NIC. The OS will share the NIC with the DRAC and you can add a separate MAC address reservation for just the DRAC in your DHCP

    Austin Locke

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