What is DRAC and Why do I need it?

(Click here to browse to Dell.com for the full User Manual)

DRAC stands for Dell Remote Access Controller. It is a hardware device that has its own processor, memory, network interface, and access to the system bus. DRAC provides virtual media access, power management and remote console capabilities. It allows you to access and manage your system remotely over HTTPS, through virtually any browser (though we strongly recommend FireFox on all platforms). DRAC is specifically designed to simplify remote server access to a level that its similar to accessing the local server console in the datacenter.

Remote console

With remote console a user can see video output of the server and make any input from keyboard or mouse, as if accessing the server on site. Remote console uses Active X or Java application (user selectable, but we highly recommend using Java) which displays a window showing the video output and takes keyboard and mouse input. It is similar to other remote access solutions like Remote Desktop Connection for windows or KVM over IP.

Power management

User can reboot (power cycle), turn off and turn on the server even when the core operating system has crashed or shutdown.

Virtual media

DRAC allows a user to mount remotely-shared disk images as if they were connected to the server on site. Together with the remote console, this gives users the ability to re-install an operating system without physically accessing the server, a task which traditionally required local console access to themachine. Administrators can control virtual media through the browser or through the OpenManage tools provided by Dell. Please note:  some versions of popularbrowsers restrict certain functionality.

Hardware monitoring

Hardware monitoring is another important feature of Dell Remote Access Controller. A user can see the status of all major hardware components such as power supplies, fans, RAID cards, as well as environmental factors like air and CPU temperatures. A System event Log (SEL) keeps accurate historical records of the events, allowing an administrator to spot recurring patterns and take action before a failure occurs.

How to access DRAC ?

In order to access DRAC you should have following pieces of information:

-DRAC IP address
-DRAC user name (not the same as SSH user)
-DRAC password

1. Open your favorite FireFox browser (we recommend to use FF with Java 1.6)
2. Go to https://ip_address_of_drac and add an exception for web certificate warning (!!!)
3. Enter your credentials and press login button.

You should see following screen:

Drac 5 homepage screenshot

Enjoy your server!

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