Knowledge Base

How to setup and manage your iDRAC7 and Lifecycle Controller for Dell PowerEdge 12G servers

Table of Contents:

  1. Setup and Manage Your iDRAC
  2. Comparison of iDRAC Versions and Features
  3. iDRAC7 Licensing Information
  4. Understanding and Configuring Your Lifecycle Controller

This article provides information on how to setup and manage your iDRAC7 & Lifecycle Controller for Dell PowerEdge 12G servers

Note: Dell 12G PowerEdge Servers include the following models: R220, T320, R320 T420, R420, R520, T620, R620, R720xd, R720, R820, M420, M520, M620, M820 R220 and R920.

Issue 1: Setup and Manage Your iDRAC

DRAC Default:
Username = root
Password = calvin
IP Address =

For full details on the iDRAC, click here for the iDRAC User Guide.

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Issue 2: Comparison of iDRAC Versions and Features

Help Me Choose: Dell iDRAC7

The Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 7 (iDRAC7) with Lifecycle Controller technology allows administrators to monitor, manage, update, troubleshoot and remediate Dell servers from any location — without the use of agents. And it does this regardless of OS or hypervisor presence or state.
We've tailored our iDRAC7 offerings; and we now offer these options:

  • iDRAC7 Enterprise
  • iDRAC7 Express for Blades
  • iDRAC7 Express
  • Basic Management with IPMI

Server and iDRAC7 Configuration Options

The iDRAC7 Express is offered as an upgrade for 200–500 series servers and is standard with 600–900 series servers. Express for Blades is an option on all blades. Enterprise is an upgrade option for all servers 200 series and above. When purchased at point of sale, Enterprise has the option to purchase either an 8GB or 16GB vFlash card.

Note: The iDRAC7 Express does not support graphical console redirection (i.e. Virtual Console). Virtual Console is only available with iDRAC7 Enterprise. The only exception is Express for Blades, which allows for a single user Virtual Console with remote launch.

The table below describes the upgrade path that customers may take with respect to the server line.

DRAC options

After Point of Sale — Upgrade Options

New with Dell's 12th-generation servers, you can evaluate and purchase upgrades from Dell — right from your iDRAC web GUI. Depending on the server series, you may need to install hardware to obtain full-feature functionality.

For 200–500 series:

If you are evaluating Enterprise, certain features will not be available, as they require a hardware component to enable, such as dedicated NIC and vFlash for partitions. All other features can be enabled via a software license key. No server reboot is required; all you need to do is log out of iDRAC and log back in for the changes to take effect. For customers purchasing an upgrade, there are several options available, depending on if you need the features that require the hardware card. If you do, you have the option to order the card without the vFlash, or order with either the 8GB or 16GB version. Note: Installing the iDRAC Ports card requires you to turn off the server.

For 600 series and above:

You have a choice of ordering either just the software license or you can order the license with the either size SD card. Note that both the dedicated NIC port and the SD slot for the vFlash are present on the system, but neither is active until the license key has been activated. You may purchase an SD card locally of any size, say 16, 32 or higher. You may create multiple partitions on the SD card, but individual partition size is limited to 4GB.

Description of iDRAC Options:

iDRAC7 Enterprise
"I want to manage the server as if I were there."
  • Virtual Console and Media with collaboration
  • Dedicated NIC 1Gbps
  • PK and Two-Factor Authentication
  • Directory Services support
  • Part replacement
  • Remote Syslog
  • Crash video playback
  • Boot capture
  • Millisecond power capping and platform power monitoring
  • 8 and 16GB vFlash card
  • Virtual flash partitions
  • All the features of Express and Basic Management

iDRAC7 Express for Blades
"I want the features of Express with virtual console access to my blades."
  • Single-user Virtual Console with remote launch
  • Virtual Media
  • All the features of Express and Basic Management

iDRAC7 Express
"I want embedded tools, console integration, simplified remote access."
  • Web GUI and command line access
  • Power monitoring (including power budgeting)
  • Diagnostic features such as crash screen capture
  • Local and remote configuration and updates
  • Scripting with remote Racadm
  • Remote OS install
  • All the features of Basic Management

Basic Management (IPMI)
"I want basic, low-cost server management"
  • Basic hardware management via IPMI 2.0
  • Text-based console redirection
  • Embedded diagnostics
  • Embedded OS installation tools

For a detailed Feature Comparison, click here.

Additional Information:

For additional information regarding Dell's iDRAC7 products, please see the following:

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Issue 3: iDRAC7 Licensing Information

License Requirements

  • Software licensing has replaced hardware licensing. For more information, see, the Dell License Manager User's Guide.
  • Lifecycle Controller features such as Auto Discovery and vFlash are now licensed. You must install the correct licenses for Lifecycle Controller Remote Services to work properly.

Video: How to Backup and Restore your iDRAC Licence. (here)

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Issue 4: Understanding and Configuring Your Lifecycle Controller

Executive Summary

With the launch of the Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers on Feb 27th, 2012, Dell has enhanced our embedded management without the need to install a software based agent within the host operating system. At the heart of the 12th generation servers embedded management is the iDRAC7 with Lifecycle Controller technology, which allows users to perform useful tasks such as configure BIOS and hardware settings, deploy operating systems, update drivers, change RAID settings, and save hardware profiles. Together, they provide a robust set of management functions that can be leveraged throughout the entire server lifecycle.

Faster, More Efficient, More Secure Local and Remote Deployment, Configuration and Updates

Dell Lifecycle Controller simplifies server lifecycle management— from provisioning, deployment, patching and updating to servicing and user customization—for servers located both locally and remotely. It was delivered as part of the Dell Remote Access Controller or iDRAC (Express, Enterprise and vFlash) starting with Dell PowerEdge 11G servers. On 12G servers, the vFlash feature is included with the iDRAC7 Enterprise License, so you no longer have to separately license vFlash starting with Lifecycle Controller 2. Dell’s 12G servers only use Express or Enterprise licensing. Lifecycle Controller includes managed and persistent storage that embeds systems management features and Operating System device drivers directly on the server, thus eliminating the media-based system management tools and utilities traditionally needed for systems management.

Lifecycle Controller reduces the time and number of steps taken to accomplish tasks, reduces potential for error, enhances server and application uptime and security, and results in more efficient IT management. Developed on the industry standard Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) platform and Web Services for Management (WSMan) interfaces, Lifecycle Controller provides an open environment for console integration that also allows for custom scripting for Lifecycle Controller. Leading systems management consoles (e.g., Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager, BMC Software BladeLogic® Operations Manager, Symantec™ Deployment Solution, Dell™ Management Console) have integrated Dell Lifecycle Controller, thus offering its features and capabilities to existing infrastructures where those consoles are installed.

Why did Dell develop Lifecycle Controller?

When Dell examined common management tasks and the inefficiencies associated with them, we discovered something interesting – it wasn’t the tools that were making management tasks take so long, it was how they were delivered. The most common activities like provisioning, deploying, and updating required multiple tools, multiple forms of media and scouring the Web for the latest enablement tools, including drivers and firmware. This traditional delivery model resulted in inefficient use of time, a potential for error and potential exposure to security risks. The following Videos will give you a real insight into the power of the "Lifecycle Controller".

Embedded Management

Lifecycle Controller - Local GUI: Lifecycle controller supports local 1-to-1 system management tasks via a graphical user interface (GUI) on the servers KVM for operating system install, updates, configuration, and for performing diagnostics, on single, local servers. This eliminates the need for multiple option ROMs for hardware configuration.

Lifecycle Controller - Web Services API: Remote Services are standards-based interfaces that enable consoles to integrate, for example, bare-metal provisioning and one-to-many OS deployments, for servers located remotely. Dell’s Lifecycle Controller takes advantage of the capabilities of both USC and Remote Services to deliver significant advancement and simplification of server deployment.
Lifecycle Controller Serviceability aims at simplifying server re-provision and/or replacing failed parts and thus reduces maintenance downtime

Highlighted White Papers

Web Services Integration Tools

Best Practice scripts - 06/11/2012

WinRM scripts - 05/07/2012

WSMAN scripts - 05/07/2012

Scripts - 9/8/2011

Scripts - 9/8/2011

Reference Specifications

  • Profiles - Describes the behavior for each 12G feature and necessary classes, properties and methods as well as configurable management attributes that represent the feature.

  • MOFs - Files that contain the normative description for DCIM classes, properties and method in the MOF format.

  • 12G WSMAN API Changes - Describes the configurable management attributes and methods that have been added, deleted or changed in behavior per platform component.

  • WSMAN Licenses and Privileges - Lists all licensing and privilege requirements.

  • LC XML Schema Guide - Contains various schema descriptions including: LCL log, hardware inventory, message registry, attribute registry, and dependency XML

Attribute Registries (What are these?)

  • RAID - Lists all attributes and properties for the RAID component in XML format (03/07/2012)

  • NIC - Lists all attributes and properties for the NIC component in XML format (03/07/2012)

  • iDRAC - Lists all attributes and properties for the iDRAC component in XML format (03/07/2012)

  • BIOS - Lists all attributes and properties for the BIOS component in XML format (03/07/2012)

  • Download 1 zip of all attribute registries here

Message Registries

  • Profiles - Describes the behavior for each 12G feature and necessary classes, properties and methods as well as configurable management attributes that represent the feature.

  • MOFs - Files that contain the normative description for DCIM classes, properties and method in the MOF format.

Reference Specifications

  • English - iDRAC and Lifecycle Controller event / error message data in XML with Dell XSL for viewing (06/04/2012)

Other References

Dell Lifecycle Controller White Papers

OMSA 7.0 Documentation

Open Manage Essentials (This link is full of resources, links, pdfs, videos etc.)

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Article ID: SLN114824

Last Date Modified: 06/24/2015 09:20 AM

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