Knowledge Base

Out of The Box Setup Information for Dell PowerEdge 12G Servers Including the R820, R720, R620, T620, R520, R420, T420, R320, and T320

Article Summary: This article provides information on the "Out of The Box Setup" information for 12G PowerEdge Servers including the R820, R720, R620, T620, R520, R420, T420, R320, and T320.

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
  5. Operating System Installation
  6. Installing and Configuring OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA)
  7. OpenManage Essentials: A Simple Way to Centrally Manage Multiple "Dell Devices"
  8. Rack and Power
  9. Firmware and Driver Updates
  10. Troubleshooting a 12G Server

Issue 1:

Setup and Manage Your iDRAC

iDRAC 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

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.

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.

Full setup and troubleshooting details are available in the iDRAC7 Licensing White Paper.

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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

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.

  • Dell Event Message Reference - Describes all messages, message IDs, and message arguments from all profiles in one document.

  • 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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Issue 5:

Operating System Installation

There are two simple ways of installing a supported Operating System onto your 12G server.

Microsoft OS Matrix

Linux Matrix


Dedicated VMware versions can be downloaded directly from, select your product, Under the Operating System Tab, select your desired VMWare Hypervisor Version (ESX and ESXi): Downloadable ISO's are available under the "Enterprise Solutions" category.

If your system shipped with internal SD card support, and you want to install an embedded version of ESX(i), please read the following article for detailed instructions: Installing Your VMware® ESXi Software on Flash Media.

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Issue 6:

Installing and Configuring OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA)

What is Dell OpenManage?

Dell OpenManage is a collection of software developed by Dell that helps you discover, monitor, manage, patch, and deploy to Dell server (OpenManage can also monitor networking and storage as well). OpenManage is useful to administrators that need to manage multiple servers because it allows them to easily view the status of all of their servers and manage them from a single workstation.

Other Server Administrator Resources

More OMSA Downloads

OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) Videos Introducing OpenManage Essentials

Support for VMWare

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Issue 7:

OpenManage Essentials:
A Simple Way to Centrally Manage Multiple "Dell Devices"

OpenManage Essentials (OME) is a systems management console that provides simple, basic Dell hardware management and is available as a free download. The product officially launched on Feb 28th, 2012 and it will replace Dell IT Assistant (ITA). A complete overview of OpenManage Essentials is available HERE.

OpenManage Essentials is available as a free download from the Dell Support Site. The OME console's inventory function integrates with the Dell Repository Manager to automatically facilitate the creation of custom repositories of new updates for your systems. If you are new to the product, take the Quick Tour or watch the OME Overview Video below:

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Issue 8:

Rack and Power

Use the Dell Capacity Planner to get configuration based estimates for power, cooling, airflow, and weight as well as other useful information about Dell Enterprise products: Get it HERE.

Rack Installation Instructions — Sliding Rails : Get it HERE.

Rack Installation Instructions — Static Rails : Get it HERE.

Dell OpenManage Power Center

Improve your ability to monitor and manage power usage and energy consumption across your entire data center with Dell OpenManage Power Center, Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 7 (iDRAC7) Enterprise and Intel Node Manager.

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Issue 9:

Firmware and Driver Updates

General Rules for updating drivers and Firmware:

  • Compare the Driver and Firmware revisions installed on your server against the latest version on "Support.Dell.Com" a large jump in revisions may not be possible without going through some intermediary updates (Check the README).

  • Some updates can take considerable time to complete.

  • The SBUU is a simple way to update a single server or get a snapshot of current revisions.

  • In most cases Firmware can be rolled back.

  • Updates rarely fail, there are a number of checks performed prior to writing a new firmware image to a component.

  • If you are unsure about the components that shipped with your system and you don't have "OpenManage Server Administrator" installed. An easy way to determine the original configuration is to go to, enter your service TAG in the Troubleshooting section.

  • Under the "System Configuration Tab" you will see a list of components that shipped with your server.

  • The drivers and downloads TAB contains a full list of Firmware and Drivers and their criticality. Click (HERE) for a handy "Driver" FAQ

  • If you have problems accessing, as an alternative you can try using

  • Altiris Deployment Solution for Dell Servers centrally manage the provisioning of bare metal Dell servers, including configuration of the BIOS, baseboard management controller (BMC), Integrated Dell Remote Access Controllers (iDRACs) and RAID components.

  • Dell Systems Management Consoles work the way you want to work. Dell is committed to helping you apply your own approach to systems management. You can choose from our consoles, services and a variety of tools and utilities, many of which come free of charge.

Deployment Tools

Monitoring Tools

Update Tools

Partner Deployment and Management Tools

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Issue 10:

Troubleshooting a 12G Server

Check out the Diagnostics Tool repository: a central tools location for PowerEdge Servers.

Before Calling Technical Support: Its always a good idea to collect system logs before calling tech support. Dell System E-Support Tool (DSET) provides the ability to collect hardware, storage and operating system information from a Dell PowerEdgeTM server. You can download a copy from the (HERE).

This information is consolidated into a single System Configuration Report that can be used for troubleshooting or inventory collection of a system. The browser user interface provides a convenient means to view specific data through hierarchal menu trees. Please note- As part of the troubleshooting process you may be asked to provide a DSET log when you contact Dell Technical Support.

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Article ID: SLN129356

Last Date Modified: 07/29/2015 04:01 PM

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