The truth about Agent-Free Monitoring

Investing in Systems Management Technology

Systems management is an ever evolving technology and an area Dell continues to invest in. Specifically for the launch of our PowerEdge 12th generation servers, Dell put a lot of effort in improving the monitoring aspect of Systems Management.  In fact, Dell is the only vendor to offer truly agent-free systems management achieved in part due to a team of Dell engineers who completely rewrote the Systems Management Software.

Below is an extract of functions and devices which can be monitored through Dell’s iDRAC service processor:

  • Temperatures
  • CPU’s
  • Memory
  • Fans
  • Power supplies and voltages
  • RAID controllers and battery charges
  • Network Controllers
  • Hard Disks
  • PCIe Slots

Now, the last 3 on this list are quite unique in the market. In previous generations in general, agents were required to run on servers to acquire information from some components. For the latest generation of Dell servers, there is no requirement for Agents or Lightweight Services to run under the OS.

Benefits OEMs will value with Agent-Free Monitoring

1. Compatibility with Non-Standard Operating Systems

The big advantage of true Agent-free Monitoring is compatibility with non-standard Operating Systems. Where Lightweight Services can pose problems in monitoring servers in their entirety, iDRAC can manage with ease while saving the costs (and burden) of managing management agents. Our OEM customers experience great value from this specific feature, mainly due to the well above average adoption of ‘non-standard Operating Systems’ for increased levels of security.

2. Single Drive Location and Single Interface

Of course iDRAC has more to offer. One of the included features is the new Lifecycle Controller 2.0 server management tool, which puts all the drivers needed for a particular machine on flash memory on the iDRAC unit itself so customers can patch from there and not go scavenging around for files online. The Lifecycle Controller can also hook into Microsoft Systems Center or VMware’s vCenter consoles so administrators can kick off Dell management jobs from these consoles and use them as a single interface for the complete environment, software and hardware.

3. Enhanced Monitoring & Storage

The new iDRAC controller can read-out over 5,000 different parameters on a PowerEdge system, monitoring the state of all of these components as they operate, and the iDRAC 7 controller now has enough storage capacity to create a “forever” log that can contain approximately 1 million server events.

4. Store Complete Settings

Customers can also store the complete system settings, right down to MAC addresses, on the iDRAC controller and when needed, they can move those settings over to another physical server and neither its applications nor the network will know it is not the same physical server when it comes back online.

PowerEdge 12th generation servers, when coupled with the new iDRAC controller, will be able to deploy a server with 86 per cent fewer manual steps and 28 minutes faster, based on comparison tests we have done with prior generations of machines translating into direct value for customers.

You can learn more about Dell iDRAC by exploring the links and information on this page or contact our OEM team to learn more.

About the Author: Marcel Moelands