Dell PowerEdge: How to configure the iDRAC & System Management Options on servers

Dell PowerEdge: How to configure the iDRAC & System Management Options on servers

This article explains the different options to manage Dell PowerEdge servers.
Installation guides and advanced configuration are provided in the interactive users guides.

The basic level of management is provided by the iDRAC, a controller card embedded in the motherboard. Advanced mangement options are provided at an operating system level with the OpenManage suite. This suite is a collection of software that helps you discover, monitor, manage, and deploy Dell servers.

Note: If needed, this article explains how to identify the generation of a Dell PowerEdge.

Overview of the Management System

This table describes the 3 levels of management, clicking on a menu will display more information.

Name Type Interface Supported OS
iDRAC Physically installed.
Manage local device.
Can be access remotely.
HTTP Independent of OS.
OpenManage Server Administrator

Software installation.
Manage one server
Can be access remotely.
HTTP Windows.
OpenManage Enterprise

Software installation.
Console to manage infrastructure.
Can be access remotely.
HTTP Installation under Windows.
All Dell devices supported.
OpenManage Essentials

appliance deployed on a hypervisor
Console to manage infrastructure.
Can be access remotely.
HTTPs Hypervisor.
All Dell devices supported.

Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC)

The iDRAC is a piece of hardware that sits on the server motherboard that allows Systems Administrators to update and manage Dell systems, even when the server is turned off.

The iDRAC also provides both a web interface and command line interface that allows administrators to perform remote management tasks. Almost all current Dell servers have the option for an iDRAC.

Note: IDRAC functionalities are depending of the license level. More information about licensing are available in the iDRAC User's Guide.

Note: An advantage of the iDRAC include being able to launch a remote console session (similar to Remote Desktop but works even when the OS is not booted up), remote reboot or power on/off your system, and map a virtual disk drive to a remote file share or OS deployment.

The Virtual Console is a very powerfull to all support maintenance operation. How to use the Virtual Media is explained in this article.

The Dell Lifecycle Controller, which is a component of the iDRAC, is another useful tool that allows for advanced functionality around updating, backing up and restoring firmware updates on your Dell Server either through a GUI or command-line interface.
Lifecycle Controller is the tool to use to deploy operating system, more information about OS Deployment in this article.

iDRAC Manuals are available on the support site.

Note: For the iDRAC 8 and previous versions, the default login is user: root password: calvin . For more recent iDRAC please read this article.

idrac8 dell

OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA)

OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) provides a comprehensive, one-to-one system management solution in two ways:
  • from an integrated, web browser-based graphical user interface (GUI)
  • from a command line interface (CLI) through the operating system.

Server Administrator is designed for system administrators to manage systems locally and remotely on a network.
To get the latest version, please visit the OMSA Download Page. OMSA is available in two types of file:
  • Managed node: Agents and web components are installed. (Windows, Linux)
  • VIB: Agents of OMSA without web components (VMware).

When OMSA is installed without web components, you have to access this OMSA from another device where web components are installed.
User Guides are available online for more information about installation process.

Once OMSA is installed, to access the interface please enter the following URL in a navigator.


Note: If you have troubles to connect, try locally using https://localhost:1311/ . It will remove most of firewall issues.

A login page will appear asking to fill the username and the password.

Note: Use the operating system administrator credentials.

OMSA interface

Additional resources are available on the OpenManage Systems Management portfolio.

OpenManage Enterprise

OpenManage Enterprise is an intuitive infrastructure management console. OpenManage Enterprise is a systems management and monitoring application that provides a comprehensive view of the Dell EMC servers, chassis, storage, and network switches on the enterprise network.

Dell EMC OpenManage Enterprise

OpenManage Essentials

OpenManage Essentials (OME) is a hardware management application that provides a complete view of Dell systems, devices, and components in the enterprise’s network. OpenManage Essentials version 2.5 is the final release. OpenManage Essentials will not support future PowerEdge servers and no further product enhancements will be added. Dell EMC recommends migration to OpenManage Enteprise for future management of your Dell EMC devices.
With OME, an one‑to‑many systems management application for Dell systems and other devices, you can:
  • Discover and inventory the system.
  • Monitor the health of the system.
  • View and manage system alerts.
  • Perform system updates and remote tasks.
  • View hardware inventory and compliance reports

Interactive User Guide is available online

OME preview

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Article ID: SLN129295

Last Date Modified: 11/07/2019 03:40 PM

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