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I have Dell R210 1U server (W2008R2 Enterprise).The box is currently in another country on colocation. I am thinking of moving it to another colocation.

I was told that if my box supports IPMI I could power-cycle it remotely in new environment. I have no idea how IPMI works..

Do I need to set something in the Bios? in Windows? Do the colo provider connect something physical to the box to make it work (a cable?).

How would you go about it if the box is only accessible through RDP? And you wanted to ensure IPMI will work and also to ask all the right question before move (because their 'remote hands' are very expensive).

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3 Answers 3

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On a Dell, it's the iDRAC. Read the manual for the hardware you've bought, focusing on the features and requirements for the iDRAC on the model you own. Some have their own NIC that needs to be cabled, some will share a system NIC. Either way, you'll need to get an IP address on that card, which will be a manual process, unless they give you DHCP (unlikely in someone else's colo, but maybe they'll work with you on this.)

Then, once the iDRAC is running, you can HTTPS or SSH into it and power-cycle your server on your own, as often as you need to.

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thank you. I have iDrac6 BMC. I dont know which version but it seems any requires to run idrac setup locally during the boot.... which is shame... I wonder if internet-enabled kvm will help... –  Boppity Bop May 22 '12 at 16:02
    
If you have remote KVM and the ability to power-cycle (so as to get into the iDRAC BIOS), then you can indeed configure the iDRAC remotely. Of course, if you had those, you don't really need iDRAC, unless you're also using the remote media features. This is why you need to plan and configure your remote access before the server is remote. –  mfinni May 22 '12 at 17:26
    
KVM will cost me money. but if I move without BMC setup it will cost me much more every time I want to reboot... so I am gathering my options so far... –  Boppity Bop May 23 '12 at 11:46

iDRAC BMC is not like the old DRAC, is the like the old BMC, with this you have a limited functions like start/stop server, get the logs,... You can configure it with OMSA (I think) and during the boot at the end of the post, I think is CTRL+E, in the BMC BIOS you can configure an IP to access BMC but is going to be available only through commands or through an external application that run IPMI commands, is not accesible through web administration.

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yes. i think you are right. i read dell pdfs and it seems it has only one option to configure - through local access –  Boppity Bop May 23 '12 at 11:47

You should install OMSA 6.5.0 on your system. There you get a lot of command-line-tools.

One of it is racadm wich will allow for setting up the IP of your DRAC-card (iDRAC6 Express if you did not buy the Enterprise-license).

BTW - if nothing else is set - the default-IP is 192.168.0.120/24.

With iDRAC6 Enterprise you get virtual media and a virtual console plus a dedicated line (if you want to use that) for your iDRAC6.

Other command-line-tools installed with OMSA: omreport, omsetup. OMSA will also install a management gui on your server, running on https, port 1311.

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I didn't know you could use racadm to configure an unconfigured DRAC from the host OS. Excellent tidbit! –  mfinni May 23 '12 at 2:47
    
I just installed OMSA and I could configure the BMC.. However it seems you still have to have local access to actually enable IPMI over LAN in the BIOS..... –  Boppity Bop May 23 '12 at 18:23
    
@Bobb you can do this with racadm. You can install OMSA on your workstation and use racadm to steer your server from there. Or you can upload an ssh-key to iDRAC6 and script some commands as well (with putty plink). –  Nils May 23 '12 at 19:37
    
@mfinni Yes that works. It seems the OS is using a tap-device-tunnel to the DRAC so it can talk to it... –  Nils May 23 '12 at 19:40
    
sorry I dont know what is tap device tunnel but racadm -r 192.168.0.120 just hungs for a minute only to say - unable to connecto to RAC at specified IP –  Boppity Bop May 26 '12 at 16:16

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