Dell Remote Access Controller

The Dell Remote Access Controller (or "DRAC") is a management component for Dell servers. It stays on even when the server is shut down. One can log in to the web interface and manage these things:

  • installing an OS from an ISO on the local computer
  • Powering off/on
  • KVM over IP like behavior

The DRAC also functions as a BMC for IPMI communication.

Older DRACs (through version 5) were add-on cards that plugged into a dedicated slot on the server. Starting with version 6, DRACs have been integrated into server motherboards, although a dedicated NIC must still be purchased separately in order to enable completely out-of-band management. Concurrent with the move to integrated hardware, Dell rebranded their DRACs under the "iDRAC" name.

Starting with the iDRAC7, Dell has moved to a license-based capability system; the same hardware will function with only basic IPMI support, a limited set of additional features ("Express"), or the full range of remote management features ("Enterprise") depending on the license purchased from Dell.

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