Dell PowerEdge Quickstart Guide

Last change on 2022-06-29 • Created on 2020-03-23

Introduction

Due to the customized nature of the Dell servers, we do not pre-install any operating systems, because we do not know what kind of RAID and hard drive configuration the client wants. This is why we deploy the Dell servers with the Rescue System.

Once the server is online, you need to configure the RAID controller. After that, you can install one of the supported operating systems, either automatically via Robot or manually via the installimage. Alternatively, you could also mount your own ISO image and install an operating system using the KVM function.

Which Operating Systems are supported?

Operating System Model Supported by DELL Image from Hetzner
Debian 10 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
Ubuntu 19.10 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
CentOS 7.9 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
CentOS 8.5 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
VMWare ESXi 6.0 R720 Only DELL Image
R530 Only DELL Image
R730 Only DELL Image
R640 Only DELL Image
R6415 Only DELL Image
R6515
VMware ESXi 6.5 R720 Only DELL Image
R530 Only DELL Image
R730 Only DELL Image
R640 Only DELL Image
R6415 Only DELL Image
R6515 Only DELL Image
VMware ESXi 6.7 R720
R530 Only DELL Image
R730 Only DELL Image
R640 Only DELL Image
R6415 Only DELL Image
R6515 Only DELL Image
VMware ESXi 7.0 R720
R530 Only DELL Image
R730 Only DELL Image
R640 Only DELL Image
R6415 Only DELL Image
R6515 Only DELL Image
Windows Server 2012 R2 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
Windows Server 2016 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
Windows Server 2019 R720
R530
R730
R640
R6415
R6515
  • PowerEdge R720 - DX150/DX290
  • PowerEdge R530 - DX141
  • PowerEdge R730 - DX151/DX291
  • PowerEdge R640 - DX152/DX292
  • PowerEdge R6415 - DX180
  • PowerEdge R6515 - DX181

What is the iDRAC?

The iDRAC (integrated Dell Remote Access Controller) is an integrated tool which can perform a multitude of configuration and maintenance tasks. By logging onto the iDRAC, you can immediately fix many problems yourself, instead of having to write a support request and wait for a response from our support team.

How do I connect to the iDRAC?

How do I change the iDRAC password?

Forgot iDRAC password, what now?

If you have forgotten or misplaced your iDRAC password, you can reset it via the Hetzner Rescue System. To do this, simply start your server in the rescue system and execute the following command:

racadm set iDRAC.Users.2.Password MySuperSecretPassword

In the above example, your new iDRAC password for user root would now be MySuperSecretPassword. If for some reason you cannot start the server in the rescue system, you can create a support request to reset the iDRAC password via the Robot.

Which firmware version is the latest?

Firmware R720 R530 R730 R640 R6415 R6515
BIOS 2.9.0 2.13.0 2.13.0 2.14.2 1.17.0 2.6.6
iDRAC & LCC 2.65.65.65 2.82.82.82 2.82.82.82 5.00.20.10 5.00.20.10 5.00.20.10
PERC 21.3.5-0002 25.5.9.0001 25.5.9.0001 25.5.9.0001 25.5.9.0001 25.5.9.0001
Backplane 1.00 2.25 2.25 2.52 4.35 4.35
Intel NIC 20.5.13 20.5.13 20.5.13 20.5.13 20.5.13 20.5.13
Broadcom NIC 21.81.3 21.81.3 21.81.3 21.81.3 21.81.3 21.81.3
  • BIOS version 2.6.1 for the R720 closes the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5754)
  • BIOS version 2.7.1 for the R530/R730 closes Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5754)
  • BIOS version 1.3.7 for R640 closes Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5715, CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5754)
  • BIOS version 2.2.11 for R640 closes Zombieload vulnerability (CVE-2018-12126, CVE-2018-12127, and CVE-2018-12130)
  • BIOS version 2.7.0 for the R720 closes Spectre-NG vulnerability (CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640)
  • BIOS version 2.8.0 for the R530/R730 closes Spectre-NG vulnerability (CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640)
  • BIOS version 2.10.5 for the R530/R730 closes ZombieLoad vulnerability (CVE-2018-12126, CVE-2018-12127, CVE-2018-12130, CVE-2019-11091 and CVE-2019-0089)
  • BIOS version 1.4.8 for the R640 closes Spectre-NG vulnerability (CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640)
  • With iDRAC firmware 2.52.52.52 for R530/R720/R730 (12G/13G), and iDRAC firmware 3.18.18.18 for R640 (14G), critical vulnerabilities (CVE-2018-1207, CVE-2018-1211, and CVE-2018-1000116) have been fixed.

    • Further information can be found at DELL: White Paper
  • BIOS version 2.9.4 for the R640 closes multiply Intel platform vulnerabilities

  • BIOS version 1.9.3 for the R6415 closes a AMD platform vulnerabilitie

  • BIOS version 2.5.5 for the R6515 and BIOS version 1.17.0 for the R6415 closes a AMD platform vulnerabilitie

How do I see the drives?

When you receive your Dell server, it usually does not yet have a RAID configured on it. This is why you cannot see any logical drives; you can only see unconfigured drives. So don't worry, your drives are there. However, before you can install an operating system, you need to set up at least one logical drive by configuring the RAID controller. A peculiarity of the PowerEdge R640, R6415 and R6515 is that the NVMe disks are not displayed in the iDRAC9. Please note that the NVMe disks are also not connected to the RAID controller, and therefore, it is not possible to use hardware RAID.

How do I configure my RAID controller?

A variety of options are available for configuring the controller. For example, you can use the iDRAC to configure a RAID. With iDRAC8 and higher, you can configure the controller even during the runtime of your operating system. For the iDRAC7, a restart is necessary to activate the RAID configuration. The following articles show how to proceed with the different iDRAC revisions.

In addition, the command line tool perccli is available in the Hetzner Rescue System. You can use this to manage the PERC controllers in particular. The following is a simple example of a start configuration using perccli

  • First of all, you have to consider which configuration you want to run on your hard disks. The controller offers you a variety of RAID levels, and depending on how many disks you have installed, different RAID configurations are possible. In the following example, we assume that you want to create a RAID-1 over two hard disks. Please adjust the examples according to your needs. In the boxes for each step. you will find the commands you need to enter in the Hetzner Rescue System .
  • First, you need to find out some information about the hard drives:
perccli /c0/e32/sall show
  • The output will look similar to this one:
Drive Information:
=================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
EID:Slt DID State DG       Size Intf Med SED PI SeSz Model                Sp
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
32:0      0 UGood -  558.375 GB SAS  HDD N   N  512B ST600MP0005          U
32:1      1 UGood -  558.375 GB SAS  HDD N   N  512B ST600MP0005          U
32:2      2 UGood -  558.375 GB SAS  HDD N   N  512B ST600MP0005          U
32:3      3 UGood -  558.375 GB SAS  HDD N   N  512B ST600MP0005          U
32:4      4 UGood -    3.638 TB SATA HDD N   N  512B ST4000NM0035-1V4107  U
32:5      5 UGood -    3.638 TB SATA HDD N   N  512B HGST HUS726040ALA614 U
32:6      6 UGood -    1.818 TB SATA HDD N   N  512B ST2000NM0033-9ZM175  U
32:7      7 UGood -    1.818 TB SATA HDD N   N  512B ST2000NM0145-2DC104  U
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • From the output, please note the value EID:Slt of the first two hard drives you want to use.
  • Then create the RAID with the following command:
perccli /c0 add vd type=raid1 drives=32:0-1
  • Here, you simply enter the RAID level you want under type, e.g. type=raid1 for RAID-1 or type=raid5 for RAID-5. For the attribute drives, you specify the drives that you want to use in this RAID group. You can combine the entries, i.e. you do not have to explicitly specify both drives like (drives=32:0,32:1), but you can also specify them as drives=32:0-1. In the example above, we use the media with Enclosure Device ID 32 and Slot Number 0 and 1. Please adjust this according to your perccli output.
  • After you've added a logical drive, the initialization starts automatically. However, if the logical drive is not displayed in the operating system, you need to start the initialization of the logical drive with perccli /c0/v0 start init or in the RAID BIOS.
  • Now you can use the logical drives normally and partition or directly install an operating system on them.
  • A more detailed documentation about perccli is available at this link

Can I use the drives without configuring RAID?

In the models based on the Dell PowerEdge R730 (DX151 and DX291), PowerEdge R640 (DX152 and DX292), PowerEdge R530 (DX141), PowerEdge R6415 (DX180) and PowerEdge R6515 (DX181), a JBOD-compatible controller is included (PERC H730/H730P/H330). In order to use the drives directly, as a JBOD (just a bunch of drives) instead of a RAID, you must enable the JBOD mode of the controller and export the desired drive as JBOD.

# Only DX141, DX151, DX291, DX152, DX180, DX181
#
# Activate JBOD in the Controller
perccli /c0 set jbod=on
# Make the drive in Slot 0 on „Enclosure“ 32 available as JBOD
perccli /c0/e32/s0 set jbod

In the models based on the Dell PowerEdge R720 (DX150 and DX290), you need to use a workaround because the built-in controller does not support JBOD directly. You can circumvent this limitation by configuring each drive as an individual RAID 0. That way, you essentially have a JBOD configuration. Please enter the following command in the Rescue System to set up that configuration.

perccli /c0 add vd each r0

What is the KVM function and how do I use it?

The KVM function, more specifically the KVM over IP function, enables you to use the server over a network just as if you were directly in front of the machine with a screen, a keyboard, and a mouse directly attached. When you log onto the iDRAC, you see a preview of the current video output of the server on the right third of the website.

How do I turn my server on/off and how do I restart it?

You can either use the Quick Launch Tasks in the Overview of the iDRAC, or you can use the Power menu of the KVM window.

How do I mount an ISO image?

How do I mount operating system images from the Hetzner Mirror?

How do I diagnose hardware problems?

Under "Overview" in the iDRAC, you will find a general summary of the condition of certain groups of server components under the heading "Server Health". If there is a green check mark next to the group, everything is ok. If you would like to see details about a group of components or about an error that is displayed, just click on the group (for instance "Fans"). If you see an error, you can either check the technical manual to see whether or not it is a serious problem, or you can include the error message in a support request to the Hetzner support staff via Robot.

What is the Dell Open Manage System Administrator Suite (OMSA)?

OMSA enables you to perform certain hardware configuration tasks and to monitor the hardware directly via the operating system. You can find more information about OMSA at the Dell website and under linux.dell.com.

How do I use hardware monitoring?

The iDRAC provides operating system independent comprehensive monitoring of all system components.

In order to use the notification capabilities, you need to configure a DNS name and a DNS domain in the network settings of the iDRAC. To configure this, enter the webinterface and go to 'iDRAC Settings' and then 'Network'. Here, you can enter a domain that you manage under the static DNS domain name. For example:

  • DNS DRAC Name: idrac-hetzner-r720
  • Static DNS Domain name: example.com

The system will now send emails with the sender address <idrac-hetzner-r720@example.com>.

Now, you can add destination email addresses and configure an SMTP server, all via the menu Alerts -> SNMP and E-mail Settings.

Here, you can enter email addresses so you can be notified of system events in the fields "E-mail Alert 1" to "E-mail Alert 4".

Under SMTP (E-Mail) Server Address Settings, you need to configure the appropriate SMTP server.

Finally, by clicking on the button "Send", you can send a test email to the addresses you entered. If the email is temporarily not delivered (eg. due to greylisting), you will receive an error message. In this case, the email will be cached for later delivery.

How do I secure the iDRAC?

To secure the iDRAC against unauthorized access beyond just changing the password, you can configure IP filtering and blocking. It is possible to restrict access to either a single IP address or a range of IP addresses.

To configure this, enter the web interface and go to iDRAC Settings and then Network. Click on the link Advanced Settings. Here, you can enter an IP address and a subnet mask from which access is allowed. To limit access to a single IP address, enter <255.255.255.254> as the subnet mask (<255.255.255.255> is not supported by the iDRAC). To allow access from a range of IP addresses, you need to enter a subnet mask which, when combined with the IP address, contains all IP addresses from which access should be permitted.

SSH connections to the iDRAC are disabled on all Hetzner systems by default. Depending on your needs, you can activate SSH connections as well.

What kinds of memory configurations are available?

Dell PowerEdge offers several configuration options for the system memory suitable for different applications and requirements. In the optimized default configuration, users get the full capacity and performance. The ECC standard allows for single-bit errors to be corrected and multi-bit errors to be detected. For even greater demands beyond that, the following configurations are possible:

  • Memory optimized mode (or independent channel mode) allows memory channels to run independently of each other; for example, one can be idle, one can be performing a write operation, and the other can be preparing for a read operation. Memory may be installed in one, two, three, or four channels. To fully benefit from the performance of the memory optimized mode, all four channels per physical processor should be populated.
  • Mirroring - The memory content is kept redundantly. For maximum security, only half the storage capacity is available.
  • Advanced ECC - This has additional error correction as the result of more elaborate checks during memory access. The storage capacity is reduced by 33%. There is high performance, but less than with the optimized configuration.
  • Sparing - One bank is used as a spare. If one memory bank fails, the systems switches to the spare on the fly. The storage capacity is reduced by 33% to 50%.

Which hardware configurations are available?

You can find our current Dell offers on our website.

Which RAID controller does the server use?

The integrated PERC is a powerful enterprise class RAID controller.

  • DX181: PERC H730P with 2 GB cache (LSI SAS 3108)
  • DX180: PERC H730P with 2 GB cache (LSI SAS 3108)
  • DX152/DX292: PERC H730P with 2 GB cache (LSI SAS 3108)
  • DX151/DX291: PERC H730 with 1GB cache (LSI SAS 3108)
  • DX150/DX290: PERC H710 with 512MB cache (LSI SAS 2208)
  • DX141: PERC H330 (LSI SAS 3008)

The cache of the H710, H730 and H730P controllers is protected by BBU (Battery Backup Unit) and offers increased reliability.

Which RAID levels are supported?

  • DX181 with PERC H730P: JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • DX180 with PERC H730P: JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • DX152/DX292 with PERC H730P: JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • DX151/DX291 with PERC H730: JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • DX150/DX290 with PERC H710: 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • DX141 with PERC H330: JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 10, 50

Where do I find additional information?

Dell PowerEdge R720

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF) as well as a Technical Guide (PDF).

Dell PowerEdge R730

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF).

Dell PowerEdge R530

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF).

Dell PowerEdge R640

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF).

Dell PowerEdge R6415

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF).

Dell PowerEdge R6515

Dell provides an Owner's Manual (PDF).

Support

In order to process your support enquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible, please send your requests directly via the Robot administration interface.

Our goal is to answer your support requests about technical matters within two business hours.

Please note, however, that this goal is not legally-binding, and therefore does not represent any contractual agreement. This 2-hour goal is merely a guideline based on our experience, but it is one that we strive to uphold.

To contact us via telephone, please check our website for the appropriate number by going here and scrolling down.

Our support technicians in the data centers are available 24/7. If you call them to ask them to work on your server, you will need to give them you telephone password so they can verify your identity. (You need to enter your telephone password on your Robot account beforehand.)

You can find a FAQ for our dedicated root servers here: Dedicated Root Server FAQ

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