Remote server management cards give IT administrators full control over a server without the need for on-site presence. Through these management cards, all console screen information, keyboard and mouse functionality is exported to a remote session to an IT professional who can be located anywhere in the world.
Advanced management card solutions utilize out-of-band network connectivity to allow full management and control of servers, even if the server is crashed, failing to boot, powered off, or in need of complete operating system installation. All aspects of controlling the server including power cycling, resetting, or BIOS-level management or configuration setting changes can be accomplished remotely.
Management cards can simulate the installation of a CD-ROM over the Internet, allowing full installation or upgrading of a server's operating system by using CD-ROM media that is installed on the remote support provider's computer or server, rather than in the distant computer being managed. This allows remote rebuilds of a server or remote installation of operating system upgrades without the need to touch a server physically.
While most remote server management cards have been targeted for servers located in data centers, the flexibility of having such cards in conventional office environments gives a company's internal IT staff the ability to provide more responsive support, especially after hours, and allows companies that outsource their support to receive a high level of service for nearly any issue.
Examples of Remote Server Management Cards
Progent has experience with a variety of remote server management cards available from reliable vendors. These products include:
The IP9001 is a PCI card that provides remote access to your server should it go down. With the IP9001 you can check the event log, the health of your machine, reset it, or power it on and off. Also, with the virtual CD-ROM and floppy enabled, you can remotely install new software, upgrade your firmware, or restore your computer's operating system.
With a web browser interface, the IP9001 has all the features needed to manage a server easily from an office or from anywhere that has a connection to the Internet. The protection provided by the IP9001 allows you to make sure that your equipment is always running and secure.
eRIC express is a KVM-over-IP PCI card that provides browser-based remote, unblocked, BIOS-level access and control to any server with maximum security, stability and speed. eRIC express allows administrators to perform a variety of management tasks remotely, including common tasks such as setting passwords and security, renaming servers, and changing IP address. eRIC express requires no client software on the remote user side and supports standard browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
Because eRIC express operates at the BIOS level, server access is available even if the server operating system fails. An integrated modem allows emergency access when the network or Internet is unavailable. The combination of KVM encryption and 256-bit SSLv3/TLSv1 and certification protects servers from unauthorized access.
American Megatrends MegaRAC
The MegaRAC G4 provides out-of-band, lights-out manageability for BIOS-level system access and control even when the operating system is unavailable or the server is powered down. A 100% OS independent solution, MegaRACŪ G4 offers high quality and high performance KVM redirection to any server over the Internet. It does not require any drivers or agents to be installed at the managed server.
MegaRAC G4 can control reset and power to the motherboard, as well as read status information through IPMI, allowing the remote to fully manage and monitor the host system. Additionally, the G4 can emulate a Mass Storage Device, such as a floppy, CD-ROM, or hard-drive, making it possible to install programs remotely.
The Dell Remote Assistant Card II (DRAC II) and Dell Remote Access Card III (DRAC III) offer a complete hardware and software solution to the challenge of remote server management. A major feature of the DRAC is the ability to allow an administrator to remotely access an inoperable server and get the server up and running as quickly as possible. The DRAC provides alert notification when the server is down and allows full access to the down server. In addition, the DRAC logs the probable cause of the server crash and saves the current error display.
The DRAC is a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) card, with its own processor and memory. The card is powered by the system when the server has power or it can operate from its integrated battery module. In addition, an external power adapter is provided that allows the DRAC to remain powered up when the server is off.
HP Lights-Out 100c Remote Management Cards
HP Lights-Out 100c Remote Management Cards consist of a Lights-Out 100 management processor and firmware that provides cost-effective entry level lights-out functionality, basic system board management functions, and diagnostics. HP Lights-Out 100c is provided as optional mezzanine cards for the HP ProLiant ML 150 G3 and HP ProLiant ML110 G3. With each of these HP Lights-Out 100c products, users can access the system and serial console, control system power, update firmware and software using virtual media, and monitor system environmental conditions from a browser or command line.
This basic "at-the-server" remote control allows you to stay in control of servers wherever they are located, which results in less downtime, less time spent resolving system issues, and ultimately more time for business priorities.
How Progent Can Help You with Remote Server Management Cards
Progent's Microsoft and Cisco certified consultants can help you design, implement, and support a high-availability business network that incorporates a variety of server management technologies including remote server management cards, virtual servers, Microsoft Operations Manager, Windows Server Update Services. You can outsource all or part of your IT support and administration to Progent's IT professionals, or you can utilize Progent's consulting services whenever you need high-level remote or onsite troubleshooting or network architecture and security expertise.
For more information about Progent's server management consulting, call 800-993-9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.