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Prior to delivery day, I received a call from FedEx in order to schedule the delivery of my “data center equipment.” They said it would be delivered on a pallet. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it.

The server is delivered without incident. It’s in an enormous box and weighs a lot. We get it out of the box and safely on the floor. I purchased a VGA monitor cable to connect the server to a monitor and plugged in my Logitech Unifying receiver mouse & keyboard to the front USB port and plugged the beast in. This all seemed like perfectly reasonable things to do.

Initial Bootup

Now what? Where’s the power button? Where’s the password that I selected to be configured at the factory? Things are blinking. What does the blinking mean? I pushed buttons thinking they were power and it made stuff blink, but not turn on. At this point, I am thinking maybe I made a (very expensive) mistake.

Don’t be like me.

The power button is a teeny-tiny little button (a half-inch off the floor in my case) that is difficult to use. You want to know why the power button is so unfriendly? Because you don’t actually need to use it. You know what else you don’t need? A monitor plugged in to it. Or a mouse. Or a keyboard.

Hello iDRAC & OpenManage

It turns out Dell has some pretty handy tools called iDRAC and OpenManage that let you do all of the server-administration stuff remotely–including power cycling the server. It actually took me a bit to figure all of this out and I didn’t manage to get the server powered on for an embarrassingly long amount of time.

Once I found the power button, I pressed it. And…oh.my.god. The noise. It sounded like a hovercraft. I almost expected it to lift off. I definitely made a mistake.

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