This Dell Technical White Paper provides an overview on the agent-free monitoring feature provided in Dell’s 12th generation servers.

For more information about Dell 12th Gen monitoring, go to:


Agent-free monitoring is the state-of-the-art out-of-band manageability solution for Dell’s 12G servers. The whitepaper aims to provide the salient features of the solution and how it helps in more efficient device management in the servers in datacenters. The solution is completely out-of-band with no dependence on any operating system agents.


Until the advent of 12G servers, the storage and network device inventory and monitoring was performed in-band that is using software agents installed on the system. Software agents include Dell OpenManage Server Administrator or vendor provided tools running on the operating system. They were used to effectively monitor any IPMI-capable device with the iDRAC device on the motherboard. In Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, you can inventory and monitor the storage and network devices using iDRAC7 without installing any agent on the managed system and management station. Agent-free monitoring is the systems management solution for Dell’s 12th generation servers.

You can remotely inventory and monitor the storage and network devices connected to the server irrespective of the host operating system state.

Agent-free monitoring helps to:

  • Remove dependence on in-band agents and monitor devices without the presence of an operating system.
  • Release CPU cycles for other computing tasks since there is zero impact on host performance.
  • Provides the most relevant data through an intuitive user interface.
  • Provides a centralized location from where the monitoring data of the storage devices and network cards can be accessed, thereby reducing the need for multiple agents to monitor.

About Agent-free Monitoring

In Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, agent-free monitoring uses Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP) to effectively monitor the RAID controllers and network controllers present in the server. MCTP is an industry standard protocol defined and maintained by Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).