The following is a summary of the whitepaper Using Dell vFlash by Cori Rizzo, which outlines the features of vFlash on iDRAC6 version 1.5 and goes through several user scenarios for the Dell vFlash media card.

The Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 6 (or iDRAC6) enables remote server management and reduces the need for an administrator to physically visit the server to accomplish server configuration or maintenance. The iDRAC6 express product offers a rich remote management feature set, including a Web user interface, power control and monitoring, network access features, and directory service integration; it is the standard offering on tower and rack server series 600 and above. The iDRAC6 enterprise extends the express feature set by including a virtual console, virtual media, scripting, a dedicated network port, and a vFlash port; the enterprise product is the standard offering on all blade servers.

The Dell vFlash media card provides additional functionality to customers who already have an iDRAC6 enterprise card. Dell vFlash media is a Dell-branded 1 or 8 GB secure digital (SD) card that inserts into the iDRAC6 enterprise daughter card on the back of the server; blade servers must be removed from their chassis to access this port. Customers can use the space on the vFlash card to create up to 16 partitions in sizes ranging from 1MB to 4GB.

The partitions are managed remotely using the iDRAC6 Web interface and the RACADM command line. Users can expose the partition to the operating system much like a USB flash drive, and can even physically move it to another supported Dell server. In addition, partitions can be bootable making them ideal candidates for a persistent diagnostic boot image, or other bootable utility. This is also an excellent management tool for customers that have low bandwidth, or high latency, links to the remotely managed server.

vFlash provides a custom deployment environment that allows for the automation of server configuration, scripts, and imaging. Multiple boot media disks are no longer required as you can now have them embedded on vFlash partitions. Dell is committed to continue to make improvements to iDRAC6 so that it will continue leverage the power of vFlash.

For more step by step details on vFlash, please read Using Dell vFlash by Cori Rizzo.