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Windows Server 2012 and HP deliver for mid-sized businesses

By Guest Blogger Brad Kirby

 

*Support for some HP features mentioned in this blog such as HP Intelligent Provisioning and support for firmware dependant Microsoft features such as SR-IOV and Consistent Device naming will be delivered in late October or early November of 2012.  Device drivers for Windows Server 2012 can be found on here.  Also, please visit the Windows Server 2012 website at http://www.hp.com/go/ws2012 to learn more about ProLiant support for Windows Server 2012.

 

During last week’s Learning Live session we talked about private cloud and how Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and System Center running on HP Converged Infrastructure deliver powerful cloud functionality that allows customers to pool server, storage, and networking resources; define and easily deploy complex IT services, and manage cloud infrastructure from the hardware through the OS and application.  Cloud is a powerful compute paradigm that allows organizations to take leverage IT resources more efficiently while improving the speed with which they can design and deliver standardized IT services to their internal or external users.  And Windows Server 2012 sits at the core of the Microsoft Private Cloud.

 

But what about smaller organizations?  Does Windows Server 2012 deliver value for them?  And how about HP Converged Infrastructure?  Is that only for large companies?

 

The answer is Windows Server 2012 and HP ProLiant Gen8 servers with ProActive Insight technology deliver great value to small and mid-size businesses, whether they are planning to deploy their first server or dive headlong into virtualization and private cloud.  Let’s take a look at how HP and Microsoft are will help you get more done faster.

 

HP and Microsoft collaboration starts with at server deployment.  Deploying a server correctly used to be a time consuming process.  You needed to have your server configuration and OS CD’s ready to go, stand by an answer questions as the hardware configuration process took place, and then find the latest firmware and driver updates and deploy them after the OS had been loaded.  With HP ProLiant Gen8, we’ve simplified the server deployment process by embedding all of the configuration tools into the server.  Just select your OS and make any necessary changes to hardware configuration defaults, plug in your USB key or DVD with OS media, and walk away.  With Gen8 servers, you can event download the latest firmware and drive updates and store them in local NV RAM prior to OS installation.

 

Then Windows Server 2012 takes over.  During the installation process, it will detect the NV RAM partition containing the drivers and automatically load them, ensuring that your infrastructure runs with the best possible performance.  If you are planning to deploy your new server as part of a Hyper-V cluster, the new server manager in Windows Server 2012 makes it easy to enable server roles and features, configure clustering, and deploy virtual machines… for one server, or for multiple servers.

 

Now what if you want to monitor the health and performance of your systems?  HP ProLiant Gen8 and Windows Server 2012 have you covered there as well.  The iLO Management Engine in ProLiant Gen8 servers monitors all of the servers core subsystems like CPU, memory, drives, networking, and power.  If there’s a problem, it sends an alert to your console of choice like HP Systems Insight Manager or Insight Online.  What’s best is you don’t have to install heavy-weight management agents to understand when there’s a problem.  iLO takes care of everything. 

 

With the addition of the lightweight Agentless Management Service (AMS), iLO can report events to the NT Even Log, enabling you to manage hardware, OS, and application health with Windows Server 2012 Server Manager.  Windows Server 2012 Server Manager also let you keep track of server and application performance by viewing real-time performance, creating performance history reports, and configuring alerts based on performance thresholds.

 

If you need to manage up to 50 servers, HP Insight Online gives you the ability to manage all of the HP servers and storage in your company through a simple Internet portal that lets you track device health and alerts, view warranty and service contract reports for your devices, and keep track of outstanding support cases.   If you work with an HP Authorized Service Provider, Insight Online allows them to monitor your devices remotely, enabling you to focus on your business while your service provider focuses on your infrastructure.

 

If virtualization is what you’re after, the new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Manager makes it easy to configure and deploy virtual machines, and features like “Shared Nothing Live Migration” allow you to move virtual machines from one server to another with no server interruption and without the requirement for shared storage.  Also, Hyper-V Replica makes it easy to take snapshots of virtual machines running and workload and running on any storage platform.  This provides a simple mechanism for disaster recovery that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

 

The new HP Departmental Private Cloud Reference Architecture delivers all the information you need to deploy a two-node Hyper-V cluster using HP ProLiant Servers, HP P2000 storage, and HP ProCurve networking.  HP shows outlines best practices for configuring Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV); partitioning production Ethernet, management, and CSV networks; and creating failover clusters and deploying highly available virtual machines.  You can either do it yourself, or work with your HP partner of choice to deliver the solution for you.

 

To learn more about all the work that HP and Microsoft are doing together, visit www.hp.com/learn/ws2012.  Also please come to our Learning Live session, Wednesday, September 26th at 8:00AM Pacific where Scott Shaffer, development director for Windows Server enablement at HP, will walk through all the materials we discussed here and field questions on the HP/Microsoft partnership for Windows Server 2012.

Comments
Kbystrak(anon) | ‎10-04-2012 06:59 PM

Moira wrote:

By Guest Blogger Brad Kirby

 

With HP ProLiant Gen8, we’ve simplified the server deployment process by embedding all of the configuration tools into the server.  Just select your OS and make any necessary changes to hardware configuration defaults, plug in your USB key or DVD with OS media, and walk away.  With Gen8 servers, you can event download the latest firmware and drive updates and store them in local NV RAM prior to OS installation.

Then Windows Server 2012 takes over.  During the installation process, it will detect the NV RAM partition containing the drivers and automatically load them, ensuring that your infrastructure runs with the best possible performance.


 

 

This doesn't seem to be very true.  I have been trying to deploy 2012 on a Gen 8 DL360p for a week.  I can't even get the installer to run.   The built in provisioning you are talking about here doesn't support 2012 server yet.   You have to install with the native 2012 installer then install drivers on your own.   The functionality you are talking about will not be available untill a future update....

 

This is my 5th 2012 server running on HP hardware and so far the Gen8 has been the worst.  The other G6 servers all came up and installed OK.   Getting drivers for the G6 was difficult, but they are running.  Thats more than i can say for this DL360p.

 

Xani | ‎10-09-2012 05:34 PM

Dear Kbystrak:

 

We are sorry that your experience with installing Windows Server 2012 on your DL360p has not met expectations.  You are correct that support for Intelligent Provisioning will ship as part of the Support Pack for ProLiant version 2012.10.0 and we have amended the blog post.  Also, please make sure that you download the supplemental Support Pack from ProLiant here.  I’d also be happy to touch base via e-mail  if you have further questions.

 

Regards,

Dan Sheehan(anon) | ‎12-31-2012 08:10 PM

No support for G6 servers? Really?

 

We bought the bulk of our servers at the end of 2009, and they showed up and were put into service in the beginning of 2010, so we haven't even got 3 years of service out of them yet. Now I understand we won't be able to install Windows Server 2012 on them in a supported configuration.

 

Again... Really???

 

It's ludicrous that hardware that's still under the primary warranty won't be supported on Microsoft's latest OS released ~2&1/2 years after we bought it. We don't have the money to refresh hardware every 3 years...as most people don't... so I guess we are out of luck and have to stay on Windows Server 2008 R2 for the next year or so.

 

Something to take into consideration when we do go through a hardware refresh.

Xani | ‎02-01-2013 09:25 PM

Hello Dan Sheehan,

 

HP is already into the process of getting them certified. As up today we do have the DL360 G6 and the DL380 G6 platforms certified and some other will get certified in the near future. 

 

Regards,

 

Coffee Coaching Team

 

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About the Author
Moira is a strategist who has done marketing for the technology industry for over a decade. She enjoys cycling and has ridden across America...


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