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.