Time for a new series of posts! In this series I will be looking at the end to end deployment of a pair of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 hosts along with supporting services including networking and backup. This kind of deployment is an excellent option for anyone who is looking to run Virtualisation but without the cost of VMWare or a SAN (Storage Area Network). In this first post I’ll outline the goals of this project along with the hardware I’ll be using.
- To configure iDRAC 8 Express for out of band management
- To install Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
- To configure network settings and enable remote management
A few points to note…
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is completely free! (allowing you to access the latest Hyper-V technology regardless of your licencing level)
- You must still have a valid licence for any guest operating systems (in this case I am using two Server 2008 R2 Datacentre licences as there will be no VMs using anything higher than Server 2008 R2)
- Datacentre licencing allows you to run an unlimited number of VMs on that host at that OS level or lower (subject to extra licencing concerns over additional CPU sockets)
- Hyper-V Server is effectively a super cut down version of Windows Server Core – there are no different drivers and the management tools are just the same
- You can find out more about Hyper-V Server on TechNet here – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh833684.aspx
Dell T430 Hosts
Purchased specifically for this project these two hosts have been configured identically with the aim of N+1 redundancy in the environment.
- 1x Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 2.4Ghz 6 core CPU
- 6x8GB DDR3 2133mhz RAM (48GB total)
- Dell PERC H730 RAID Controller 1GB Cache
- 6x600GB 10K SAS Drives
- Dual Hot Plug Power Supplies
- 3 Dual Port 1Gbit NICs
- iDRAC8 Express
These Dell servers really have a lot going for them – as well as being UEFI enabled they come with iDRAC (for out of band management and simple OS installs) as well as plenty of RAM slots, pull out tags on the front with the service tag number, USB 3.0 and hot plug power supplies. Finally I’m really quite impressed with how quiet they run – although they will be housed in a dedicated air conditioned server room I could certainly see one of these as being ok in a well ventilated cupboard somewhere in a branch office like environment.
In this post I will be covering the basic configuration of iDRAC as well as getting ready for the installation of Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
In this server configuration I have plugged a network cable into port 1 of the on-board NIC which will (initially) be used to host iDRAC, the management connection for the OS as well as shared with the first virtual switch. At the time of writing there was a limited number of free network ports on the server room switch – a later post will show a fully configured setup.
First up booting into iDRAC…
Next is configuring the iDRAC interface and setting a password to limit access; not that with iDRAC Express the port used by iDRAC can also be shared with the Operating System; with DRAC Enterprise you get a dedicated management card which has its own NIC.
Finally iDRAC is particularly useful with a quick and easy setup of your RAID array as well as streamlining the installation of Windows Server by presenting the installer with a complete set of drivers at install time (saving a significant amount of time later on by removing the need to hunt down and install the drivers yourself!).
In the next post I’ll be going through the steps to install Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
In this post I’ll be going through the installation of Hyper-V Server on our Dell T430 hosts. Remember you can download and use Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 for free (link) however you must still license the guest Operating Systems.
I’ll be configuring a 80GB partition for the OS with the remainder of the storage set aside for the virtual machines – remember this is a UEFI based system so you can have single partitions over 2TB in size (in this case we will have a 2.7TB data partition) on the same disk as the boot partition.
In this final post we’ll cover the Configuration of Network Settings and setup of Remote Management for a Hyper-V 2012 R2 Server which will be managed from a Windows 10 Enterprise PC.
There are quite a few steps to go through for this part of the configuration of the Hyper-V deployment however a number of these steps can be applied to the servers through Group Policy and thus removing the need to repeat them again.
First up we will configure the management network adapter and domain join the Hyper-V host…