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.