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Gen8 system build advice needed


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I'm looking at building a Gen8 for a client. They may run one or two VMs so I was going to load WS2012 R2 with Hyper-V role as the host and WS2012E R2 as client OS, then one or two other VMs (Win 7) for remote users to use via Remote Desktop.


My build list looks like this:

  • HP Gen8 G2020T
  • WS2012E R2
  • 16GB Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G
  • 2 x WD VR 250GB; or Samsung 840 Pro 256GB; or Samsung EVO 250GB; or Crucial MX100 256GB (RAID 1 for host OS)
  • 4 x WD Red (size to be determined) (for VMs and data - RAID 5)
  • HP Smart Array P222
  • SDM Bracket
  • Cables?

I would appreciate any feedback on this setup (i.e. what would you do different and why).


Which drives would be the better option? I guess I could use smaller SSDs if the only thing on there is host OS, right?


Also, is there anything missing to make this a complete system. For example, I'm not sure what cables I would need to connect the drive bays to the P222 and the OS drives to the B120i.



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I believe, if you run WS2012r2 Standard as the host OS, you can run WSE2012r2 as a client OS at no cost (but I'm not certain) and have 1 more VM free for other uses. But, I believe you are limited to 2 VMs. You could run 3 or 4 VMs if you applied another WS2012r2 Standard licence on the same server. This should provide more info: http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf


Don't forget there are CAL requirements for Windows Server, and they can get expensive.


Drashna knows about the running WSE on WS.

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Thanks, but I'm not concerned about licensing. With the release of R2, licensing of WS2012E was changed to allow for a host (WS2012 R2 with Hyper-V role only) and VM (WS2012E R2) install. So that's what I'm going with as they're well within the 25 user/50 device limit of Essentials (no CALs required). The other VM(s) would be Win7 or Win8 for users who are working from home, whereby they would Remote Desktop in to the VMs instead of having a physical machine sitting around taking up space for no reason.

Edited by hfournier
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If they can afford it I would move up to the XEON. VM's tend to multiply!

You will need a Molex Y cable to split out power and a SATA power split to Molex for the drives.

I would recommend a blower to cool the P222.

You will need one of these to run drives on the B120i:


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I was thinking of starting off with the existing CPU and changing to the Xeon if needed later.


Like these?

SATA power split to Molex for the drives

Molex Y cable to split out power


I'm assuming this is to split power from the molex connector for the ODD and then split again for the two drives on the SDM bracket, right?


and by blower, do you mean something like Joe Miner posted at the bottom of this thread?


[Edit]: Will the existing B120i connector reach the P222 then to connect the 4 drive bays?

Edited by hfournier
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"In addition, there are two key new deployment options available. The first is the ability to run as a Hyper-V host for the purposes of running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials as a virtual machine—it is no longer necessary to obtain Hyper-V separately."


Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials White Paper


I think the next sentence is the one Drashna has referred to in the past:



The second is the implementation of the Windows Server Essentials feature set as a role in the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server.

This is what I was referring to when I said "at no cost". However, if I recall Drashna's posts correctly, you still need to get CALs for the WS2012r2.

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These are two separate things. The first applies to WS2012 R2 Essentials; the second applies to WS2012 R2 Standard/Datacentre.


If you buy WS2012 R2 Essentials, you can then install it as the host OS with only the Hyper-V role added, AND install it as the OS of the VM. Under Essentials, there are no CALs, just a limit of 25 users and 50 devices.


If you buy WS2012 R2 Standard or DataCenter, you can now install the "Essentials experience" as a set of roles, so you can use the Essentials Dashboard to manage your server. However, this has no effect on the standard licensing, no user or device limits and you will need CALs to be compliant.


Hope that clears it up for you.

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