Great Hardware Support Equals Fast Windows 2012 R2 Implementation


I love it when a plan comes together

We adopted Windows 2012 when right after it went RTM in august 2012. Today we’re are already running Windows 2012 R2 and ready to step up the pace. If you are a VAR/ISV that does not have fast & good support for Windows Server 2012 R2 consider this your notice. You can’t lead from behind. Get your act together and take an example from Altaro. Small, sure, but good & fast. How do we get our act together so fast? Fast? Yes, but it does take time and effort.

As it turns out, we’re pretty well of with the DELL hardware stack. The generation 11 and 12 servers are supported by DELL and on the Windows Server Catalog for Windows Server 2012 R2.

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For more information on Dell Server inbox driver support see: Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM Inbox Driver Support on Dell PowerEdge Servers. By the way I can testify that we’ve run Windows Sever 2012 R2 successfully on 9th Generation hardware (PowerEdge 1950/2950).

We’ve been running tests since Windows 2012 R2 Preview on R710/R720 and it has been a blast. We’ve kept them up to date with the latest firmware & drives via SUU. And for our Intel X520 and Mellanox ConnectX-3 we’ve had rapid support as well.

So what more could you want? Well support from your storage array vendor I would think. I’m happy to report that Storage Center 6.4 has been out since October 8th and it supports Windows Server 2012 R2. Dell Compellent Adds MLC SSD Tier – Bests 15K HDDs on Price and Performance. Mind you on a lazy Sunday afternoon 2 quick e-mails to CoPilot got me the answer that Storage Center 6.3.10 also supports Windows Server 2012 R2.  Sweet!

And that’s not just DELL, the Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.4 is fully Windows Server 2012 R2 logo certified! That’s what you want to see from you vendor. Fast & excellent support.

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Here’s the entire DELL hardware line up with Windows Server 2012 R2 support. Happy upgrading & implementation! If you have Software Assurance you’re set to reap the benefits of that investment today!

To my all employers / clients, you see now, told you so. Now, I have a thing in common with Col. Hannibal Smith, I love it when a plan comes together Open-mouthed smile.

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I know some of you think that all the testing, breaking, wrecking of Preview bits, RTM & GA versions we do looks like chaos. Especially when you visually add the test server & switch configurations. But that’s what it looks like to YOU. To the initiated this is well executed plan, dropping all assumptions, to establish what works & will hold up. The result is that we’re ready today and by extension, so are you.

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17 thoughts on “Great Hardware Support Equals Fast Windows 2012 R2 Implementation

  1. Have you had the chance to test any Dell JBODs with Windows 2012 Storage Spaces? Like the MD1220/MD3220 together with any SAS HBA (like the PERC H800)?

    PS. The link to “Dell Compellent Adds MLC SSD Tier – Bests 15K HDDs on Price and Performance” is broken.

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  3. This is awesome news!

    We have 2 structures, one with 10 Rack server R610 and some 2950 for Storage and other with 2 Blade M100e.

    We thinking to update this structures to 2012R2 after few months, waithing for drivers and review off Dell and others. But with this post, we fell safe to Upgrade. Thanks

    Ps: I found your blog some week’s ago, and read more than 30 post at this moment.
    Great Job!

    • Hi Bruno,

      Thx for reading and the kind words. Do realize that with the PE2950 you’re on your own, no offcial support. With blades with Broadcom/NPAR be sure to test. Some firmware driver issues have existed /exist with W2K12 and we tend only to use them for host/management. Not for Hyper-V/Clustering etc …

      Good luck!

      • Didier, can you little more specific about the issues (link)? We’ll deploy R2 in the near future and we have blades with Bcom, so this interests me naturally. Cheers

        • Take a look here for an example: http://datacenter-flo.de/?p=2050
          I have several colleagues over Europe struggling with early adoption of W2K12R2 on Broadcom. Some of those are in active support calls. When I get more info I’ll try to share.
          BSOD with blades, NPAR that probably causing VM/Host connectivity issues. I’ve had better luck with Intel overall.

          Now official out of box support will be available early December for all modern Dell gear. So I’d wait for that, for now you have to do your own due diligence and make sure it all works.

  4. This is very important subject and I applaude Didier for bringing it up!

    I’m glad to see that Dell is really trying to keep up with new versions of Windows (and other OSes) but I’m dissapointed that Dells excellent EqualLogic storage is still lagging far behind in this regard. The HIT (Host Integration Tools) for Microsoft for EqualLogic arrays doesn’t support Windows Server 2012 R2 and it looks like it won’t until the late Q1’2014. It’s faster than last time (WS2012), but still very late to the party according to me. This is the main reason why we’re not planning to invest in new EqualLogic arrays and are instead looking to implement Storage Spaces with SAS JBODs.

      • Yeah, me too. EqualLogic is pretty great in every way except the somewhat slow support for new versions of Windows Server and other Microsoft server software.

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