We bought an R710 with the Internal SD Module for PowerEdge R710 with 1GB SD Card (p/n 341-9548), as advertised in the R710's Overview & Specifications, which states:
"The R710 allows for quick virtualization deployment with embedded hypervisors from leading vendors via an SD card or internal USB. Embedded Hypervisor (optional): Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, with Hyper-VTM, VMware® ESXi v3.5)."
However, we can't find any docs on how to use this capability, and neither the Dell marketing folks nor Dell's Microsoft Subject Matter Expert can find any information. Our aim is to avoid creating a Hyper-V Server 2008 partition by booting the bare-metal Hyper-V hypervisor from the SD card. We did not buy Windows 2008 server, because we're virtualizing a bunch of Windows 2003 servers for which we already own all the licensing. We just want to P2V these onto the bare metal HV. How do we do this? Dell does not pre-install Hyper-V Server 2008 on the SD card -- it's completely blank. I know we'll need drivers for the SAS6iR RAID1 and Brodcom NICs, among other things. How do we get drivers into the SD-card with Hyper-V Server 2008? I'm pretty stunned that Dell seems to have not one shred of information about embedded hypervisors? Does anyone use this feature or is it a marketeer's fantasy?
Information on Hyper-V server can be found here. But as you can see in the system requirements, it needs a lot more than just a 1GB SD card (quote: "Available disk space: Minimum: 8 GB; Recommended: 20 GB or greater").
So you'll need to install Hyper-V server on internal raid/harddrive, or go with a different solution, like VMware ESXi (in my opinion a much easier and better solution).
Member since 2003
Why in the world does Dell advertise support for a Hyper-V embedded hypervisor if it isn't possible? In our case, our Windows 2003 server workloads are already in Hyper-V VHD format. My understanding is that VMware ESXi can't work with Hyper-V VHDs. I would have to run through the whole P2V process all over again, treating the VHDs as runtime physical servers using the VMware converter tool. Avoiding this time-consuming and error-prone process is the whole reason we bought the R710 -- and on Dell's recommendation to boot! They thought up this plan, and now we appear to be stranded.
I found a Microsoft utility the purports to make a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 bootable flash drive:
However, I still need the Dell SAS6iR drivers compatible with HVS2008R2, and those are MIA. The latest driver on Dell's site is dated March 2009, long before HVS2008R2 was released. Installing HVS2008R2 directly on the SAS6iR RAID1 drives isn't possible without the R2-compatible drivers.
Has anybody got the embedded hypervisor stuff to work on the R710 in any form? And where the heck is the embedded hypervisor documentation? Our Dell sales rep and his manager don't have any answers, and Dell's Microsoft SME hasn't been able to locate any docs yet. And Dell's tech support promised to call back "within the hour", but we've heard nothing from them. This is really poor handling on Dell's part.
Right now this server is completely unusable.
The SAS6iR driver should be native to 2008 R2 (the R710 downloads for Windows 2008 R2 do not list any drivers for the raid controllers), so I would think the same applies to Hyper-V 2008 R2.
Dell probably means that Hyper-V can run on here, but not on the integrated SD card (unless you maybe get a much larger SD card and put it in yourself).
I think the problem may be that SD cards are pretty slow compared to harddrives. When you use a hypervisor like XenServer or VMware ESXi, once the OS is up and running it pretty much doesn't touch the SD card again (it runs mostly in memory), which is why those "OSes" aren't impacted by the slow SD card.
However, Windows will heavily rely on swap file and all sorts of disk-speed related factors for it's speed, which may cause an SD implementation to not be what you hoped for as far as performance goes.
Member since 2003
if you look at that sentence again, it says "SD card or internal USB."
for Microsoft Windows Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, you can install the hypervisor onto a USB flash drive. technet.microsoft.com/.../ee731893(v=ws.10).aspx
the R710 should have an internal USB port that you can enable in the BIOS and then you can connect a USB flash device to it. You will then have the option to install to that USB flas drive. Microsoft does not want you to install onto SD cards because they claim that USB has better performance than onto an SD card.