Install Windows Server 2016 & Hyper-V on a TinkerTry'd Supermicro SuperServer Bundle 2 8-Core Xeon D with built-in Intel RSTe RAID, by Steve Shanks

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 25 2017 (updated on Aug 11 2017) in
  • Superguides
  • Virtualization
  • Windows
  • Introduction

    I'm pleased to present you with the result of a massive installation and documentation effort by a TinkerTry fan. This voluntary article was authored by Greater Detroit's Steve Shanks, who is currently a Senior Consultant at The Speedware Company. He volunteered to help speed folks right through finding 10GbE drivers, implementing RAID, configuring drive monitoring and more, all carefully documented as he deployed his beloved SuperServer Bundle 2. TinkerTry doesn't normally feature guest posts, but knew you'd really appreciate this rare exception, along with his related Migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2 on a TinkerTry'd Supermicro SuperServer Bundle 2 8-Core Xeon D with RAID, by Steve Shanks.

    Having performed a successful migration from and replacement of one of his existing VM hosts to the SuperServer Bundle 2, Steve purchased a second SuperServer Bundle 2 and has done the same for his other existing VM host. Smaller footprint, quieter running and less power consumption. Mission accomplished!

    Warning: This article is published on a at-your-own-risk basis, with no free support or guarantees implied, see also the usual detailed Disclaimer below. If you own a TinkerTry'd Bundle, you have a known-good Bundle, and you may want to leave your questions below for best-effort community assistance. I have not "TinkerTry'd" (tested) the exact configuration detailed in this article.

    iH8au4ckD0Y
    Hey You Got Peanut Butter in My Chocolate High Quality VHS rip 1981

    Note that Xeon D easily allows you to do nesting testing, running Hyper-V and VMware on one system, concurrently. Maximum flexibility and versatility for the IT Professional and amateur enthusiast alike. For even better speeds, you can dual-boot Hyper-V and VMware. That said, unlike peanut butter and chocolate, you'll want to keep your hypervisor's boot devices AND datastores (NTFS and VMFS) completely separate. Also note that the Intel RST/RSTe hardware/software combo has its detractors, and isn't support by any VMware ESXi version.

    Aug 11 2017 Update - Don't miss the addendum below, where jrp gives us some updates and fresh perspectives, many of which arrives since this article originally came out.

    - Paul Braren, TinkerTry.com


    Overview

    Now that you have received your brand new Supermicro Bundle-2 (or -1 or -3), what are you going to do with it?

    Windows Server 2016 is available for a free download from Microsoft with a 180-day evaluation period. Everything is fully functional.

    This article shows how to install Windows Server 2016 Evaluation on a Supermicro 8-Core Bundle 2. It will show how to configure RAID in the hardware, how to install the monitoring software onto Windows and then will show the installation of the Hyper-V role followed by the successful creation of a new virtual machine running a copy of Windows Server 2012 R2.

    Contents

    Windows Server Evaluations

    Configuring the BIOS and RAID

    • Download the Manual
    • Standard Settings to Change
    • RAID Related BIOS Changes
    • RAID Configuration

    Create Boot Media for Windows Server 2016 Evaluation

    • Download Windows Server 2016 Evaluation
    • Initialize the USB Drive
    • Make the USB Drive Bootable
    • Copy the Operating System Image to the USB Drive
    • UEFI Bootable Drive

    Installing the Windows Server 2016

    • Booting the Installation Media
    • Installation
    • Network Discovery and Time Zone Setup
    • Driver and Software Loading
    • Disk Provisioning
    • Network Provisioning
    • Remote Access Provisioning
    • Windows Updates

    Hyper-V

    • Hyper-V Role Installation and Provisioning
    • Hyper-V Manager
    • Virtual Machine Creation
    • Virtual Machine Operating System Installation

    Automatic RAID Rebuild after a Power Failure
    Final Thoughts

    Windows Server Evaluations

    All Windows Server versions are available as a free download for evaluation purposes. The Hyper-V standalone version is available as an evaluation with unlimited duration. Full server versions typically carry a 180 expiration. At the end of that evaluation, it is generally not possible to upgrade to a paid version. [Jan 28 2017 clarification added below]

    In order to receive the free evaluation, it is necessary to have a Microsoft login (or to register as a new user) and then fill in a form. Otherwise, there are no special conditions.

    Configuring the BIOS and RAID

    Download the Manual

    A link to the manual can be found here: https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/D/X10SDV-TLN4F.cfm

    Standard Settings to Change

    In the video of the installation, there are very few suggested changes to the BIOS from those values configured on the delivered system. Just make those changes plus identify to the BIOS any SSDs.

    Menu Section Setting Default New Value Comments
    Advanced/Boot Feature Boot NumLock State On Off Personal preference.
    Advanced/Power Configuration Restore on AC Power Loss Last State Last State You may also use Power-On which will turn on the server even if it was off before.
    Advanced/SATA Configuration Port n SATA device type Hard Disk Drive Solid State Drive Do this for all SSDs.
    Boot Settings Boot Mode Select DUAL UEFI

    RAID Related BIOS Changes

    In addition to the changes recommended in the installation video, there are RAID-specific ones:

    Menu Section Setting Default New Value Comments
    Advanced/SATA Configuration Configure SATA as AHCI RAID Needed for further RAID configuration. You must reboot after setting this to get the RAID configuration utility to appear on this menu.
    Advanced/SATA Configuration SATA RAID Option ROM/UEFI Driver Legacy EFI
    Advanced/Intel RSTe SATA Controller* Create RAID volumes with the utility exposed on this menu section. See below.

    * Change “Configure SATA as” to “RAID”, save settings and reboot for this option to be shown

    RAID Configuration

    During startup, press DEL to get to the setup menu:

    image1

    Initially, all drives are shown as non-RAID. Select Create RAID Volume to start the configuration:

    image2

    Name the volume to be created:

    image3

    Define the RAID level to use. Change the default RAID0 to RAID1 (or whatever your choice is):

    image4

    Select the drives that are to be incorporated into this RAID array:

    image5
    image6

    Finally select Create Volume to create the RAID volume:

    image7

    The newly created volume is shown with a normal status and the selected disks are no longer listed as non-RAID:

    image8

    Repeat the process for the other RAID volumes desired. Here a total of THREE volumes will be created:

    image9
    image10

    When the setup is exited, the EFI boot shell will be invoked in the absence of any other bootable media:

    image11

    Create Boot Media for Windows Server 2016 Evaluation

    Download Windows Server 2016 Evaluation

    The steps for this are found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2016

    Initialize the USB Drive

    The Bundle-2 arrives with a 32gb USB 3.0 thumb drive. It is an ideal vehicle on which to install the operating system.

    First create a bootable USB drive. There are two types that you can use:

    • Legacy – set the BIOS boot mode to LEGACY or DUAL
    • UEFI – set the BIOS boot mode to DUAL or UEFI

    The initial steps for both are the same. This link provides a useful tutorial of how to create the legacy version:

    http://itproguru.com/expert/2016/05/create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os/

    Here are the steps executed on the Supermicro system to initialize the drive using DISKPART on an elevated CMD session:

    1. Select the USB drive (here drive 1):
      • List disk
      • Select disk 1
      • List disk
    2. Initialize the drive: clean
    3. Create a primary partition: create partition primary
    4. Select the partition: select partition 1
    5. Mark it active: active
    6. Format as a NTFS drive. This is necessary since there are files on the installation that are more than 4gb: format fs=ntfs quick label="WIN2016"
    image12

    Make the USB Drive Bootable

    The first step is to mount the downloaded image. This can be achieved in a number of ways depending on the O.S. running on your laptop or computer.

    image13

    Once mounted, in an elevated CMD session:

    1. Change the active drive to the O.S. image drive (D: in this instance): D:
    2. Change the active directory to the Boot folder: cd boot
    3. Copy the boot media to the USD: bootsect /nt60 F:
    image14

    Copy the Operating System Image to the USB Drive

    In an elevated CMD session:

    xcopy d:\*.* f:\ /E /H /F

    With appropriate substitutions for your image drive (D: in this instance) and your USB drive (F: in this instance).

    All files copied will be listed.

    image15

    The copy will stall for a while at the large (> 4gb) install.wim file. This is normal.

    image16

    When completed, the USB thumb drive is now a bootable installation drive on a legacy setup.

    image17

    UEFI Bootable Drive

    For a UEFI bootable drive, there is an addition step. An example of doing this can be found here:

    https://www.thomas-krenn.com/en/wiki/Creating_Windows_UEFI_Boot-Stick_in_Windows

    Installing the Windows Server 2016

    Booting the Installation Media

    Bootable USB Drive

    If you created the bootable USB drive, then insert that into one of the USB ports at the front of the Supermicro server.

    Using either the HTML5 or the iKVM viewer, power up the server and press F11 to get the boot menu. From there, select the “SanDisk” entry (or other name if you have a different hardware model) which is the USB drive.

    The installation will then commence.

    Attaching the Windows Server 2016 Image as a CDROM

    If you prefer not to use the USB and simply mount the ISO image as a virtual media item, then you must use the Java iKVM viewer to get the CDROM share as the HTML5 version does not currently support CDROM sharing.

    After selecting Virtual Media menu, mount this into device 1:

    image18

    Later on you can unmount it using the Plug Out option.

    Next restart and press F11 to get to “Boot Menu”. Select Virtual CDROM

    image19

    Press any key to start the boot from the CDROM:

    image20

    The installation will then commence.

    Installation

    The installation will go through loading file and then present the start of the installation process:

    image21

    Make your choices:

    image22

    Press Install Now:

    image23

    Setup will commence:

    image24

    Pick the Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (Desktop Experience) because you will want to have a GUI for this article’s demonstration:

    image25

    Accept the EULA:

    image26

    Pick Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) since this is a fresh install:

    image27

    If you want to sub-divide the install drive, you would select New, specify a size and then Apply to create a partition. Or, to have the setup create a partition using the whole of the drive, just press Next.

    image28

    The standard install process now proceeds.

    image29

    Now there will be a reboot...

    image30

    And another automatic reboot after which the administrator password needs to be created:

    image31

    This completes the initial installation of Windows Server 2016 with a great view of some of the Twelve Apostles which are found along the Great Ocean Road that runs along the coast of the State of Victoria in Australia, south of Melbourne. This day the Southern Ocean is particularly calm:

    image32

    Network Discovery and Time Zone Setup

    Logon to allow for network discovery and to set the time zone:

    image33

    Select “Yes” for network discovery.

    Next set the time zone:

    image34

    Driver and Software Loading

    Download the Motherboard Driver CD

    A link to the driver CD can be found here: https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/D/X10SDV-TLN4F.cfm

    Download the driver CD. If there is one beef I have about this system is that there is no driver CD included. Yes, there is no drive on the system to read it, but normally one has plenty of these available.

    The link leads to a choice of an ISO or an archive RAR file. Download your preference. If you download the archive, then extract the ISO from it. The ISO is what you need.

    image35
    image36
    image37

    Mount the Motherboard Driver CD

    Motherboard driver and software must now be loaded. Use the iKVM viewer since the HTLM5 viewer does not support virtual media.

    Mount the driver CD ISO through the Virtual Media menu which will then appear as a DVD:

    image38

    Run the Motherboard Driver CD Setup

    The installation autorun and setup programs will not run under Windows Server 2016, They need to run in Windows 8 compatibility mode. Here is how..

    1. Copy the Driver CD to the hard drive.
    2. Navigate to the AutoRun program and Right click, select properties and the compatibility:
      image39
    3. Set the compatibility to Windows 8 and click OK.
    image40

    Now run the AUTORUN as administrator:

    image41

    Install Intel Rapid Storage Technology Enterprise Software

    Install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise software from the menu:

    image42
    image43

    There is an issue with driver names and versioning that needs to be dealt with. The drivers on the CD for RAID are the ones to use. Thus, you will agree to replace the “newer” v 13.2.0.1022 drivers by pressing Yes:

    image44

    The setup then proceeds:

    image45

    You will see a warning. Accept by pressing Next:

    image46

    Accept the license agreement:

    image47

    Read the Readme file if you wish:

    image48

    The install will now proceed after pressing next:

    image49

    When the install is complete, press next:

    image50

    And restart the server:

    image51

    When the server restarts, login and run the newly installed IRSTe software:

    image52

    The RAID application displays all arrays in good working order:

    image53

    Intel Chipset Software Installation

    After the reboot, rerun the AutoRun as administrator and this time install the Intel ChipSet Inf files:

    image54

    Confirm the installation, press Next:

    image55

    Accept the EULA:

    image56

    Read the README if you desire and then start the installation, pressing Install:

    image57
    image58

    Restart the server when the installation is complete:

    image59

    Review Driver Status

    Unlike the Windows Server 2012 installation, there is no need to install the 10G Ethernet drivers separately as these are loaded in Windows Server 2016 by default. Everything is in order in the Device Manager:

    image60

    Install Supermicro SuperDoctor 5 (SD5) Software

    Install the Supermicro SuperDoctor 5 (SD5), using ALL default values:

    image61
    image62
    image63

    Accept the EULA:

    image64

    Use the default installation location:

    image65

    Choose the built-in Java runtime environment:

    image66

    No need for SNMP support:

    image67

    Agree to use the default key stores:

    image68

    Use the default ports:

    image69
    image70

    Accept the summary to start the installation:

    image71
    image72

    Completion of the initial installation:

    image73

    SD5 will now run. Configure IE11 or not at your pleasure:

    image74

    Select the link to start the software and login using the default user/password of ADMIN/ADMIN:

    image75
    image76

    Everything should be in good status, except for the RAID arrays which need SmartmonTools to be installed:

    image77

    To install SmartmonTools, select the button just above the hard drive display:

    image78

    Install the Smartmontools, accept the license:

    image79

    Press OK at the "Installing" dialog box:

    image80

    And dismiss the successful installation message:

    image81

    Now restart the server and there is now a SuperDoctor 5 Web icon on the desktop. Access the SD5 software using this icon:

    image82

    Now all of the devices are shown in good condition including the hard drives:

    image83

    SD5 also shows that any Ethernet ports connected to the network (just one in this article at this point) have DHCP-allocated addresses and are working:

    image84

    Disk Provisioning

    So far just the one drive is provisioned which is the drive on which Windows is installed. In order to provision the others, run Computer Management.

    image85

    Select Disk Management and initialize any drives that require it:

    image86

    Allocate partitions to suit your purpose:

    image87

    An example would be a new simple volume or two on each disk. Right-click on an uninitialized volume and select New Simple Volume:

    image88

    This starts a wizard. Press Next:

    image89

    Allocate the size that you want (which defaults to all of the space on the volume). Here a portion of the drive (1000gb, entered as 1024000) is selected:

    image90

    Allocate a drive number:

    image91

    Format and name the volume:

    image92

    The wizard displays a summary. Press Next to execute the action:

    image93

    The new volume is now named and formatted with a drive letter assigned:

    image94

    Complete the process for all other drives and volumes:

    image95

    Now rename the installation (C:) partition if so desired:

    image96
    image97

    All disk provisioning is now completed:

    image98

    Network Provisioning

    Depending on what the server was connected to, the network that was installed may be marked as public or private.

    Check network setting and make private if desired:

    image99

    For this install, the network is already private

    image100

    Network is already private. The name can be changed in local group policy:

    image101

    The name of the network is Network:

    image102

    Right-click the network name and select properties. There you can specify a name:

    image103

    If the network were not private (or just not the desired setting), the location tab on that properties dialog can be used to change it:

    image104

    And the name is changed (and the location too if that were changed):

    image105

    Remote Access Provisioning

    Since this server is not going to be connected to a monitor, a keyboard or a mouse, and not always controlled through the iKVM viewer, then remote access to the server is needed.

    Enable Remote access to the server, so that iKVM is no longer necessary. This is done in Control Panel/System & Security:

    image106

    It is disabled upon installation:

    image107

    Select Allow..., accept the warning about the firewall changes that will be made and then, depending on your needs, uncheck the Allow connections only from... option:

    image108
    image109

    In order to be able to see the machine name and for the server to respond to PING requests (if you so desire but not necessary to connect remotely), firewall rules need to be enabled:

    image110

    Now the server and its name are visible to ping requests.

    An optional step is to rename the ethernet ports to something more useful. This is done in Network and Sharing Center. Before:

    image111

    After (naming the bottom port on the backplane as -1 for each):

    image112

    Windows Updates

    This is a good time to perform all Windows updates. For the purpose of this article, this step is omitted.

    Hyper-V

    Hyper-V Role Installation and Provisioning

    Hyper-V is the hypervisor for Windows. It is controlled by the Hyper-V role which needs to be installed on the server.

    From the Server Manager Dashboard, select Add Roles & Features:

    image113

    This is a Role-based or feature-based installation. That should be your selection:

    image114

    Pick this server and press Next:

    image115

    The roles available are displayed. Check Hyper-V:

    image116

    This will list all of the features to be added. Press Next:

    image117

    That is the only role to be added. Press Next:

    image118

    There are no features to add. Press Next:

    image119

    Hyper-V Role configuration now occurs. Press Next:

    image120

    Virtual switch provisioning is the first step. For virtual switches, refer to the Windows 2012 install for more details on virtual networks. For this article, select all but one of the adapters (at this time, only 2 ports are connected to a switch and only those two are shown):

    image121

    Windows Server live migrations are beyond the scope of this article. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831435(v=ws.11).aspx for more details. Do not enable live migrations:

    image122

    Accept the defaults for the stores or change them to your own. Here are the defaults:

    image123

    And here are some that remove the locations from the O.S. drive. The advantage of moving these off of the installation drive are several-fold:

    • Virtual hard drives being on a different drive do not compete with the host O.S.
    • Moving the virtual machine configuration off simplifies their backup.
    • Potential for O.S. change without concern for the VMs
    image124

    Confirm the summary of the Hyper-V provisioning by pressing Install:

    image125

    Installation now proceeds:

    image125

    When completed, a warning that a restart is needed is displayed. Close the dialog:

    image127

    And restart the server:

    image128

    There will be a series of reboots before the installation is completed.

    Hyper-V Manager

    Hyper-V Manageris the tool that is used to configure Hyper-V and to create virtual machines (VMs). It is available through the tools menu of the Server Manager Dashboard:

    image129

    Select the server (there is only one for this demonstration) and the status of all VMs will be displayed. As this is an initial setup, there are no VMs on this server:

    image130

    Virtual Machine Creation

    A new VM can be created through the Hyper-V Manager. From the Actions panel, for this server, select New and then Virtual Machine:

    image131

    Press Next to dismiss the splash screen:

    image132

    Name the VM and leave the default location for its configuration:

    image133

    Pick a generation for the virtual hard drive. This choice is beyond the scope of this article. For more information see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/compute/hyper-v/plan/should-i-create-a-generation-1-or-2-virtual-machine-in-hyper-v. Here the selection is Generation 1:

    image134

    Pick the amount of memory for this VM. No need for dynamic memory for this demonstration. Information on dynamic memory (possibly for low use VMs) is found here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831766(v=ws.11).aspx. Press Next:

    image135

    Pick a virtual network switch to use. There is more information on virtual switches in the companion Windows 2012R2 case study:

    image136

    Pick a size for the virtual hard drive and a location (which are both left at their defaults here):

    image137

    An O.S. can be installed now or later. Later is picked here:

    image138

    The summary is next. Note that the number of processors for this VM has not been specified at this point. Select Finish to continue:

    image139

    The VM is now shown in the Hyper-V Manager display. The status is off:

    image140

    In the Actions panel, select the VM’s settings to change the number of processors:

    image141

    Select Processors and then select the number. The Core-8 has 16 processors in total! The Core-12 has 24!!! Press OK to confirm the changes:

    image142

    Virtual Machine Operating System Installation

    To install a guest O.S. on the server is much the same as a physical server:

    • Put an installation CD/DVD into a drive.
    • Turn on the machine.
    • After the installation is booted, proceed as per a physical machine.

    Before this, though, you need to connect to the VM. This is done through the Hyper-V Manager. Either double click the server in the main panel, or select Connect from the Actions panel for this VM:

    image143

    At this point, an installation image needs to be attached in a virtual DVD drive. This is done through the Media menu item. Select Insert Disk:

    image144

    Here a Windows Server 2012 R2 image is selected:

    image145

    Once the DVD is attached, start the VM by selecting Start from the Action menu:

    image146

    The VM will boot from the DVD and start the O.S. installation:

    image147

    In the Hyper-V manager, the running VM can be seen. Note at this point in the status of the VM at the bottom of the main panel that there is no heartbeat seen. That will not occur until the install is completed:

    image148

    Take all of the normal steps that would be done for a physical install in order to complete the installation of the O.S. in the VM:

    image149

    At this point with prior Windows Server versions, you would insert the Integration Services Diskette and update the integration services. That is no longer necessary for Windows Server 2016.

    This VM is now up and running and the heartbeat is now active:

    image150

    The process can be repeated to create further VMs. There is no practical limit to the number of VMs. That would be governed by the hardware resources available. From a licensing perspective, the license exists at the VM level, meaning that you need a license (in whatever form) for the guest O.S. You do not need a license for the VM itself.

    So for example, if you have a free Linux distro, you could install it 100 times on the server. The Windows Server 2016 license does not restrict this.

    Automatic RAID Rebuild after a Power Failure

    What happens if you accidentally pull the power plug from the wall? Likely, the RAID status will change. Here there are two of the RAID volumes automatically rebuilding themselves after a power failure. Likely the third which is highlighted as normal did not need a rebuild because there is no data on the volume and so no active I/O activity on the power failure.

    The empty SATA_Array_0000 is show as normal status. The other two arrays are rebuilding:

    image151

    SATA_Array_002 is rebuilt and normal:

    image152

    And the final status with SATA_Array_001 rebuilt and normal:

    image153

    Final Thoughts

    Phew! The End.


    From: Steve Shanks
    Sent: Monday, January 23, 2017 11:36 PM
    To: Paul Braren

    I thought that I should probably give you explicitly full rights to what I sent you. You have my permission to use and publish the contents in part or whole in any way you want, with or without attribution. There, that should be broad enough!

    Send me a ping when you have published it. I have a friend I want to show, someone I want to show how easy it is to do this and to get off of his myriad of physical servers.


    Jan 28 2017 Update

    In response to "At the end of that evaluation, it is generally not possible to upgrade to a paid version." above, special thanks to redditor jcotton42 for his response on /r/sysadmin:

    This is wrong, you can go to paid using dism: dism /Online /Get-TargetEditions to discover the editions you can upgrade to, then dism /Online /Set-Edition:<edition> /ProductKey:<key> /AcceptEula then reboot
    See more here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj574204(v=ws.11).aspx

    Somebody out there tested this lately on a Server 2016 evaluation? Please drop a response below, so others will know.


    Jan 28 2017 Update #2

    Steve Shanks:

    Yes, that is a mistake. Here is the 2016 information: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/get-started/supported-upgrade-paths which says in part "For releases of Windows Server 2016 prior to 14393.0.161119-1705.RS1_REFRESH, you can only perform conversion from evaluation to retail with Windows Server 2016 that has been installed by using the Desktop Experience option (not the Server Core option). Starting with version 14393.0.161119-1705.RS1_REFRESH and later releases, you can convert evaluation editions to retail regardless of the installation option used."


    Aug 11 2017 Update

    Great set of comments typed up by jrp below today, wanted to share them here, to be sure everybody sees them!

    Thanks for all your work on this site.

    In my case, I was able to install Windows Server 2016 without any additional drivers. (An automatic update from Microsoft clears all the yellow exclamation marks.)

    • SuperDoctor is not strictly required as you can get at the settings from IPMI (using the IPMI View App). This avoids having to run Java, etc, on a server.

    • I would not run the CD drivers; there are more up to date ones available from SuperMicro (links on the motherboard's page).

    • To get a better viewing experience from the IPMI console, install the ASPEED 2400 video drivers on the operating system that you are using on the box (in this case Server 2016).

    • Intel now put all their NIC drivers into one giant archive, so you can update to their latest drivers. I've no idea how much difference it makes.

    • I would not run the intel raid drivers, but install Server 2016 (and 2012 and 2012r2) in pure UEFI / AHCI mode and use Storage Spaces (the built-in feature for managing pools, volumes and "virtual disks"). This is much more flexible than RAID: you can chop the space from your pool of disks up into "virtual drives" with varying levels of redundancy and performance, including using SSDs as cache... It works with the Microsoft AHCI drivers. SuperMicro also provide some updated RSTe (AHCI) drivers, but I have not tried them. (There's a whose series of videos' worth of material in setting this up!)

    • The orange SATA0 port on the board is an interesting one that would be worth an article. You can add a "DOM" (ie, a thumb drive, from which you can run your VMWare installation, etc.) However, if you use a SATA flavoured SSD in your PCI-E slot a m.2 the port is shared with it, if I have understood correctly.

    Hope this helps.

    Just some editor's notes, related articles at TinkerTry that address two of jrp's many good points:


    See also at TinkerTry

    Xeon D Home Datacenter

    superservers

    Hyper-V

    Windows 10

    VMware vSphere

    740275570999742464
    Windows Server 2016/Hyper-V on Xeon D on Samsung 950 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD, by Paul Braren.

    See also