How to easily install Windows Server 2016/Hyper-V on an Intel Xeon D Supermicro SuperServer

Posted by Paul Braren on Jun 17 2016 (updated on Jun 18 2016) in
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    This is a basic overview article that highlights the steps that I walk you through in the accompanying video below. Featuring my live recording last week, as I was preparing the freshly unboxed server for two virtualization meetup demonstrations. Microsoft's Dan Stolts, Chief Technology Strategist, kindly helped with the voice-over for this install, using Skype to virtually watch over my shoulder as I recorded each-and-every step of installing and configuring this remarkably stable Tech Preview 5 installation, see also release notes.

    Dan and I were actually both presenting at the Virtualization Group-Boston Meetup held at Microsoft N.E.R.D. in Cambridge MA just 3 days later, and our collaborative preparations hopefully made the live voiceover more informative for you.

    If you're looking for something considerably shorter, Dan has you covered as well, see his recent video about the basics of a 2016 Hyper-V role installation over at his popular ITProGuru.com site:

    As I was somewhat rushed to prepare for the successful live demonstrations, this particular video is a bit rough around the edges. Worry not, despite the minor glitches, you will learn some stuff. Admittedly, this is just 2016 Tech Preview 5, so yeah, it's beta. But the initial install process will likely be exactly the same, once it's GA.

    While the installation and initial configuration procedure is quite straight forward, you'll see me get a bit deeper into the VM configuration and networking, as well as me devising a creative way to get those latest Intel X552/X557 10GbE drivers installed right from Intel, rather than the older drivers available at Supermicro, without the unneeded/unsupported Intel PROSet kruft.

    SuperServer Bundles owners have an easy time installing Windows Server 2016 on this system. The old days of fiddling with CDs/DVDs burners are well behind us. For this install, I mounted the install ISO using iKVM only, which was only a little slower than locally attached USB 3.0 installation media would have been.

    Prerequisites

    1. a workstation or laptop with a browser and an OS, such as the Windows 10 I used
    2. a Supermicro SuperServer with an Intel Xeon D-1500 processor, such as the Xeon D-1540 based SYS-5028D-TN4T Bundle 2 featured in the video below, or something similar, with PCIe 3.0 x 4 M.2 slot(s) and a UEFI BIOS
    3. the free to download (registration required) ISO file you'll be using to install, downloaded from Microsoft in the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 - Evaluations section:
      14300.1000.160324-1723.RS1_RELEASE_SVC_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.ISO
      which was the latest version available as of this writing, and is featured in the video below
    4. at least one available hard drive or SSD, for the boot drive that will be formatted NTFS, and another for your VMs (I only have one of the world's-fastest-storage Samsung 950 PRO M.2 NVMe drives, so I put everything on that single C: drive)

    Stuff that's not required

    since you have that nifty IPMI management feature, you don't need

    1. a monitor attached directly to the server
    2. a keyboard attached directly to the server
    3. a mouse attached directly to the server, see also

    Step-by-step

    1. use your browser to connect to your SuperServer's IPMI management features using your browser (the IP address that you point your browser to is displayed if you temporarily connect a VGA monitor, shortly after power on)
    2. launch the Remote Console feature, aka, iKVM, the Java (or soon HTML5) based view of the SuperServer itself
    3. enter BIOS Configuration and configure it for UEFI, as described in detail here, note, if you bought a SuperServer Bundle, you can skip this step, since you have a turn-key solution that's ready for Hyper-V (and ESXi), as-is
    4. click the iKVM Virtual Media menu option
    5. click the iKVM Virtual Storage menu option
    6. change Logical Drive Type to ISO File
    7. click Open Image to navigate to your ESXi installation ISO file, such as
      14300.1000.160324-1723.RS1_RELEASE_SVC_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.ISO
    8. click the Plug in button, then the OK button
    9. click the Power Control to restart the server
    10. press F11 to invoke Boot Menu
    11. from the Please select boot device menu, select UEFI: SanDisk then press Enter
    12. proceed with a normal Windows Server 2016 installation
    13. update to the latest NVMe driver Version 1.1 for the Samsung 950 Pro
    14. install the Intel X552/X557 10GbE drivers
    15. set up a Windows 10 VM, testing the VM's networking

    Step-by-step Video

    Install and configure Windows Server 2016TP5/Hyper-V on a Xeon D-1540 Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T

    Jun 18 2016 Update

    You should really read the release notes:

    Release Notes: Important Issues in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview

    Published: November 19, 2015
    Updated: April 29, 2016

    Important

    Install Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 (KB3157663) before installing any server roles, features, or other products.


    See also at TinkerTry


    See also