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DELL POWEREDGE R720 - 2003 server compatible?

Posted on 2014-02-24
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I may be purchasing a Dell POWEREDGE R720, I want to install 2003 standard 32 bit on it.

Is this server compatible with 2003? The Dell says it only support 2003 but it does list the OS under it's available driver page - is this server compatible?

I do not want to upgrade my OS (I know its coming to its end of life, etc). I need to install 2003 for now...... No Upgrade.

If not, which server can I buy direct from a Supplier that will support 2003?
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Question by:APC_40
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by:epichero22
epichero22 earned 664 total points
ID: 39884141
You're probably going to have difficulty doing that, but if you want to try installing 2003 on it, I would say to go for it and troubleshoot any specific problems that may arise.  I think drivers will be your #1 concern.  

How much memory is it coming with?  If more than 4GB, it's a waste.

*Edit: And as far as a 2003 supplier, I don't think you'll find one.  Rather, go on eBay and see if there are any old systems for sale.
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by:
arnold earned 672 total points
ID: 39884393
You may have to get an older version of the dell openmanage OS install.

Look at the 2950's version 6 or 7.

It is such a waste IMHO to put a win2k3 32 bit standard. Addressable System Memory is limited to 4GB.
If you must go with win2k3, use at least 64bit and R2 if possible.

Look at VMWARE ESX/server and setup the win2k3 as a VM.

You can also use win2k8 or win2k12 Hyper-v core with the win2k3 as a VM.

check whether there is a version of hyper-v that is available.
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LVL 33

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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 664 total points
ID: 39889644
"The Dell says it only support 2003 but it does list the OS under it's available driver page - is this server compatible?"

No, Dell lists it as "Limited":
http://www.dell.com/support/contents/us/en/04/article/Product-Support/Self-support-Knowledgebase/enterprise-resource-center/server-operating-system-support

Dell Limited: Dell PowerEdge servers™ support of the operating system (OS) is limited to a virtual environment as a guest OS.

If you look closely at the Drivers and Download page for the R720, you'll notice there are NO drivers ... ONLY utilities and firmware updates.

None of Dell's current servers (12G) support 2003.  As mentioned, you should plan to install it as a virtual machine.  If you MUST have it installed directly on the hardware, I can try to help you, but much of the hardware may not work at all with 2003 - no drivers, unreliable, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 41636020
I'd recommend changing the "accepted" solution to PowerEdgeTech (https:#a39889644) as the official and accepted solution should be to run 2003 in a virtual environment - although it may work otherwise, Dell's answer for these servers is to run it as a VM.
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