Redeploying Dell R515 server

Gerhardpet used Ask the Experts™
I have a used Dell R515 server that has been sitting idle and want to redeploy it. I seem to recall that Dell has some sort of deployment manager where I can boot from and then specify what OS to install and also update firmware etc...

I want to install Windows 2012 and it will be used for Hyper-V role

It's been a number of years since I have done this. Any help is appretiated
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You can download Hyper-V Server 2012 from MS for free:
The Dell utility is very handy for cases where the OS doesn't have the proper disk drivers but I'd bet that the 2012 server installation does.  I'd start there.


Is it free for good or just an evaluation?

We have 2 licences for the VM's but I was under the impression that the host needs a license too
Free for good.  It is a non-gui version of the OS that is designed to do little more than host VMs.

Check the server license carefully.  I believe that 2012 Standard allows you to install it as a host in addition to 2 VMs.  The GUI host is much easier to manage though it does use more resources on the server.
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According to Windows 2012 Standard can be installed on a server with up to 2 physical CPUs and can have up to 2 VMs.
Here's a link to the Dell page advising how to install Windows on your R515:

How to Install the Operating System on Dell PowerEdge 11G Servers []

My experience is that the SBUU route works pretty well, ensuring that you have the most up-to-date firmware and drivers that apply to the hardware. Dell Systems Build and Update Utility, v2.4 []

That software is now end-of-life, as befits a somewhat older server. The newer recommendation is to use the Lifecycle Controller for the updates and install, but I've liked the SBUU approach better.

As a point of clarification, you can download and install a copy of Hyper-V server that you can use for free to support any licensed VMs as guests.

Your license for Server 2012 Standard (not "Essentials") allows you to run it in the Hyper-V role and authorizes two guest VM copies of Server 2012 as well. (If we didn't know that the R515 had just two sockets, there might be a licensing question about processor count.)

Either way, you are not limited to just 2 VMs, though. You can run additional VMs as long as they are properly licensed Windows instances or as many free Linux VMs as you have RAM and CPU for.

[As always, though, remember that licensing advice you get on Experts Exchange is "best effort" and you'll want to check with your software vendor's licensing experts to verify anything you find here before relying on it.]
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

The host can run 2012 AND you can have two VM's, ONLY IF your host ONLY runs Hyper-V. If you install AD, DNS, File Server, etc., you lose a VM license.

If you use the OpenManage utility, use SMTD and not SBUU ... SBUU is incomplete when used with modern OS's.

You won't need SMTD for the R515 though ... most of the drivers will be native. You can install 2012 in less than the time it takes to download SMTD.

You just can't use the S300 controller with 2012, so if you have the S300 controller, order an H700.


Thanks for the detailed infromation

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