Server 2016 vs 2019 vs Win 10

6BQ5

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Feb 25, 2020
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Hi everyone. My name is Boris, from Nevada. This is my first post. :)

I’m getting a ProLiant ML350p Gen 8 server soon. It will arrive next week. The system doesn’t have any drives so that means it doesn’t have an OS. I am looking for recommendations and feedback on which version I should install. Could I ask the forum here for some help on that?

This machine will be my sandbox where I can play and learn how to build (using real hardware), deploy, and manage a server. It is not a professional or commercial system going to customer for a critical application.

Two E5-2640 V2 processors are installed in the system. I believe that gives me 12 total physical cores. There is 16 GB of RAM to give each processor 8 GB.

According to HP’s website, the system is certified to work with Server 2016. I would like to use Server 2019 because I would like to take advantage of new security enhancements and ... well, why not be modern? :) Is there any reason Windows Server 2019 would not work? I can only think of specific HP hardware drivers not working or being blocked from installation in Server 2019.

Another thought crossed my mind. Could I install a simpler version of Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Workstation? One element of Windows Server that worries me is licensing. Licensing is done by the number of cores in the system. Right now I have 12 which is less than the standard 16 given by default. Me knowing me says I will one day upgrade the processors to 2 x E5-2697 V2 which will give me a whopping 24 cores! Windows 10 does not license by cores. It will simply use whatever you throw at it.

I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts. Thanks for reading!

— Boris
 

Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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What is the purpose of ProLiant ML350p Gen ?
Business production?
Daily workstation ?
homelab usage?

It would dictated how to license the OS
 

6BQ5

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Feb 25, 2020
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Thanks for the replies! :) I posted the same question to HP's own forum and got a reply saying the Server 2016 drivers are incompatible with Server 2019. So, it looks like I can't run the latest and greatest on it. No big deal.

@i386 Thanks for the suggestion! I didn't even think of running a VM or even a boot manager and when I think about it I realize how little I know about this! You gave me something new to think about and research.

@Marsh This server will definitely be used in a home environment and I'm going to throw everything I can at it. It can be my home lab and learning station where I can experiment setting up roles and features. I will probably even add a GeForce GPU card and try playing an odd game or two just to see how well it performs.
 

Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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home lab and learning station
If it is for your homelab ,
Install windows server 2019 , 180 days trial.
See Windows Server 2016/2019 Evaluation: How to extend the Trial Period
You can rearm the period 6 times. (180 days * 6 = 3 years).

Keep data disks separate from OS disk, after 3 years, you could either convert to retail or re-install OS.
I am pretty sure after 3 years, Microsoft would have a newer OS. Then it is time install new OS anyway.

Another point, even after the Windows 2019 trial expire , the host would still function the same, without any features crippled.

Use the HP as VM hosts, Run Windows 10 , Linux as VM.
 

6BQ5

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Feb 25, 2020
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@Marsh Thanks for this! You are a fountain of knowledge, tips, and good tricks. :)

I downloaded the ISO images last night. They are much bigger than I thought. Looks like I need to order some dual layer DVDs to hold the image. The server needs a new optical drive too. It can only handle standard DVDs.

— Boris
 

Passgeek

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Apr 14, 2020
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Last edited:

azev

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Jan 18, 2013
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Or install via ILO and attached the ISO as virtual cdrom, I think most HP with even the basic ILO can do this.
 

weust

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Aug 15, 2014
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Say you want to run VM's that are not running Windows, but you want to run Windows Server as your OS, you could try the free Hyper-V 2019 download.
It's a Core version with only Hyper-V.
But, running ESXi (for example) would do too then.
 

ecosse

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Jul 2, 2013
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I would put ESXi on there if I were you. The learning curve is a bit steeper but by the end of it you know Windows and ESXi. I havent looked at Hyper-V for a while but ESXi tended to have a fuller OS compatibility list if that matters in the future. But there is no bad choice here.
 

Net-Runner

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Feb 25, 2016
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I would suggest you install ESXi as your base hypervisor and run everything else on top of it. HPE has excellent branded ESXi installation images that will support all the hardware you have inside your server and work great. The latest 7.0 version currently has some issues with supported hardware, but 6.7 will work for sure.

If you are entirely sure to run Windows Server, I will second already mentioned above to use the Free Hyper-V Server 2019. It has no UI, so this approach will require some decent shell and PowerShell skills to configure. You can also use RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) Download Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 from Official Microsoft Download Center installed on any Windows machine or new web-based Windows Admin Center Windows Admin Center Overview. If fully-fledged UI is a must, then try running Windows Server 2019, it should work, and the drivers have to work too. That might be not supported by HPE/MSFT, but since it is for a home lab, who cares.

To create a bootable USB drive for Windows Server installation, you don't need any additional USB tools. Just ISO and Windows OS with PowerShell is enough. This short step-by-step guide describes the creation of USB installation media excellently Create Bootable USB for Windows Server 2019.

I hope my thinking will help you a bit.
 

Jason Antes

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Feb 28, 2020
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Let me know if you cannot download the service pack for proliant to at least get it updated to whatever the latest firmware for it are. As Gen8, it'll be a couple years old in the latest firmware in the service pack but it will contain the firmware, drivers, and software for the system.
 
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Net-Runner

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Feb 25, 2016
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Do not underestimate Jason's proposal and make sure you have the latest firmware and drivers you can get, especially if we are talking about running ESXi. Windows Server can tolerate a lot of weird hardware-related things being somewhat crappy by itself. ESXi will throw you a PSOD on every sneeze.