HP Microserver reloaded with Windows Server 2012

It’s been a while since we’ve done some experiments with the small HP Microserver and Proxmox. After a while I realized that Proxmox was a bit overdosed for my home server and since then my Microserver ran Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V on it. Done fantastic as terminal and streaming server.

Windows 2012 on a Microserver?
As soon as the new Windows Server 2012 was released I was wondering wether it would run on it or not. So I downloaded the ISO Image and installed a newly fresh Windows Server 2012. Everything worked fine, no driver was necessarily to install. Everything worked fine 🙂

The performance was like the same as the Windows 2008 R2 server I guess. The real performance will show in the next few weeks of use.

Microserver with a real RAID
As a second step I wanted a RAID5 instead of the integrated RAID0 or RAID1 to use the full capabilities of my four 1TB disks. It was a real challenge to find a raid controller which fits into the Microserver and not to expensive in comparison to the Microserver itself. There are several users which used a HP SmartArray 420 controller, but it’s way to expensive for the Microserver. After a while I’ve seen the Highpoint RocketRAID 2680 for about 150 dollars. The controller supports up to 8 disks connected with 2 miniSAS connectors. You have the possibility to create a RAID 0,1,5,10,50 or a JBOD.

Assembling was pretty easy because it wasn’t the first time I’ve opened the Microserver and remove the whole mainboard. the controller fits great with the small length. The miniSAS connector can directly moved from the onboard connector to the one on the RocketRAID card. The disks were detected on the next boot.

After installing the driver and web management for Windows 2008 I was able to configure the disks and create a new RAID5 array. Building time was as long as expected, about 15 hours in background to create a RAID5 with 4 x 1 TB disks.

Performance seems to be OK for a raid controller in this price class, some speed tests will follow.