With the release of Windows Server 2012, I was looking to roll out several new HP Proliant servers running WS2012 Datacentre edition as HyperV hosts. Alas, the existing version of HP SmartSuite does not support WS2012. The methodology for installing WS2012 on HP servers is documented by HP here – http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c03305495/c03305495.pdf
However, this methodology is quite manual, and seems to omit the installation of the HP Management and System Tools. Also, the website, and HP documentation appear to lead to two different versions of the WS2012 Supplement for Service Pack for Proliant (See here – ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/supportpack-windows/p1072349968/v77662 and here – ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/supportpack-windows/p1072349968/v79572)
Using the new in-place upgrade feature in WS2012, these issues were overcome by installing Windows Server 2008R2 first, and then upgrading the fresh installation to WS2012. BTW, this process should work for most other server hardware platforms. Do check the Compatibility Report to verify that the drivers and vendor applications will work.
The pre-requisite: Install WS2008R2 using the HP SmartSuite and Server media. Once the server has been installed, insert the WS2012 media (DVD or USB) and run setup.exe.
Click Install now.
Wait a while, skip installing updates, and follow the “bouncing balls” – most of the steps are straightforward.
Install the GUI Version (unless you really want the Server Core version).
Accept the License.
At this step, select Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications.
View the Compatibility report, in case there are some issues that need to be attended to. Otherwise, a generic notice is given.
Wait some more.
More waiting and a couple more reboots. (Be patient!)
Finally, the server is ready.
After logon, Server Manager will automatically start up.
Minimise Server Manager to return to the desktop. A Windows Compatibility Report icon is on the desktop and links to the report which was seen above.
The HP System Management Icon will work as it normally did previously.
From this point, WS2012 is installed and operational. The HyperV role and other roles and features can be installed normally.