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My "plan" is to install 2012 Server Core with the Hyper-v role on an internal SD card in a DL360 G7 (Bios P68 05/05/2011), and put the guest VHDs on iSCSI storage.

Two questions:

  1. Is this viable? Or am I mad?

  2. When I try and install my OS (either via SmartStart or directly), the SD card storage is not recognised (SmartStart says "No disk available for installing an operating system"). I've tried a variety of SD cards - admittedly all from SanDisk. Do I need to load specific drivers for Server2012? Am I missing something fundamental?

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  1. Sorta. You can install Hyper-V Server 2012 on the SD. You can not install Server 2012 with Hyper-V to a SD however. Those are two different products with unfortunately similar names.

    Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (2.0) can be booted from a SD card too.

  2. There are special directions for doing this, you can't just run setup as you're trying.

    Microsoft has provided directions Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Flash Drive, which work for both 2008 R2 and 2012.

Side note: The SD card must appear as a USB disk device, this is dependent on the SD controller. In HP and Dell servers I've seen, this is the case. I've only seen otherwise in embedded hardware.

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To the best of my knowledge, booting from an SD card is not supported for Hyper-V. This makes the rest of the discussion mostly irrelevant as you simply shouldn't be doing this in production.

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So it's fair to say that Chris S's "Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Flash Drive" link really just applies test environments, yes? And from what I can see it also involves booting off a VHD? – Pete Nov 27 '12 at 16:10
@Pete It depends if you have an SD controller that shows as a permanent USB device, and if you want Hyper-V or Server 2012 with Hyper-V – Dan Nov 27 '12 at 16:22
I'm pretty sure my hardware supports it - but I guess I need to check licensing. I have Server2012 Standard licenses - and as far as I can see they each support 1 host and 2 guest instances. Need to check the position if the host is Hyper-v server? – Pete Nov 27 '12 at 17:29

The SmartStart disk will not allow you to install on the SD card.

VMware vSphere 5 addresses this by telling you NOT to use the SmartStart disk. I run VMware vSphere 5 on an SD card in an HP DL 360 and am anticipating using HyperV next. HP had a specific version to install. It may have that for HyperV also. I should check but I'm busy at TechStraviganza in the NYC Microsoft offices right now.

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