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DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

 
Jack Westbrooks
Occasional Visitor

DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Why is SBS 2003 not listed as a supported OS for the DL380 G4? Is it a marketing decision or is there a technical explanation?
Since SBS 2003 is nothing more than Windows Server 2003, Exchange 2003, SQL Serer 2000, and IAS Server 2003 sold as an integrated package for small businesses I can think of no reason it should be excluded. After all the HW that defines the DL380 G4 is also used by other platforms that do support SBS2003, so the ProLiant Support Pack will have the proper drivers. I can understand not selling the DL380 G4 with SBS 2003 as a packaged solution, but that is different the "not supported", implying it doesn't work, and no support relationship with HP if it is loaded.
The DL380 G4 is not a server to exclude from the small business market. My particular customer is small from a user standpoint, but has requirements that meld the the capabilities of the imaging application we are selling them with the form factor and HW/Storage capabilities of the DL380 G4. SBS2003 more than meets the customers requirements for the number of users and other needs. Plus, they had already purchased it but had not installed it on a server yet. So why should they be forced to buy another Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 licenses because of a marketing decision? What does "not supported" mean? Will thy get less (or no) help from HP should problems arise, than they would with just Windows 2003 server.

Can someone let me know what this all means, and what kind of problems (if any) I will get from the Platform or HP because it is being used?
7 REPLIES
Michael Shartiag
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Jack:

Any word on this? Some 18 days later and I don't see a response. I'm sitting in the exact same boat as your are right now.

I've been led to believe that it will work (and other non supported issues as well such as XP PRo on a rack server) but that you will not receive "free" support from HP for it but will instead have to pay whatever the standard non-warranty fee is for support if you have an issue.

Let me know if you ever did get a reply.
Jack Westbrooks
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Actually, not a peep. Thanks for replying, I was beginning to think that I imagined posting the question.

I have to believe it is a marketing decision, which would explain the lack of response since there is no technical reason not to support it. From a support standpoint, I would think that since it is Windows Server 2003 and its standard components they would have to support it. Otherwise they would have to specifically EXCLUDE it which they don't do. It's just not listed as supported. If they hassle you, just call the OS Windows Server 2003 - you certainly wouldn't be lying, and as long as it wasn't something exclusive to SBS (such as the "improved" backup utility), what would be the difference.

Having worked for Compaq and HP, my guess would be that some marketing SALES (the tech guys are smarter than this) geek decided that SBS is Small and Medium Business (SMB), and the DL380G4 is "Enterprise" and somehow supporting an SMB directed OS on an Enterprise system would diminish the servers value in the marketplace.

It's the "sell the customer what we want them to buy, not what they need" model.

Jack

Alzhy
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Hmmm.

I will be in the same boat soon and a DL380 is what I am eyeing plus Windows SBS2003. I am not concerned with OS support but rather with Hardware Support.

Will HP deny me Hardware support if I am running Windows SBS2003 on a DL380?

Hakuna Matata.
Michael Shartiag
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

I can't explain this, but I bought a DL380G3, installed SBS 2003 server on it, and then popped in the HP server CD and right on the screen, in front of my very eyes, was install for SBS 2003 Server, so I don't know what to think of it.

Loaded up just fine; found the net cards, etc.

I had the same basica support issue with DL320's running XP. Not listed as supported; etc. Put XP on them, then ran updates for drivers against the server CD and it picked up the net cards fine.
Bostjan Kosi
Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Gentelmen, SBS is based on a "supported" os right?. HP does support all windows 2003 versions, but does not provide exchange, sql, isa support within warranty. HP will support your sbs installation from Hardware and System SW (firmware&drivers+HP utilities) point of view. Of course if not purchased and installed by HP SBS apps are your own and vendors (MS) problem.

BR
B.
Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves!
Jack Westbrooks
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

Bostjan,

I (we) understand that the SBS 2003 integrated components would not be supported by HP. Most of us would not expect to go to the HW mfg. for those issues anyway. The issue is that SBS2003 APPEARS to be not supported on some platforms because on the chart of supported OS's (http://h10018.www1.hp.com/wwsolutions/windows/index-all.html) it is specifically excluded (box not checked) on some models.

As a consultant/reseller who advises and sells to a number of different customers with a wide range of needs often within unique environments. It is not unusual to encounter combinations that require solutions that may or may not meet a marketing segment.

The issue is not that HP doesn't list SBS 2003 as supported because it just a varient of Windows Server 2003, clearly they do. Look at the ML "Series", SBS 2003 is listed as supported on every one. The issue is HP's own definition of "supported" on the bottom of the same page -

"Supported indicates that an operating system has been successfully tested on the server and drivers are available".

As a former Compaq/HP employee I know that for the most part, being careful to not make a blanket statement here, the drivers for the ML/DL systems are usually the same. It's a mainly a form factor difference.

So if I believe the DL380-G4 meets all the customer's needs, should I still recommend it if other customers requirements are met by SBS2003?

If I do still recommend it and my customer does his research only to find that the proposed OS is SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED as being supported by the supported HW does due diligence dictate that they not consider the HW solution? Or worse yet, question my technical expertice and/or motives.

Is it better that I whitebox the server to meet the customer requirements, even though I consider the product technically inferior.

Supported/Not Supported has a ton of meanings when considered in the framework of platform adoption and support. Especially when an assumption has to be made by the customer as to "but what if I have a problem and I have to call HP. I'm running a "non-supported" configuration"

Simply saying "it should work" invalidates the chart by not excluding what "shouldn't be used" for solid technical reasons. It is fully understood that many times there are valid technical reasons for not running a particular OS version with a platform, we just shouldn't have to guess.

Maybe a category of "Not Targeted" would be less confusing. Especially in those instances were Platform A and Platform B are identical except for the enclosure and component location on differently shaped motherboard.
Bostjan Kosi
Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 SBS 2003 Support

I have checked the referenced web page and have a pretty good explanation for that.

SBS is intended for small bussiness and also as such intended to be the first server in a company (somethimes also the only one). As much as I can see there are no DL or BL servers listed there "supporting" SBS. All this boxes are rack mountable and as such by HP fit into a larger organizations, with more than one box...racked... so i think the SBS supportability is "political" decision. And of course most of the servers (350/360, 370/380, 570/580) are different only by form factor and some expandability options... so HW and technology used behind it the same. If I would be requested to support server with installed SBS, I would consider such a server just a normal W2003 with additional applications...which can be turned off for diagnostic purposes so...
If all involved are not shure what to do, I'd suggest you ask local HP services on their opinion...

BR
B.
Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves!