Windows 2008 – First gotcha, requires mammoth 4GB of RAM.

At long last, our HP ML310 server was delivered on Friday. After a bit of a kerfuffle hauling the enormous box up stairs on my own, the much anticipated unboxing could begin.  Well, actually I thought it only fair to fire off an email to everyone else to let them know it had arrived before opening it up.

With politeness out the way, I made a start on opening the box. The arrival of a new server is always an exciting time in the office, lasting approximately 30 seconds (maximum). This server is particularly special as it’s for our own use. Unfortunately nobody else was around to share the moment and there was no way on earth it could remain boxed, especially not for an entire week while Chris was on holiday.

The plan was to setup the new server with Windows 2008 SBS, we have deployed Windows 2008 before but never Windows Server 2008 Small Business Server – which is due for release in early November.

With the SBS 2008 DVD in one hand and server in the other (err, you know what I mean), nothing could was going to stop me trying out the new OS. The DVD booted fine and setup began. I left it going in the background and approximately 30 minutes later I heard the fans spin up following a reboot. I eagerly awaited the GUI to load up. Then it hit me… a non continuable error message stating that 4GB of RAM was required.

I couldn’t believe this wasn’t detected earlier in the setup. Lesson learnt – don’t just assume your brand new server will meet the minimum requirements. SBS 2003 would run on pretty much anything, but 2008 requires a whole lot more. I guess with the ever decreasing cost of RAM this isn’t a huge problem. Never the less, it caught me out.

Let’s just compare the difference in minimum requirements for SBS 2003 and SBS 2008

Windows 2003 Small Business Server:

  • Minimum: 750 Mhz
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 16 GB Hard Disk Space

Windows 2008 Small Business Server:

  • Recommended: 2 GHz (x64 processor) or faster
  • Minimum: 4 GB RAM
  • Minimum: 60 GB Hard Disk Space

That’s almost 3 times more CPU power and 8 times more RAM than the previous version. Based on those figures, expect Windows 2013 SBS to need a 6 Ghz CPU and 32 GB of RAM!

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