This post was written by Kailash Chander and Michael Schroeder

With the recent announcement of the Windows Server 8 Developer Preview release, we are happy to reveal the current state of driver support for Dell servers to help make your preview experience better.

Dell has been working with Microsoft for over a year to bring you the best possible experience on Dell hardware. As a part of this effort we’ve worked with internal teams and vendors to submit drivers to Microsoft for inclusion in the Windows media. As a result, this Microsoft release has the majority of our device drivers in the Windows media “inbox”.

Having a driver inbox reduces the need to download drivers manually from Dell’s website - saving time and making support tasks easier.  Looking forward, later Windows Server 8 releases should incorporate additional/updated inbox drivers for our devices. However, as a disclaimer, because this is a pre-release product Microsoft or a particular vendor may alter the features or types of hardware supported before the final Windows 8 release.  

In addition to our newer 11G & 10G servers, this Microsoft Developer Preview release of Windows 8 has been installed successfully on 9th Generation PowerEdge Servers (i.e. PE1950, PE2900, PE2950, etc).  As always, Dell will provide updated Windows 8 drivers on http://support.dell.com as they become available.  Dell Driver updates usually occur shortly before or after a final Microsoft release.

Below is a summary of the device drivers available in the Windows Server 8 Developer Preview release:

Network: 

  • Broadcom NetXtreme I & II Gigabit Family on Dell platforms
  • Broadcom NetXtreme II 10GbE Controller family on Dell platforms
  • Intel Gigabit Family of Server Adapters on Dell platforms
  • Intel 10GbE Ethernet Family of Server Adapters on Dell platforms
  • Brocade 10GbE Ethernet Adapter on Dell platforms

Storage:

  • Dell™ PowerEdge™ RAID Controller (PERC) 5, 6, 7 family
  • Dell™ SAS RAID 5 and 6 family
  • Dell Compellent, EqualLogic and PowerVault Storage family (certain features and functions may not be available without a software/firmware update.  There is no public schedule for when those updates might be available)
  • Dell Internal tape adapters

Storage/HBA:

  • QLogic 246x and 256x Fiber Channel series Dell adapters
  • Emulex LightPulse 8GB (PCIe 2.0) /4GB (PCIe 1.0a) /2GB (PCIe 1.0) Dell adapters
  • Brocade 4G/ 8G/ 10G/ 16G Fiber Channel/FCoE series Dell adapters

 

Inbox driver exceptions: Listed below are a few device drivers which are not inbox in this build, but discussions are ongoing to have them included in future builds of Windows Server 8 (as of 9/13/2011).

Because this is a pre-release product still in active development, Dell does not provide any support for this pre-release software and it is not recommended for use in a production environment. Feel free to check out the new features of the preview release on your test servers and let us know what you think.Stay tuned for more blogs from the Dell OS Engineering team.