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Server Appliance Attribute Requirements for Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Reference Documentation for Server Appliance Hardware Running the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Operating System

November 12, 2002
Microsoft Corporation

Contents

Chapter 1 Welcome

How to Use This Specification

Conventions Used in This Specification

Required, Recommended, and Optional Features

References and Resources

Chapter 2 - System Component Requirements

General Component Requirements

System Microprocessor Requirements

Memory Requirements

ACPI and Power Management Requirements

Startup Support Requirements

Plug and Play Requirements

"Headless Server" Requirements

Chapter 3 - Bus and Device Requirements

I/O Bus Requirements

USB Requirements

Device Requirements

Chapter 4 - Networking and Communications Requirements

Network Adapter Requirements

Modem Requirements

ATM Adapter Requirements

ADSL Device Requirements

Cable Modem Requirements

ISDN Requirements

IrDA Communications Requirements

Wireless Networking Requirements

Chapter 5 - Storage Device Requirements

SCSI Controllers and Peripherals

ATA Controllers and Peripherals

Fibre Channel Controllers and Peripherals

Backup Devices

Media Changers

Chapter 6 - Physical Design and Hardware Security Requirements

Physical Design Requirements

Hardware Security Requirements

Chapter 7 - Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability Requirements

Backup Hardware

Power Supply

Fault-Tolerant Hardware

Serviceability Requirements

High Availability Requirements

Local Display

Local Keypad

Watchdog Timer

Additional BIOS and NVRAM Requirements

Manageability Baseline Requirements

Glossary

This document is provided for informational purposes only and Microsoft makes no warranties, either express or implied, in this document. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. The entire risk of the use or the results of the use of this document remains with the user. The names of companies, products, people, characters, and/or data mentioned herein are fictitious and are in no way intended to represent any real individual, company, product, or event, unless otherwise noted. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

Portions of this document specify and accompany software that is still in development. Some of the information in this documentation may be inaccurate or may not be an accurate representation of the functionality of final documentation or software. Microsoft assumes no responsibility for any damages that might occur directly or indirectly from these inaccuracies.

Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.

Microsoft, MSDN, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

© 2000-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1 Welcome

Server Appliance Attribute Requirements for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is for engineers who are designing server appliance hardware that will run the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 operating system.

Microsoft will provide OEMs with the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit, which provides tools to create server appliances based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. The Server Appliance Kit also lists Windows drivers to be used by the operating system and the Server Appliance Kit to interface with the appliance hardware. Information about obtaining this kit is provided in "References and Resources" at the end of this chapter.

This document refers to Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Server for many basic requirements. For information about how to obtain Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0, see the Hardware Design Guide for Windows Server at the Microsoft Web site .

This hardware reference specification describes differences between general-purpose Windows Server platform design and Windows Server 2003 appliance design. A Windows Server 2003 appliance is a subset of general Windows-based server hardware. The following hardware and firmware components are exceptions to this rule:

  • Simple local user interface, such as an LCD and keypad
  • Watchdog timer
  • Headless, fail-over BIOS
  • Operating-system-accessible NVRAM

How to Use This Specification

This specification is divided into several chapters that describe design issues related to system, device, and other topics.

ChapterContents
1, "Welcome"Introduction to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 appliances
2, "System Component Requirements" General system requirements for Windows Server 2003 appliances
3, "Bus and Device Requirements" Specific requirements for buses and devices in Windows Server 2003 appliances
4, "Networking and Communications Requirements" Specific requirements for networking and communications devices in Windows Server 2003 appliances
5, "Storage Device Requirements" Specific requirements for storage devices in Windows Server 2003 appliances
6, "Physical Design and Hardware Security Requirements" Specific requirements for physical design and security in Windows Server 2003 appliances
7, "Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability Requirements" Specific reliability, availability, and serviceability requirements for Windows Server 2003 appliances
Glossary Acronyms and technical terms related to hardware and Windows Server operating systems

Conventions Used in This Specification

The following conventional terms are used throughout this specification.

Hardware Design Guide 3.0

Refers to Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Server as published on the Hardware Design Guide for Windows Server at the Microsoft Web site , and any addenda or clarifications published for that document.

Windows 2000

Refers to the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server operating system, the version of Windows Server operating system immediately preceding Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003

Refers to the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family of operating systems, including any add-on capabilities and any later versions of the operating system.

Windows Server 2003 appliance

Refers to fixed-function, remotely-administered server devices that run Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft Server Appliance Kit

Refers to the OEM kit for building server appliances that run Windows Server 2003.

x86-based system

Refers to a 32-bit microprocessor system based on the Intel Architecture instruction set, capable of running a 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003.

For a list of acronyms and definitions of technical terms, see the Glossary later in this specification.

Required, Recommended, and Optional Features

This document defines the specifications for designing server appliances based on the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit and Windows Server 2003. These design requirements are not the basic system requirements for Windows Server 2003 appliances running Windows Server 2003.

In this specification, features are described as Required, Recommended, or Optional as follows:

Required. These basic hardware features must be implemented to comply with this hardware reference specification.

Recommended. These features add functionality supported by the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit but are not required for compliance with this hardware reference specification.

Optional. These features are neither required nor recommended, but if the feature is implemented in a server appliance, it must meet the defined requirements to comply with this specification. These features are not likely to become requirements in the future.

References and Resources

The following lists some of the information resources, services, and tools available to help build hardware that meets the requirements defined in this specification. This section also lists references for documents referred to in this specification.

Information Resources from Microsoft

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Professional subscription at the Microsoft Web site

Microsoft hardware developer information at the Microsoft Web site

Microsoft Server Appliance Kit at the Microsoft Web site

Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) at the Microsoft Web site

OEM server appliance developer support from Microsoft, phone: (877) 247-9900

Technical References

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Server at the Microsoft Web site

Microsoft Platform SDK and Windows DDK

Provided by CD through MSDN Professional membership
Download online at:
MSDN Downloads
Microsoft Windows Driver Development Kits

Microsoft Windows Catalog at the Microsoft Web site

Chapter 2 - System Component Requirements

Back to top

This chapter presents requirements and recommendations that apply to the whole Windows Server 2003 appliance.

General Component Requirements

1. All operating system-controlled hardware complies with this specification

Required

All operating system-controlled hardware must comply with the requirements defined in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and must be listed in the Windows Catalog, except where differences are specifically defined in this document.

In any area where the requirements in this document conflict with Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0, this document takes precedence in defining requirements for Windows Server 2003 appliances.

System Microprocessor Requirements

2. System processor capabilities meet minimum requirements

Required

The Microsoft Server Appliance Kit supports only x86-based microprocessors.

For low-cost and lower-performance Windows Server 2003 appliances, the minimum processor required is a 300 MHz Intel Celeron processor with 128 KB Level 2 cache, or a processor with equivalent performance.

Memory Requirements

3. Installed system memory meets minimum guidelines

Required

Low-cost, lower-performance, fixed-function Windows Server 2003 appliances must have a minimum of 128 MB RAM. It is recommended that systems provide at least 256 MB of RAM. Depending on the appliance functionality, more RAM may be needed to ensure reliable operation.

4. Low-cost appliances are exempt from minimum memory capacity requirements defined in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Optional

In many cases, low-cost, fixed-function Windows Server 2003 appliances will not provide a mechanism for upgrading memory. Consequently, minimum capacity requirements defined in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0 do not apply for Windows Server 2003 appliances.

5. Low-cost appliances optionally use non-ECC memory

Optional

Windows Server 2003 appliances designed for low-cost applications can use non-ECC memory. For mission-critical appliances, ECC memory is recommended.

ACPI and Power Management Requirements

6. System design meets requirements for ACPI and OnNow in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must implement the features defined in the "ACPI and Power Management Requirements" section of Chapter 2 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Startup Support Requirements

7. System BIOS supports "headless" operation

Required

The system BIOS must assume the absence of a keyboard, mouse, floppy drive, and graphics display hardware during the boot process.

Plug and Play Requirements

8. System design provides Plug and Play capabilities

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances and any peripheral devices must implement the features defined in the "Plug and Play Requirements" section of Chapter 2 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

"Headless Server" Requirements

9. System optionally includes a serial port or management service processor

Optional

A Windows Server 2003 appliance can implement the features defined in the "Headless Server Requirements" section of Chapter 2 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

It is expected that most server appliances will provide local area network (LAN) based remote management.

Chapter 3 - Bus and Device Requirements

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This chapter defines specific requirements for buses and devices provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance.

I/O Bus Requirements

10. No graphics display hardware is present in the production system

Recommended

To reduce complexity and power consumption, graphics display devices and related drivers should be eliminated from the hardware and software before shipping Windows Server 2003 appliance products to end customers.

11. VGA-capable graphics display hardware and drivers are available for use during system development

Recommended

For ease of development, designers can choose to use standard VGA graphics display hardware and drivers for debugging and testing purposes. The operating system will support this capability for development purposes.

12. System does not include multimedia audio devices

Recommended

To reduce complexity, sound cards and speakers should not be included in the product. Server appliances have no need for multimedia audio, because they are designed for unattended operation.

13. System includes simple audio capabilities

Recommended

If an error condition occurs that prevents client computers from communicating with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 appliance, an audible alarm might be the only way for the server to notify the user that there is an error condition.

14. System does not allow end-user access to expansion bus slots

Recommended

Windows Server 2003 appliance systems are intended to have minimal maintenance requirements for the end user. Consequently, the product should not allow the end user to have access to installed adapters on any expansion bus architectures.

USB Requirements

15. System with USB support meets requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any USB system support and any USB devices in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "USB Requirements" section of Chapter 3 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Device Requirements

16. Production system does not include keyboard or mouse hardware

Recommended

Windows Server 2003 appliances should not support a keyboard or mouse except for debugging purposes during system development and testing.

Chapter 4 - Networking and Communications Requirements

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This chapter defines specific requirements for networking and communications devices provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance.

Network Adapter Requirements

17. System includes an Ethernet LAN port

Required

A Windows Server 2003 appliance must include an Ethernet LAN port to allow client connections and remote access for server management.

18. Network adapters meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Network adapters must implement the features defined in the "Network Adapter Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

19. System incorporates integrated Ethernet LAN port

Recommended

To simplify manufacturing and matching of network hardware to specific system images, it is recommended that a Windows Server 2003 appliance incorporate an "on board" or integrated Ethernet LAN port.

20. SOHO system includes an Ethernet hub adapter

Recommended

For a Windows Server 2003 appliance designed for the small office/home office (SOHO) market, a 4-port, 8-port, or 16-port Ethernet hub on a PCI adapter is recommended. Hubs should be wired internally to the server appliance LAN connection. Providing a hub adapter simplifies the network wiring installation and reduces complexity for the end user.

Modem Requirements

21. Modems meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any modems that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Modem Requirements" section of Chapter 4 of Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

ATM Adapter Requirements

22. ATM adapters meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any ATM adapter that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "ATM Adapter Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

ADSL Device Requirements

23. ADSL devices meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any ADSL device that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "ADSL Device Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Cable Modem Requirements

24. Internal cable modems meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any cable modem that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Cable Modem Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

ISDN Requirements

25. ISDN devices meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any ISDN device that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "ISDN Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

26. Configuring ISDN device does not require reboot

Required

For any ISDN device that might be included in a Windows .Server 2003 appliance, the ISDN device and driver must not require a reboot after changing any parameter, including switch type, SPID, and directory number.

IrDA Communications Requirements

27. IrDA devices meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any IrDA device that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "IrDA Communications Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Wireless Networking Requirements

28. Wireless network media adapters meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any wireless network media adapter that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Wireless Networking Requirements" section of Chapter 4 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Chapter 5 - Storage Device Requirements

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This chapter defines specific requirements for storage devices provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance.

SCSI Controllers and Peripherals

29. SCSI controllers and peripherals meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any SCSI controller or SCSI peripherals that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "SCSI Controllers and Peripherals" section of Chapter 5 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

ATA Controllers and Peripherals

30. ATA controllers and peripherals meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any ATA controller or ATA peripherals that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "ATA Controllers and Peripherals" section of Chapter 5 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Fibre Channel Controllers and Peripherals

31. Fibre Channel controllers and peripherals meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any Fibre Channel controller or Fibre Channel peripherals that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Fibre Channel Controllers and Peripherals" section of Chapter 5 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Backup Devices

32. Backup devices meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any backup device that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Backup Devices" section of Chapter 5 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Media Changers

33. Media changers meet requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Any media changer that might be included in a Windows Server 2003 appliance must implement the features defined in the "Backup Devices" section of Chapter 5 of Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Chapter 6 - Physical Design and Hardware Security Requirements

Back to top

This chapter defines specific requirements for physical design and security requirements in a Windows Server 2003 appliance.

Physical Design Requirements

34. System meets physical design requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet the requirements defined in the "Physical Design Requirements" section of Chapter 6 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0. Exceptions for server appliances are defined in the following two items.

35. System is designed as a "sealed case"

Recommended

Windows Server 2003 appliance enclosures are not intended to allow easy customer access to any PCI or other system expansion card slots.

36. System is physically small

Recommended

Windows Server 2003 appliance enclosures should be small. A tower-style chassis should have a height less than or equal to 14 inches, width less than or equal to 8 inches, and depth less than or equal to 13 inches. A 19-inch rack-style chassis should have a standard 1 U (1.75"/44.45mm) or smaller footprint. No "reset" button should be exposed outside of the box.

Hardware Security Requirements

37. System meets hardware security requirements in Hardware Design Guide 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Hardware Security Requirements" section of Chapter 6 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Chapter 7 - Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability Requirements

Back to top

This chapter defines specific requirements for reliability, availability, and serviceability capabilities provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance.

Backup Hardware

38. System meets backup hardware requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Backup Hardware" section of Chapter 7 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Power Supply

39. System meets power supply requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Power Supply" section of Chapter 7 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Fault-Tolerant Hardware

40. System meets fault-tolerant requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Fault-Tolerant Hardware" section of Chapter 7 in the Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Serviceability Requirements

41. System meets serviceability requirements in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Serviceability Requirements" section of Chapter 7 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0

High Availability Requirements

Local Display

42. System provides state and error event indicators

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances, which do not support a standard graphics display, should provide a local display to give the user some indication of the status of the server appliance. In particular, the local display must be visible and accessible to the operating system such that errors that stop a client from communicating with the server appliance over the LAN can be displayed. If the appliance is running and the LAN connection is operating correctly, then the end user will be able to determine more detailed state and event information from the user interface provided on a client, for example, using a web browser.

State and error event notification can be implemented on a Windows Server 2003 appliance either using LEDs or using a small bit-mapped LCD so that a local user interface can be displayed in form of icons and text to provide more details. A bit-mapped LCD allows the text to be localized to any language.

If a bit-mapped LCD is not provided, then at a minimum, a Windows Server 2003 appliance must provide the following indicators for state and error event notification:

  • Three state indicators: Starting, Ready, and Shutting Down
  • One error message indicator: Networking Error

Additional LED indicators are allowed.

43. Bit-mapped LCD and driver meet requirements

Required

  • If a bit-mapped LCD is provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance, it must be 64 pixels high and 128 pixels wide. Additionally, the driver for the bit-mapped LCD must comply with the guidelines in the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit.
  • LED indicators can be provided in addition to a bit-mapped LCD.

44. State and error event indicators that implement icons use recommended icons

Recommended

If indicators are provided either using LEDs or icons on an LCD, these should follow the guidelines for icons for specific state and error conditions as provided in the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit.

Local Keypad

45. System provides local keypad

Recommended

Windows Server 2003 appliances that implement a bit-mapped LCD (but do not support a standard graphics display and keyboard) should provide a keypad to allow the user to navigate through the local user interface and to perform certain configuration tasks on the appliance device.

46. Local keypad and driver meet requirements

Required

If implemented, a local keypad must consist of six buttons to represent Left, Right, Up, and Down direction keys and the Enter key and Esc (Cancel) key. A driver must be provided that complies with the guidelines in the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit. Additionally, the keypad hardware and driver must provide the following capabilities.

  • The keypad must interrupt the operating system when a button is pressed.
  • Each button must have an associated latch to store button press information.
  • The latches must be cleared only by the operating system using the associated keypad driver.
  • The latches must power on in the cleared state.

Watchdog Timer

47. System includes hardware watchdog timer and driver

Required

It is recommended that Windows Server 2003 appliances provide a hardware watchdog timer and associated driver. The watchdog hardware will count down from a configurable value and reset or shut down the system if the count reaches zero. Operating system services will periodically restart the timer so that if the operating system, drivers, or services stop functioning, the system will be automatically restarted or shut down.

48. Watchdog timer hardware meet requirements

Required

If a hardware watchdog timer is implemented in a Windows Server 2003 appliance, it must comply with the requirements specified in the document, Watchdog Timer Hardware Requirements for Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Additional BIOS and NVRAM Requirements

49. System BIOS implements capabilities to fail over to an alternate operating system partition

Required

The system BIOS used in Windows Server 2003 appliances must provide a mechanism to allow determination of whether the main operating system is capable of booting. If the main operating system cannot boot, the BIOS must attempt to boot from 1 or more backup operating system partitions.

50. BIOS fail-over algorithm meets requirements

Required

If a fail-over algorithm is implemented in the BIOS, the system must also include NVRAM and watchdog timer hardware and drivers that comply with the requirements in this document. The fail-over algorithm implemented in the BIOS must comply with the following requirements.

  1. If a boot is not caused by the watchdog timer, the BIOS initializes all boot counter arc paths and count values in NVRAM to zero. If the boot was caused by the watchdog timer firing, the boot counters are not modified.
  2. If the next boot device is not an internal hard disk drive with a valid active partition, the BIOS boots that device and the algorithm ends. If the next boot device is an internal disk drive with a valid active partition, the algorithm continues at step 3.
  3. If a boot is not caused by the watchdog timer, the BIOS takes the following actions to configure the boot counters for internal disk fail over.
    • The BIOS searches the internal disks in boot order, as defined in BIOS setup, and uses the first valid active partition as the main partition of the operating system. The main partition is assigned the first boot counter in NVRAM, the arc path of the main partition is written to the boot counter, and the count value is set to zero. (See boot counter format below.)
      NOTE: The arc path is defined in MSDN knowledge base article Q102873. Note that the arc path value stored in NVRAM represents the physical disk configuration before a failover occurs. This may not correspond exactly to the arc paths in the boot.ini files on the boot disks.
    • The BIOS then searches for up to three bootable backup partitions. It searches first by disk, based on the disk enumeration order for SCSI or ATA, and then searches by partition, based on the order in the partition table on each disks master boot record. The first three partitions that have a system ID in the partition table equal to 0x07 (primary NTFS partition) or 0x87 (primary NTFS RAID 1 partition) are considered to be bootable backup partitions. Each backup partition is assigned the next available boot counter in NVRAM, the arc path of the partition is written to the boot counter, and the count value is set to zero.
    • If there are fewer than three bootable backup partitions, the arc path for the unused boot counters is set to all ones.
    Note

    If the boot is caused by the watchdog timer, the boot counter assignments are not modified. This allows the operating system to determine that a fail-over has occurred when a disk fails and is no longer visible to the BIOS.

    1. The BIOS reads the arc paths for all boot counters and validates that the disks and partitions are still present in the system. For all invalid arc paths, the count value is set to 0xF for that partition.
    2. The BIOS determines the partition to boot next by searching for the next available boot counter that has a valid arc path and a counter value less than 3.
    3. Immediately before turning control over to the operating system loader, the BIOS sets the disk ID to 0x80 and increments the count value associated with the partition that will be booted.
    4. If all valid partitions have count values greater than or equal to 3, the watchdog timer is stopped, the boot failure icon is displayed on the local display, and the BIOS stops until someone cycles power on the device.

This algorithm is shown in the diagram below.

Art Image

51. NVRAM hardware and driver meet requirements

Required

If non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) is implemented to provide the BIOS and operating system a method of determining whether the operating system is capable of booting, a NVRAM driver must be provided that complies with the guidelines in the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit.

The NVRAM hardware must provide a minimum of 128 bytes of NVRAM. The first 88 bytes of non-volatile memory are for the operating system to use to store state information. This memory must be modified only by the operating system using the associated NVRAM driver. The last 16 bytes of NVRAM memory are for storing four boot counters. The following shows the layout of the NVRAM.

NVRAM Layout (128 bytes total):

BytesDescription
88Non-volatile storage available for the operating system to maintain system state across boots.
24Reserved.
4Boot counter #1
4Boot counter #2
4Boot counter #3
4Boot counter #4

If a fail-over algorithm is implemented in the BIOS, then the NVRAM hardware must also provide four boot counters, one for each partition that will be used to boot the operating system. Each 4-byte boot counter will be formatted as shown in the diagram below.

Boot Counter Format (4 bytes per boot counter):

4 bits4 bits4 bits4 bits12 bits4 bits
XYZWUndefinedCount value

X, Y, Z, and W are the values for the arc path as defined in MSDN and KB article Q102873 although the value of X can take values other than 0 for the purposes of this algorithm.

The BIOS must be able to read and write to each boot counter during boot. The operating system must be able to read and write to each boot counter using the associated NVRAM driver. The operating system will read these boot counters and determine the state of the fail-over based on their values as defined in the table below.

Example Count Values (hexadecimal):

Boot Counter

X,Y,Z,W

count

Operating System Interpretation
#1#2#3#4 
0,0,0,1

1

0,0,1,1

0

0,0,1,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

Normal boot of main operating system from ATA disk 0, partition 1. First partition on ATA disk 1 is first backup operating system. Second partition on ATA disk 1 is second backup partition.
0,0,0,1

2 or 3

0,0,1,1

0

0,0,1,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

Retry of main operating system after failed boot attempt.
0,0,0,1

3

0,0,1,1

1

0,0,1,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

First boot attempt of first backup operating system.
0,0,0,1

3

0,0,1,1

2 or 3

0,0,1,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

Retry of first backup operating system after failed boot attempt.
0,0,0,1

3

0,0,1,1

3

0,0,1,2

1

F,F,F,F

0

First boot attempt of second backup operating system.
0,0,0,1

3

0,0,1,1

3

0,0,1,2

2 or 3

F,F,F,F

0

Retry of second backup operating system after failed boot attempt.
0,0,0,1

F

0,0,1,1

1

0,0,1,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

First boot attempt of first backup operating system after main disk has failed and is not longer visible to the system.
0,0,0,1

1

0,1,0,1

0

0,1,0,2

0

F,F,F,F

0

Normal boot of main operating system from SCSI disk 0, partition 1. First partition on SCSI disk 1 is first backup operating system. Second partition on SCSI disk 1 is second backup partition.
0,0,0,0

0

0,0,0,0

0

0,0,0,0

0

0,0,0,0

0

Normal boot of non-internal hard disk drive boot device, e.g. floppy disk, CD, network.

52. BIOS displays boot icons on systems with LCD

Recommended

  • If a bit-mapped LCD is provided in a Windows Server 2003 appliance, the BIOS should present a 16x16 pixel icon in the lower left hand corner of the display to indicate that the system is booting. This icon will be an arrow pointing upwards. If the primary operating system fails to boot, the BIOS will indicate which backup operating system partition is being booted by adding 1, 2, or 3 horizontal lines at the base of the arrow to indicate the first, second, and third backup partitions, respectively. If all operating system partitions fail to boot, then the BIOS will display the arrow with a circled "X" overlapping the arrow. These are shown in the diagrams below.
LUI icons indicating which failover OS is booting

Manageability Baseline Requirements

53. System meets manageability requirements in Hardware Design Guide 3.0

Required

Windows Server 2003 appliances must meet all the requirements defined in the "Manageability Baseline Requirements" section of Chapter 7 in Hardware Design Guide Version 3.0.

Glossary

Back to top

See also the Hardware Glossary at the Microsoft Web site

ACPI  Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

ADSL  Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

ATA  AT Attachment

ATM  Asynchronous Transfer Mode

BIOS  basic I/O system

DDK  driver development kit

GB  gigabyte

HCT  Hardware Compatibility Tests

Headless  server system operation without a local display, keyboard, or pointing device

IHV  independent hardware vendor

IrDA  Infrared Data Association

ISDN  Integrated Service Digital Network

LAN  local area network

LCD  liquid crystal display

LED  light-emitting diode

low cost, lower performance  system designed to meet price-point demands, perhaps at the sacrifice of optimal performance

MB  megabyte

MSDN  Microsoft Developer Network

NVRAM  non-volatile random access memory

OEM  original equipment manufacturer

PCI  Peripheral Component Interconnect

RAM  random access memory

ROM  read-only memory

SCSI  small computer system interface

SDK  software development kit

server appliance  fixed function, headless server device

SOHO  small office/home office

WHQL  Windows Hardware Quality Laboratory


 
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