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Migration Between Two Multi-Node Clusters

Published: November 1, 2013

Updated: January 22, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



This topic provides step-by-step instructions for migrating clustered services and applications from a multi-node failover cluster running Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 to a multimode cluster running Windows Server 2012. (Alternatively, you can perform an in-place migration using a single two-node cluster. For more information, see In-Place Migration for a Two-Node Cluster.) If you plan to migrate highly available Hyper-V virtual machines (by migrating the clustered Virtual Machine role), see the Migration of Highly Available Virtual Machines Using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard for additional instructions.

ImportantImportant
Before you begin your migration, review Migration Paths for Migrating to a Failover Cluster Running Windows Server 2012 to confirm that the clustered service or application can be migrated by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

A migration between two multi-node clusters uses the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, and it has three phases:

  1. Install two or more new servers, run validation, and create a new cluster. For this phase, while the old cluster continues to run, perform a clean installation of Windows Server 2012 and the Failover Clustering feature on at least two servers. Create the networks that the servers will use, and connect the storage. Make an appropriate number of logical unit numbers (LUNs) or disks accessible to the servers, and do not make those LUNs or disks accessible to any other servers. Next, run the complete set of cluster validation tests to confirm that the hardware and hardware settings can support a failover cluster. Finally, create the new cluster. At this point, you have two clusters.

    For more information, see Steps for creating a failover cluster, later in this topic.

  2. Migrate clustered services and applications to the new cluster, and determine how you will make any existing data available to the new cluster. When the Migrate a Cluster Wizard completes, all the migrated resources will be offline. Leave them offline at this stage. If the new cluster will reuse old storage, plan how you will make the storage available to the new cluster, but leave the old cluster connected to the storage until you are ready to make the transition.

    For more information, see Steps for migrating clustered services and applications to a failover cluster running Windows Server 2012, later in this topic.

  3. Make the transition from the old cluster to the new cluster. The first step in the transition is to take the clustered services and applications offline on the old cluster. If the new cluster will use old storage, follow your plan for making LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster. If the new cluster will use new storage, copy the appropriate folders and data to the storage. Bring the clustered services and applications online on the new cluster. Then verify that failover is working and the clustered services and applications are available.

    For more information, see Steps for completing the transition from the old cluster to the new cluster, later in this topic.

For information about how to create a Windows Server 2012 failover cluster, see Create a Failover Cluster. To prepare to migrate a clustered service or application to the new failover cluster, make the following preparations.

Before you create the failover cluster, prepare storage, and install all required services, applications, and server roles.

  1. Prepare storage:

    1. Make an appropriate number of LUNs or disks accessible to the servers, and do not make those LUNs or disks accessible to any other servers. If the new cluster will use old storage, for testing purposes, you can limit the number of LUNs or disks to one or two. If the new cluster will use new storage, make as many disks or LUNs accessible to the new server as you think the cluster will need.

      noteNote
      We recommend that you keep a small disk or LUN available (unused by clustered services and applications) throughout the life of the cluster, so that you can always run storage validation tests without taking your services and applications offline.

    2. On one of the servers that you plan to include in the cluster, open Computer Management from the Start screen, and then click Disk Management in the console tree. In Disk Management, confirm that the intended cluster disks are visible.

    3. Check the format of any exposed volume or LUN. We recommend that you use NTFS for the format. (For a disk witness, you must use NTFS.)

    4. If you are using new storage and your disk configuration uses mount points, review Cluster Migrations Involving New Storage: Mount Points to identify any additional steps you will need to perform.

  2. Install services, applications, and server roles:

    • After you install the Failover Clustering feature on all nodes, install any needed services, applications, and server roles. For example, if you plan to migrate clustered Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) to the new cluster, install the WINS Server feature by using Server Manager.

    • If you plan to migrate highly available virtual machines, add the Hyper-V role to the server. You also must merge or discard all shadow copies on the volumes that contain the virtual machines. For step-by-step instructions for migrating highly available virtual machines, see Migration of Highly Available Virtual Machines Using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

    • If you are migrating a Generic Application, Generic Script, or Generic Service resource, you must confirm that any associated application is compatible with Windows Server 2012. You also must confirm that any associated service exists in Windows Server 2012 and has the same name that it had in the old cluster. Test the application or service (separately, not as part of a cluster) to confirm that it runs as expected.

After you create the cluster, ensure that your firewall is configured appropriately. For example, if you are using Windows Firewall, and you will be sharing folders and files, use your preferred Windows Firewall interface to allow the exception for Remote Volume Management.

Use the following instructions to migrate clustered services and applications from your old cluster to your new cluster. The Migrate a Cluster Wizard leaves most of the migrated resources offline so that you can perform additional steps before you bring them online.

noteNote
To migrate a clustered service or application by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, you must be a local administrator on the destination failover cluster and on the cluster or cluster node from which you are migrating.

  1. If the new cluster uses old storage, plan how you will make LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster (but do not make changes yet). If you plan to use new storage with the migrated services or applications, before you run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, make the storage is available to the new cluster – that is, that the volumes have been added to the new cluster and that they are online. This enables the wizard to update storage settings during migration.

  2. From the Start screen or from Server Manager (Tools), open Failover Cluster Manager.

  3. In the console tree, if the cluster that you created is not displayed, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Connect to Cluster, and then select the cluster that you want to configure.

  4. In the console tree, expand the cluster that you created to see the items underneath it.

  5. If the clustered servers are connected to a network that is not to be used for cluster communications (for example, a network intended only for iSCSI), then under Networks, right-click that network, click Properties, and then click Do not allow cluster network communication on this network. Click OK.

  6. In the console tree, select the cluster.

  7. Under Configure, click Migrate services and applications.

    The Migrate a Cluster Wizard opens.

  8. Read the Welcome page, and then click Next.

  9. Specify the name or IP address of the cluster or cluster node from which you want to migrate services and applications, and then click Next.

  10. The Select Services and Applications page lists the clustered services and applications that can be migrated from the old cluster. The list does not contain any service or application that is not eligible for migration. Click View Report for details. Then select each service and application that you want to migrate to the new cluster, and click Next.

    ImportantImportant
    We recommend that you read the report, which explains whether each resource is eligible for migration. (The wizard also provides a report after it finishes, which describes any additional steps that might be needed before you bring the migrated resource groups online.)

    If storage is available on the new cluster, the Specify Storage for Migration page appears, giving you the option to migrate to new storage. If storage is not available on the new cluster, the wizard retains existing storage settings and does not display the page.

    noteNote
    Not all clustered roles can be migrated to new storage. For example, the wizard cannot be used to migrate highly available virtual machines (the Virtual Machine role) to new storage. For step-by-step instructions for migrating highly available virtual machines, see Migration of Highly Available Virtual Machines Using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

  11. If you want to use new storage for a service or application:

    1. On the Specify Storage for Migration page, select the cluster disk that you want to migrate to new storage, and then click Select Storage.

    2. In the Select Storage for Resource Group dialog box, under Available Storage in New Cluster, select the cluster disk that you want the service or application to use in the new cluster, and then click OK.

    3. Repeat these steps for each cluster disk that you want to migrate to new storage. Then click Next.

    ImportantImportant
    The Migrate a Cluster Wizard does not move existing data and folders to the new storage. You must copy the folders and data manually.

  12. Follow the instructions in the wizard to perform the migration. From the Summary page, we recommend that you read the Cluster Migration Report, which contains important information about any additional steps that you might need to complete before you bring the migrated services and applications online. For example, if you have not already installed needed applications on the new cluster node, you might need to install them.

After the wizard completes, most migrated resources will be offline. Leave them offline at this stage.

You must perform the following steps to complete the transition to the new cluster running Windows Server 2012. After you complete the transition, verify that failover is working correctly for the migrated services and applications and that the services are available.

  1. Prepare for clients to experience downtime, probably briefly.

  2. On the old cluster, take each role and resource that was migrated offline.

  3. Complete the transition for the storage:

    • If the new cluster will use old storage, follow your plan for making LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster.

    • If the new cluster will use new storage, copy the appropriate folders and data to the storage. As needed for disk access on the old cluster, bring individual disk resources online on that cluster. (Keep other resources offline, to ensure that clients cannot change data on the disks in storage.) On the new cluster, use Disk Management to confirm that the appropriate LUNs or disks are visible to the new cluster and not visible to any other servers.

  4. If the new cluster uses mount points, adjust the mount points as needed, and make each disk resource that uses a mount point dependent on the resource of the disk that hosts the mount point. For more information about mount points, see Cluster Migrations Involving New Storage: Mount Points.

  5. Bring the migrated services or applications online on the new cluster.

  6. If you migrated highly available virtual machines, install the latest integration services on each virtual machine. You might need to restart the virtual machine to complete the installation.

  1. Verify that you can access the workload that was migrated. For example, can you connect to a highly available file server after it is migrated? Can you see the data that the server stores?

  2. In the console tree of Failover Cluster Manager, click the failover cluster on which the service or application is running.

  3. Expand Services and Applications, and then click a migrated service or application that you want to test.

  4. Under Actions (on the right), click Move this service or application to another node, and then click an available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice.

    You can observe the status changes in the center pane of the snap-in as the clustered service or application is moved.

  5. If there are any issues with failover, review the following:

    • View events in Failover Cluster Manager. To do this, in the console tree, right-click Cluster Events, and then click Query. In the Cluster Events Filter dialog box, select the criteria for the events that you want to display, or to return to the default criteria, click the Reset button. Click OK. To sort events, click a heading, for example, Level or Date and Time.

    • Confirm that necessary services, applications, or server roles are installed on all nodes. Confirm that services or applications are compatible with Windows Server 2012 and run as expected.

    • If you used old storage for the new cluster, rerun the Validate a Cluster Configuration Wizard to confirm the validation results for all LUNs or disks in the storage.

    • If you migrated highly available virtual machines, verify the status of the virtual machines in Hyper-V Manager, and ensure that you can connect to the virtual machines by using Remote Desktop or Virtual Machine Connection.

    • Review migrated resource settings and dependencies. If you are using new storage that includes disks that use mount points, see Cluster Migrations Involving New Storage: Mount Points.

    • If you migrated one or more Network Name resources with the Kerberos protocol enabled, confirm that the following permissions change was made in Active Directory Users and Computers on a domain controller. In the computer accounts (computer objects) of your Kerberos protocol-enabled Network Name resources, Full Control must be assigned to the computer account for the failover cluster.

noteNote
The Migrate a Cluster Wizard does not migrate Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) tasks, Hyper-V Replica Broker settings, Task Scheduler tasks, and Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) settings. If you were using any of these features on the old cluster, you will need to configure them on the new cluster.

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