Export (0) Print
Expand All
This topic has not yet been rated - Rate this topic

Hyper-V: Migration Options

Published: November 1, 2013

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2



When migrating virtual machines from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2 you have various options on how to migrate your virtual machines. You now have the ability to select the migration methods that meets the needs of your environment.

Depending on your requirements and service level agreements that need to be maintained you can use one migration option or a combination of migration options. For example if you have virtual machines that either need to be running all the time or that do not have a large maintenance window for you to take them down, you could select to use cross version live migration to move the virtual machines from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. Other virtual machines that are not as critical, have a larger maintenance window, or might take too long to move using live migration, you could use the Copy Cluster Roles Wizard or Export / Import depending on your environment.

The following table shows the benefits and disadvantages of the various migration methods.

 

Migration Method Benefits Disadvantages

In-place upgrade

  • No new hardware required.

  • Virtual machines need to be off during the upgrade.

Cross Version Live Migration

  • Virtual machines continue running during migration.

  • If the virtual hard disk is being stored on a Scale-out File Server share accessible by both servers the virtual hard disks do not need to be copied.

  • Move virtual machines from one Hyper-V cluster to another cluster without any down time.

  • Migrate individual virtual machines that are part of Hyper-V Cluster.

  • Requires additional hardware or extra capacity in the existing cluster to create the destination cluster.

  • The amount of time it will take to migrate a virtual machine will depend on various factors, size of memory configured for the virtual machine and network configuration. If the virtual hard disks are not stored on a Scale-out File Server, additional time will be needed to move the virtual hard disk.

  • The Virtual machine needs to be removed from the existing cluster before being moved to the new cluster. Once the virtual machine has successfully moved to new cluster node, high availability is added to the virtual machine. During the move process the virtual machine is not protected by the cluster services.

Copy Cluster Roles Wizard

  • Easily migrate a Hyper-V cluster running on Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • Test the Copy Cluster Roles process without impacting production server.

  • The process is reversible if you encounter any issues.

  • Useful for copying roles on test clusters to production clusters.

  • All virtual machines on the same Shared Clustered Volume will be migrated at the same time.

  • Virtual machines need to be shut down for short period of time.

  • The Copy Cluster Wizard does not copy the Hyper-V replication settings when copying a virtual machine to a new failover cluster. Hyper-V replication needs to be re-enabled on the virtual machine after being copied. For the Initial Replication Method, select Use an existing virtual machine on the Replica server as the initial copy.

  • Additional hardware required.

Export / Import

  • Migrate one virtual machine at a time.

  • Control the method of copying the virtual machine to the new server.

  • Virtual machine is down during the export import process.

  • Additional hardware required.

  • Importing a virtual machine removes any Hyper-V Replica configuration settings for a virtual machine. Hyper-V replication needs to be re-enabled on the virtual machine after being imported. For the Initial Replication Method, select Use an existing virtual machine on the Replica server as the initial copy.

The following table shows which options are available to use in different deployments of Hyper-V:

 

Scenario / Migration Method In Place Upgrade Export / Import Cross Version Live Migration Copy Cluster Wizard

Standalone host

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Hyper-V Cluster with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV)

No

Yes

Yes, the virtual machine needs to be removed from the cluster first and the virtual hard disks must be copied as part of the live migration.

Yes

Hyper-V Cluster with separate Scale-out File Server for storage

No

Yes

Yes, the virtual machine needs to be removed from the cluster first.

Yes

ImportantImportant
When Hyper-V Replica is enabled we recommend that you migrate the virtual machines on the Replica site first than the primary site.

Upgrading to a new version of Windows Server no longer requires downtime to the virtual machines. In Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V live migration has been updated to support migrating virtual machines in Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. If the virtual hard disk files are stored on SMB 3.0 share accessible by both the source and destination server you only need to move the virtual machine configuration and memory files and not the virtual hard disk files. If the virtual hard disk files are not stored on an SMB 3.0 share or the share is not accessible to the destination server you can utilize shared nothing live migration to migrate the virtual hard disk files, virtual machine configuration files as well as the running virtual machine with no downtime.

Hyper-V Replica was introduced in Windows Server 2012 and provides asynchronous replication of Hyper-V virtual machines between two hosting servers. It is simple to configure and does not require either shared storage or any particular storage hardware. Any server workload that can be virtualized in Hyper-V can be replicated. Replication works over any ordinary IP-based network, and the replicated data can be encrypted during transmission. Hyper-V Replica works with standalone servers, failover clusters, or a mixture of both. The servers can be physically co-located or widely separated geographically. The physical servers do not need to be in the same domain, or even joined to any domain at all.

The following should be taken into consideration when moving from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2 when Hyper-V Replica is being used.

  • It is required that you upgrade the Replica server first. A Windows Server 2012 R2 Replica server can accept replication from a primary server running Windows Server 2012. However a Windows Server 2012 Replica server cannot accept replication from a primary server running Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • When upgrading the Replica server the following should be taken into consideration:

    • If you preformed an in place upgrade on the Replica server, post upgrade of the Replica server to Windows Server 2012 R2 replication will continue from the primary server running Windows Server 2012 at the default replication frequency of 5 minutes.

    • If you moved the virtual machines to a new server running Windows Server 2012 R2 you will need to update the virtual machine replication settings on the primary server with the name of the new Replica server or Hyper-V Replica Broker. Until the Replica server name is updated replication will not resume.

    • You can start to use new Hyper-V Replica features, like extended replication from the Replica server.

    • You can add new virtual machines to the primary server running Windows Server 2012 and start replication to a Replica server running Windows Server 2012 R2.

    • In case of emergency you can failover your virtual machines from the primary server to the Replica server. You will not be able to start reverse replication as replication is not supported from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2012.

      noteNote
      At this point the virtual machine is no longer protected by Hyper-V Replica. You could configure extended replication with another server running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2. After the primary server has been upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2 you can reverse replication back to the primary server. When reversing replication you can select to use an existing virtual machine to limit the amount of replication that needs to go over the network.

    • Migration will cancel a test failover that is currently running for a Replica virtual machine and delete the test virtual machine.

  • When upgrading the primary server the following should be taken into consideration:

    • The Replica server has already been upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2. If the Replica server has not been upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2 replication will fail until the Replica server is upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2.

    • Replication will continue at the default frequency of 5 minutes, which can be modified if required.

    • When using certificate based authentication for Hyper-V Replica, after you move the primary virtual machine to a new server, you need to update the certificate thumbprint for the virtual machine.

      You can update the certificate thumbprint in the Hyper-V Manager Console by editing the Replication settings of the virtual machine or you can use the following Windows PowerShell cmdlet, Set-VMReplication.

      Set-VMReplication –VMName <virtual machine name. –CertificateThumbprint <thumbprint>
      

Did you find this helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.