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Migrating Clustered Services and Applications to Windows Server 2012

Published: November 1, 2013

Updated: January 22, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



This guide provides step-by-step instructions for migrating clustered services and applications to a failover cluster running Windows Server 2012 by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard. Not all clustered services and applications can be migrated using this method. This guide describes supported migration paths and provides instructions for migrating between two multi-node clusters or performing an in-place migration with only two servers. Instructions for migrating a highly available virtual machine to a new failover cluster, and for updating mount points after a clustered service migration, also are provided.

The Migrate a Cluster Wizard supports migration to a cluster running Windows Server 2012 from a cluster running any of the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

  • Windows Server 2012

Migrations are supported between different editions of the operating system (for example, from Windows Server Enterprise to Windows Server Datacenter), between x86 and x64 processor architectures, and from a cluster running a core installation of Windows Server or Microsoft Hyper-V Server to a cluster running a full version of Windows Server.

The following migrations scenarios are not supported:

  • Migrations from Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2 to Windows Server 2012 are not supported. You should first upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 SP2, and then migrate the resources to Windows Server 2012 using the steps in this guide.

  • The Migrate a Cluster Wizard does not support migrations from a Windows Server 2012 failover cluster to a cluster with an earlier version of Windows Server.

ImportantImportant
Before you perform a migration, you should install the latest updates for the operating systems on both the old failover cluster and the new failover cluster.

This migration guide is designed for cluster administrators who want to migrate their existing clustered services and applications that are running on an existing failover cluster to a Windows Server 2012 failover cluster. The focus of the guide is the steps required to successfully migrate the resources from one cluster to another by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard in Failover Cluster Manager.

General knowledge of how to create a failover cluster, configure storage and networking, and deploy and manage the clustered roles and features is assumed.

It is also assumed that customers who will use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate highly available virtual machines have a basic knowledge of how to create, configure, and manage highly available Hyper-V virtual machines.

The scenarios in this guide provide step-by-step instructions for using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard in Failover Cluster Manager to perform a standard migration of a clustered service or application to a Windows Server 2012 failover cluster. Although this guide identifies services and applications that require special handling during a wizard-based migration, the guide does not provide specific instructions for migrating individual clustered services and applications, including special requirements and dependent server roles and features. For information about migration requirements for specific server roles and features, see Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server.

This guide does not provide instructions for migrating clustered services and applications by any means other than by using the Copy Cluster Roles Wizard.

As you plan a migration to a failover cluster running Windows Server 2012, consider the following:

  • Microsoft supports a failover cluster solution for Windows Server 2012 only if all the hardware devices are marked as "Certified for Windows Server 2012." In addition, the complete configuration (servers, network, and storage) must pass all tests in the Validate a Configuration Wizard, which is included in the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in. For more information, see Validate Hardware for a Failover Cluster.

  • Hardware requirements are especially important if you plan to continue to use the same servers or storage for the new cluster that the old cluster used. When you plan the migration, you should check with your hardware vendor to ensure that the existing storage is certified for use with Windows Server 2012. For more information about hardware requirements, see Failover Clustering Hardware Requirements and Storage Options.

  • The Migrate a Cluster Wizard assumes that the migrated role or feature will use the same storage that it used on the old cluster. If you plan to migrate to new storage, you must copy or move of data or folders (including shared folder settings) manually. The wizard also does not copy any mount point information used in the old cluster. For information about handling mount points during a migration, see Cluster Migrations Involving New Storage: Mount Points.

  • Not all clustered services and features can be migrated to a Windows Server 2012 failover cluster by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard. To find out which clustered services and applications can be migrated by using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, and operating system requirements for the source failover cluster, see Migration Paths for Migrating to a Failover Cluster Running Windows Server 2012.

When you use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard for your migration, you can choose from a variety of methods to perform the overall migration. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for the following two methods:

  • Create a separate failover cluster running Windows Server 2012 and then migrate to that cluster. In this scenario, you migrate from a multi-node cluster running Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012. For more information, see Migration Between Two Multi-Node Clusters.

  • Perform an in-place migration involving only two servers. In this scenario, you start with a two-node cluster that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, remove a server from the cluster, and perform a clean installation (not an upgrade) of Windows Server 2012 on that server. You use that server to create a new one-node failover cluster running Windows Server 2012. Then you migrate the clustered services and applications from the old cluster node to the new cluster. Finally, you evict the remaining node from the old cluster, perform a clean installation of Windows Server 2012 and add the Failover Clustering feature to that server, and then add the server to the new failover cluster. For more information, see In-Place Migration for a Two-Node Cluster.

This guide also provides step-by step instructions that describe how to migrate highly available virtual machines as part of a wizard-based migration. For requirements and process steps, see Migration of Highly Available Virtual Machines Using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

noteNote
We recommend that you test your migration in a test lab environment before you migrate a clustered service or application in your production environment. To perform a successful migration, you need to understand the requirements and dependencies of the service or application and the supporting roles and features in Windows Server in addition to the processes that this migration guide describes.

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