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How to Upgrade to a Highly Available VMM Management Server


Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager

If you are running System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager on two or more nodes of a cluster, configured with high availability, you can use this information to perform an upgrade of the VMM management servers in the cluster to highly available VMM management servers for System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). You need to perform the upgrade procedure below on all the nodes that you want to upgrade.

Before beginning the upgrade process, review “Highly Available Planning Considerations” in the Planning Considerations for highly available VMM topic.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, on the computer that you are configuring is the minimum required to complete this procedure.


To avoid any loss of important data, before you upgrade VMM, we highly recommend that you perform a full backup on your VMM database.

To prepare for high availability upgrade

  1. Uninstall System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager from the nodes of the cluster that you want to upgrade, while choosing to retain the database.

  2. Note the name of your cluster, and then destroy the cluster.

  3. Upgrade the operating system to Windows Server 2012. See Download Windows Server 2012 (do not use a VHD for this upgrade). During the Windows upgrade, choose the upgrade option, not a fresh installation, to retain data.

  4. After upgrading the operating system on all the nodes in the cluster that you want to upgrade, recreate the cluster.

  5. Use the next procedure on each node that you want to upgrade to install VMM for System Center 2012 SP1 using the retained database.

To upgrade to a highly available VMM management server

  1. On the VMM management server, on which System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager is running, start the Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager Setup Wizard by double-clicking setup.exe on your product media or network share.

  2. On the main setup page, click Install.

  3. On the Select features to install page, select the VMM management server check box, and Client if you want to upgrade the client, and then click Next.

  4. Setup detects that you are installing the VMM management server on a computer that is a member of a cluster. Click Yes in the dialog box to confirm that a cluster node is detected and that you want to install the management server and make it highly available.

  5. On the Product registration information page, provide the appropriate information, and then click Next. If you do not enter a product key, VMM will be installed as an evaluation version that expires in 180 days after installation.

  6. On the Please read this license agreement page, review the license agreement, and if you agree with the terms select the I have read, understood, and agree with the terms of the license agreement check box, and then click Next.

  7. On the Join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) page, select either option, and then click Next.

  8. On the Microsoft Update page, select whether or not you want to use Microsoft Update, and then click Next.


    If you have previously chosen to use Microsoft Update on this computer, the Microsoft Update page does not appear.

  9. On the Installation location page, use the default path or type a different installation path for the VMM program files, and then click Next.

    The computer on which you are upgrading is checked to ensure that the appropriate hardware and software requirements are met. If a prerequisite is not met, a page appears with information about which prerequisite has not been met and how to resolve the issue. If all prerequisites have been met, the Database configuration page appears.

    For information about hardware and software requirements for VMM, see System Requirements for System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager.

  10. On the Database configuration page, do the following:

    • Specify the name of the computer that is running SQL Server. If you are installing the VMM management server on the same computer that is running SQL Server, in the Server name box, either type the name of the computer (for example, vmmserver01) or type localhost.

    • Specify the port to use for communication with the computer that is running SQL Server, if all of the following conditions are true:

      • SQL Server is running on a remote computer.

      • The SQL Server Browser service is not started on that remote computer.

      • SQL Server is not using the default port of 1433.

      Otherwise, leave the Port box empty.

    • Select or type the name of the instance of SQL Server to use.

    • Select Existing Database, and enter the name of the database that you backed up from your System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager installation.

    • Check Use the following credentials and provide the user name and password of an account that has the appropriate permissions to access the database.

    Click Next.

  11. When you are prompted whether to upgrade the database that you specified, click Yes.

  12. On the Configure service account and distributed key management page, specify the account that will be used by the System Center Virtual Machine Manager service. When you are installing a highly available VMM management server, choose a domain account.

    Under Distributed Key Management, select whether to store encryption keys in Active Directory directory services (AD DS). When you are installing a highly available VMM management server, choose the distributed key management option.

    Click Next to continue.


    Choose your service account and distributed key management settings carefully. For more information, see Choosing Service Account and Distributed Key Management Settings During an Upgrade.

  13. On the Port configuration page, provide unique port numbers for each feature as appropriate for your environment, and then click Next.

  14. On the Library configuration page, choose whether to use an existing library share or to create a new one, and then enter the library configuration information.

  15. On the Upgrade compatibility report, review the information and do one of the following:

    • Click Cancel to exit the upgrade and resolve the noted issues.

    • Click Next to proceed with the upgrade.

  16. On the Installation summary page, review your selections and do one of the following:

    • Click Previous to change any selections.

    • Click Install to upgrade the VMM server.

    After you click Install, the Installing features page appears and upgrade progress is displayed.

  17. On the Setup completed successfully page, click Close to finish the installation.

    To open the VMM console, ensure that the Open the VMM console when this wizard closes check box is selected. Alternatively, you can click the Virtual Machine Manager Console icon on the desktop.

For information about connecting to a highly available VMM management server by using the VMM console, see How to Connect to a Highly Available VMM Management Server by Using the VMM Console.

To install a VMM management server on an additional node of the cluster, see How to Install a VMM Management Server on an Additional Node of a Cluster.

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