UPDATE: I'm updating this article to also include a new Step-by-Step video and migration guide that was recently released by our Cluster team to provide guidance for using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate CLUSTERS of Hyper-V Server hosts from 2008 R2 to 2012, in addition to the other migration scenarios previously included in this article below.
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Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 is our completely FREE Type-1 hypervisor product. Unlike some other competing free hypervisors, Hyper-V Server 2012 has the same virtualization scale and availability features as the Hyper-V role in licensed editions of Windows Server 2012 ( 4TB Physical RAM, 320 Logical Processors, and MORE ), but it's optimized for running only the Hyper-V hypervisor on bare metal. It's a great solution when you're looking to deploy dedicated hypervisor hosts within your shop. The result? An enterprise-scale type-1 hypervisor for FREE! You can get more details on Hyper-V Server 2012 here.
Recently, I was involved in a project that was migrating from Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 to Hyper-V Server 2012. Due to architectural changes involved in implementing the new features in Hyper-V Server 2012, a direct in-place upgrade is not possible. However, the across-the-wire migration process we used below was straight-forward and worked very well. A ton of work has been done by the product team on improving the virtual machine export/import process, and we definitely saw this area shine during our project. Here's the migration steps we used:
If you have multiple Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 hosts that you are migrating, you can perform this same set of migration steps for each host - one at a time - and, after each host is migrated, rebuild the old source host as a new Hyper-V Server 2012 box for migrating the VMs from your next Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 machine.
When migrating Hyper-V Server clusters ( or general Windows Server failover clusters, for that matter ), you can leverage our Migrate a Cluster Wizard included within the Failover Cluster Manager tool ( part of Windows Server 2012 and also included in the FREE Remote Server Admin Toolkit ). This wizard steps through the end-to-end process of validating, testing and migrating clustered roles from old Cluster to new Cluster, providing a streamlined solution for a managed cross-Cluster migration and fallback process.
Watch this step-by-step video for the details on leveraging this wizard for your migration strategy ...
Download this video for offline viewing.
Ready to try this yourself? Leverage this Step-by-Step Guide from our Cluster team to work through the process:
If you're migrating VM's from a VMware host, rather than using the middle set of migration steps for exporting VMs, you can instead use the new FREE Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter solution accelerator tool. This tool provides a streamlined conversion process that accomplishes the following tasks in the migration process:
These steps have worked well for me in migrating to Hyper-V Server 2012, but please feel free to share your migration tips in the comments below if you've migrated differently so that we can grow our set of migration "best practices" together.
Hope this helps!
Be sure to check out these additional resources:
Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT Pros worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.