Introduction to Windows Server 2012 Migration Tools

imageOne of the fantastic tools we included in Windows Server 2012 are the migration tools.  If you are familiar with Windows Server 2008 R2, then you are familiar with these tools.  The tools can easily help you to migrate either to a Windows Server 2012 full installation or a server core installation as your destination.  You also have a wide variety of flexibility in what is the source of your migration.  You can migrate from:

  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (x86 or x64)
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (x86 or x64)
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 (x86 or x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 (Full installation)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (Full installation or Core)
  • Windows Server 2012 (Full installation or Core)

The migration tools will allow you to migrate a variety of roles and services.

As you can see these tools are extremely powerful.  Before you can start to use these tools you first have to install the tools.  To install the tools you will follow this basic procedure:

  1. Installing Windows Server Migration Tools on destination servers that run Windows Server 2012.
  2. Creating deployment folders on destination servers that run Windows Server 2012
  3. Copying deployment folders from destination servers to source servers.
  4. Registering Windows Server Migration Tools on source servers.

Install the Windows Server 2012 Migration Tools

imageYou can install the Server Migration tools either via PowerShell or the Add Roles and Features wizard on your destination server.  To install the tools a core server you will have to use PowerShell.  The following cmdlet will install the migration tools on Server1.  Make sure you are in an administrative tools session:

Install-WindowsFeature Migration –ComputerName Server1

Creating and Copy Deployment Folders for the to Source Servers

After you have installed the tools on your Windows Server 2012 you will then create a folder with the tools and then copy them down to your source servers.  When you install the migration tools you get the full set of tools for all the supported source servers.  So you will have tools for Windows Server 2003 x86 and tools for Windows Server 2008 R2.  So when you create your deployment folder you will have to know what your source servers are so you can install the proper tools.  Once you know the source server OS, then complete the following procedure from an administrative cmd prompt:

  1. Navigate to the ServerMigrationTools directory located in the system32 folder:  cd %Windir%\System32\ServerMigrationTools\ 
  2. To create a deployment folder in the d:\deploy directory for the x64 version of Windows Server 2003 run the following command:
    SmigDeploy.exe /package /architecture amd64 /os WS03 /path d:\deploy

    This will create a folder in the deployment path directory that will follow this structure.  SMT_<Operating System>_<Architecture>  For the above example the folder name would be SMT_WS03_amd64This contains the tools for your source operating system.  For the other operating system choices look to this article for the full list of commands: Install, Use, and Remove Windows Server Migration Tools 
  3. Copy the directory you just created to the source servers to a local directory.

Register Server Migration Tools

Once the tools have been copied to the source servers from the destination servers, you will then need to register them.  Prior to registering them there you may need to install some pre-requisites on the servers.  They will differ based the source servers OS.   Here is a list for more details take a look here:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 source server
    • Verify that the source server has sufficient disk space (at least 23 MB) to store the Windows Server Migration Tools deployment folder.
  • Windows Server 2008 source server
    • Verify that the source server has sufficient disk space (at least 23 MB) to store the Windows Server Migration Tools deployment folder.
    • Install Windows PowerShell by using Server Manager or by running the Server Manager command prompt tool, ServerManagerCmd.exe. For more information about how to add features to the server by using ServerManagerCmd.exe, see Overview of Server Manager Commands in the Windows Server 2008 Server Manager Help.
  • Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2 source server
    • Verify that the source server has sufficient disk space (at least 25 MB) to store the Windows Server Migration Tools deployment folder.
    • Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is available for download from the Microsoft Web site.
    • Download and install Windows PowerShell 1.0, or a later version. Windows PowerShell 1.0 is available for download from the Microsoft Web site.

When your ready to register tools, you just need to open an administrative console on your source server, navigate to the directory you copied the tools into and run the following command:

.\Smigdeploy.exe

After you register the tools, then you can begin the migration process.  This process will vary depending the roles you are trying to migrate and for detail directions take a look here:

Remove the Server Migration Tools

When your done with the migration tools you easily remove the tools.  On you destination Windows Server 2012 systems, you can remove them via the remove roles and features tools or with this PowerShell command, the command would remove the tools from server1:

Uninstall-WindowsFeature Migration –ComputerName server1

On your destination servers you will need to first unregister the tools.  Navigate to your migration tools directory and run the following command from and administrative command prompt:

SmigDeploy.exe /unregister

After you have unregister the tools you can then simply delete the folder and the contents.