Migration Options for Hardware with Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008

Migration Options for Hardware with Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008

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Hi Cluster Fans,

 

Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2008 no longer supports the traditional “rolling upgrade” which you may be familiar with from Windows Server 2003.  This has given the impression that you will not be able to reuse your hardware.   That is not true – with clustering’s built-in ‘Migrate a Cluster Wizard’, you have the flexibility to reuse your hardware, reuse your storage, use new hardware or use new storage. 

 

To add some background, let’s first review the “rolling upgrade” process.

 

 

“Rolling Upgrade” from 2000 to 2003

 

Here’s an overview of the process which was used in the past to allow you to reuse your hardware:

·         You have 1 cluster with 2 nodes: Node1 (2000), Node2 (2000)

·         Move all your resources to Node2 (2000)

·         Pause Node1 in the cluster, then upgrade Node1 (now 2003)

·         Move all your resources to Node1 (2003)

·         Evict Node2 (2000) from the cluster then upgrade Node2 (now 2003)

·         Now all of your 2000 resource groups will be on your new Windows Server 2003 cluster: Node1 (2003), Node2 (2003)

 

If you want to use new hardware, just join those new nodes (2003) to the old cluster (2000), move the resources to the new nodes (2003), then evict the old nodes (2000).  Now all of your Windows 2000 Server resource groups will be on your new Windows Server 2003 cluster.  More information is available here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782024.aspx

 

Failover Clustering does NOT support this upgrade/migration path in Windows Server 2008 due to the significant architectural changes which breaks backwards compatibility (you cannot have a 2003 node and a 2008 node in the same cluster).  But don’t worry – our Migrate a Cluster Wizard will help you out!

 

 

Migrate a Cluster Wizard from 2003 to 2008

 

When you migrate from a Windows Server 2003 cluster to Windows Server 2008 cluster you should use the built-in Migrate a Cluster Wizard.  If you wish to reuse the same hardware (including storage hardware), each component must be logoed for Windows Server 2008 and pass the built-in “Validate a Configuration…” tests. 

 

If you want to use new hardware, here’s an overview of the migration process:

·         You have 2 clusters: OldCluster (2003), NewCluster (2008)

·         In the Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering Management snap-in (CluAdmin.msc), connect to NewCluster (2008)

·         From NewCluster (2008), click ‘Migrate Services and Applications…’ to launch the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

o   Point to your Windows Server 2003 cluster, OldCluster (2003), and walk through the wizard

o   If you want to use new storage, select the new disk in Available Storage, otherwise it is assumed that you are reusing your storage

o   Complete the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

·         Now all of your 2003 resource groups will be on NewCluster (2008)

o   Each resource group will need to be onlined to start functioning

 

But what if you want to reuse your hardware?  Well although we do not support the traditional “rolling upgrade” you can perform a hybrid migration/upgrade, allowing you to reuse all your hardware, assuming each component is logoed for Windows Server 2008 and will pass the built-in “Validate a Configuration…” tests.

 

If you are reusing all your hardware, here’s an overview of the migration process:

·         You have 1 cluster (OldCluster, 2003) with 2 nodes: Node1 (2003) and Node2 (2003)

·         Failover every resource group to Node2 (2003)

·         Evict Node1 (2003) from OldCluster (2003)

·         Upgrade Node1 (2003) to Windows Server 2008 (Node1 is now 2008)

·         Create a 1-node cluster on Node1 (2008), which we will call NewCluster (2008)

·         From NewCluster (2008), click ‘Migrate Services and Applications…’ to launch the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

o   Point to your Windows Server 2003 cluster, OldCluster (2003), and walk through the wizard

o   If you want to use new storage, select the new disk in Available Storage, otherwise it is assumed that you are reusing your storage

o   Complete the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

·         Now all your 2003 resource groups will be on NewCluster (2008)

o   Each resource group will need to be onlined to start functioning

·         After you are sure that the resources are stable in 2008, destroy OldCluster (2003)

·         Upgrade Node2 (2003) to Windows Server 2008 (Node2 is now 2008)

·         Add Node2 (2008) to NewCluster (2008)

·         You now have a 2-node cluster, NewCluster (2008), running Windows Server 2008 on the same hardware

 

While this adds a few steps to the migration process, it gives you the flexibility to reuse your hardware.

 

 

FAQs:

·         Can I migrate to different architectures (ia64, x64, x86)?

o   Yes, this is fully supported

·         Can I directly upgrade a cluster node from 2003 to 2008?

o   No, you must first evict it from the cluster: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;935197

·         Do you have any more information on the Migrate a Cluster Wizard?

o   Here is a step-by-step guide for migration: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754481.aspx

·         Can I migration from a 2008 cluster to another 2008 cluster?

o   No, this is not supported

·         Can I migrate a File Server from a single machine (2003) to a cluster (2008)?

o   Yes, however you must use the File Server Migration Toolkit (FSMT).  It does not support migration for other workloads.  

o   FSMT v1.0 works for NT4/Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2003, available here:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/upgrading/nt4/tooldocs/msfsc.mspx

o   FSMT v1.1, now in Beta, works for Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008.  Contact FSMTBeta@microsoft.com for more information.

·         Can I migrate every highly-available workload?

o   No.  We support migration for DFS-Namespace (DFS-N), DHCP, File Server, Generic Application, Generic Script, Generic Service, and WINS.   We do NOT support migration for (MS)DTC, Exchange, Hyper-V, iSNS, MSMQ, NFS, Other Server, Print, or SQL.  However Exchange, Hyper-V, Print and SQL have their own migration processes which are cluster-aware and will allow you to migrate from a 2003 cluster to a 2008 cluster.

 

 

Best of luck with your migration to Windows Server 2008.

 

Thanks,

Symon Perriman

Program Manager

Clustering & HA

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