Migrating VMs from Standalone Hyper-v Host to clustered Hyper-v Host

Scenario 1: In-place migration of two standalone Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed) into clustered Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed).

Steps involved in this scenario. There will be downtime in this scenario.

  1. Delete all snapshots from VMs
  2. Update Windows Server to latest patches and hotfixes
  3. Reboot hosts
  4. Install Failover Clustering Windows Feature in both hosts
  5. Connect hosts with shared storage infrastructure either iSCSI or fibre channel
  6. Present shared storage (5GB for Quorum disk and additional disk for VMs store) to Hyper-v Hosts.
  7. Run Failover cluster Wizard, create cluster.
  8. From the failover cluster manager, Click Disk, select virtual machine storage and convert the disk to clustered share volume
  9. Open Hyper-v Manager from Server Manager, run storage migration and migrate all VM data to single location which is shared storage.
  10. Now use Configure Role Wizard from Failover Cluster Manager, Select Virtual Machine from drop down list, Select one or More VMs and migrate those VMs to Failover cluster node.
  11. Test Live migration.

Scenario 2: Migrating standalone Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed) using local storage to different Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed) cluster using shared storage.

In this scenario, clustered Windows servers doesn’t see local storage available in old Hyper-v host and old Hyper-v host doesn’t see shared storage in new Hyper-v clustered environment. There will be downtime when you migrate VMs. Delete any snapshot, backup all VMs before you proceed.

Option A: Download Veeam Backup & Replication 8 trial version, configure a VM as Veeam management server. Add Source host as standalone hyper-v host and target host as Hyper-v cluster. Replicate all the VMs. Shutdown old VMs in standalone Hyper-v Hosts, then Power on VMs in Hyper-v cluster. Delete old VMs.

Option B: Copy VHD and configuration file and save into clustered shared storage. Log on to one of the clustered hyper-v host, Open Hyper-v Manager, Import VM option to import VM. Then use Configure Role option in failover Cluster Manager in same host to migrate the VM into cluster, then Power on VM in cluster.

My recommendation: use Veeam B&R.

Scenario 3: Migrating standalone Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed) using iSCSI storage to different Windows Servers (Hyper-v role installed) cluster using fibre channel or iSCSI storage.

Option A: shutdown VMs. Present same iSCSI storage connected standalone hosts to clustered hosts. Use storage migration to migrate VMs to clustered Hosts. Then use configure role option, Failover cluster manager to migrate VMs to Hyper-v cluster.

Option B: Again use Veeam to do the job.

There are many factors/challenges when migrating VMs from standalone environment to clustered environment.

  1. iSCSI storage to Fibre Channel storage. When new cluster has host bus adapter (HBA) and old standalone host doesn’t have HBA. You can use Microsoft iSCSI initiation to fulfil the initiator requirement in new host.
  2. Fibre channel storage to iSCSI storage. There will heaps of downtime to fulfil this requirement because of new architecture. Veeam can be part of a solution.
  3. Multi-site and geographically diverse cluster will depend on MPLS or IPVPN network latency and bandwidth.

In conclusion, there is no silver bullet for individual situation. You have to consult with Microsoft partner to get a correct migration path that best fit your requirements.

About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
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