Problem:  Currently situation is two Server 2008R2 hosts need upgrading to Server 2012R2.  Fit a new host (as host3, also Server 2012R2) and fit a new core switch to link up the equipment with 10GB Cards to the core switch.  Migrate the three most network intensive VM’s to the new server to relieve stress on the current two hosts & configure networking appropriately.
Solution:  OK first up, re-do the cabinet.  The cabinet I found at this customer was horrendous.  Sorting this out took me around 3-4 hours.  Here’s a before and after shot:
Quite a lot of cursing later I had a slightly better, neatly organised, colour co-ordinated cabinet.  I’m not saying its perfect, but its a lot better than what it was. Why people chose to use 2 metre cables when all that is needed are 6 inch patch leads I will never know.
Next I fitted the new core Switch and new server into the second cab along with the original two hosts.  The new server was built with Server 2012R2.  Here’s the setup:
Host 1: HP Proliant DL 360 G7.  48GB RAM.  300GB RAID1 O/S Drive (Server 2008 R2).  1TB RAID5 VM Disk.
Host 2: HP Proliant DL 360 G7.  48GB RAM.  300GB RAID1 O/S Drive (Server 2008 R2).  1TB RAID5 VM Disk. 1TB RAID 1 File Server Data Store.
(New Host) Host 3: HP Proliant DL 360 G9.  64GB RAM.  146GB RAID1 O/S Drive (Server 2012 R2).  2TB RAID5 VM Disk
Next, in-place upgrade host 1 and host2 to Server 2012R2.  So I insert the DVD into a USB DVDRAM drive and place it in the server (note this is after I have spent some time running windows update until there are no available updates for my system.  I did this on host 1 and 2 and it took some time) then follow the simple instructions on screen.
…I chose not to do updates as I’d already done them (important).  I chose the upgrade option (be careful here!) then clicked on install…  Then I simply say back whilst it did its thing. I’m surprised actually that the process was so easy.
Once completed I now need to migrate the VM’s.  So I open up Hyper-V management console on host1 and go into the settings.
On the ‘Live Migrations section I selected to “Enable Incoming and outgoing live migrations” and to “Use any available network for live migration”
Rinse and repeat on the other hosts so things are ready to rock.
Once that’s sorted (and after I had set up my Virtual Network on the 3rd host, I then opted to chose a VM I wanted to move and select “Move…” From the right click options on the VM.  The wizard I was presented with was very straight forward.

  • Select the server I want to move to
  • What files do I want to move and to where
  • When moved over which VSwitch should the VM use.

..Then click go and sit back and wait.
All in all a very simple and straight forward procedure although I hit two snags.
Error setting up Live Migrations
The 3rd host would not allow me to configure it for Live Migrations throwing the following error.

Deleting this file: C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\MachineRegistry.pol  sorted the error
Error upgrading the 1st host.
Despite host1 and host2 being identical machines, host1 refused to upgrade as simply as host2 did.  After multiple attempts I removed the recent addition of a 10GB card as this was showing in Device Manager as not having the correct drivers.  Host2 had exactly the same card in and had no issues so this was a bit puzzling but I guess the moral of the error is to check (and if needed remove) any recently added hardware before the upgrade and/or check Device Manager for objects that don’t have the correct driver.
After clearing these two errors, the process ran as it should.  After configuring my network properly things now run a lot better.