Zxian

Migrating server to new hardware - how to best retain all role setting

4 posts in this topic

I'm going to be upgrading my server to some updated hardware and I'm wondering what's the best way of retaining all of my settings regarding the roles I have installed under my server. Will Windows Backup be sufficient if I use it to save the current system state? I'm planning on doing a fresh install of 2008 R2 Standard on the system, since there will also be new storage for the OS. Ultimately, what's going to be the most painless method of getting all my roles back up and running again as they are now?

Here is a list of the currently installed roles:

  • AD*
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • File Services
  • Hyper-V*
  • Print and Document Services

Any tips and tricks would be much appreciated. :)

* I know running Hyper-V and AD on the same box isn't recommended due to timesync issues, but this is my home network and hasn't given me any trouble thus far. If there's a really big fat red flag as to why I shouldn't continue doing this, please let me know and I'll reconsider my options.

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AD stuff will come across in a system state backup, but hyper-v will need to be exported (via the command line, no less - GUI isn't complete). File Services is also more of a manual move, especially file shares and permissions there. I find it best to use a 3rd party tool for this (I prefer SecureCopy because it works and can be rented). DHCP can be backed up and restored easily, and DNS should be AD-integrated. Print services will come over with some script work (check out \Windows\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts\ on your print server).

If you can, it is 100% better to have both machines up on the domain at the same time. Otherwise, this is more like a disaster recovery exercise than a replacement.... and I'd prefer never to have to migrate to a new server like that, ever.

Ultimately, though, you'd be better off virtualizing ALL of these roles on hyper-v (assuming not a cluster)..... then server migrations would be simple VHD exports from one box, imports to another, and potentially integration component upgrades if necessary once booted on the new box. Just sayin' ;).

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That's be beauty of running ESXi. You'd just reinstall ESXi (it takes like 5 minutes and it's free) then copy the VM over. That's it. You're done. After living those "disaster recovery"-like migrations where everything it moved manually (and *so* much stuff goes wrong), you come to really appreciate just being able to copy the virtual machine over quickly and everything just works. It's like 99% less work, hassle and drama.

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I might see about restoring the roles to a VM under Hyper-V once the new build is completed. I had been told by a particular Quebecois friend that I shouldn't run Hyper-V on my DC, so that role wasn't added until after everything else was setup. I was mostly planning on replacing the core hardware (mobo/CPU/RAM/SSD), but I should be able to find a spare case and PSU somewhere for a temporary arrangement while migrating.

The storage solution would be moved from one system to another. It's my trusty 3ware 9650SE-8LPML card running my storage array. I was planning on disconnecting it from the current system, migrating the main roles over (file services are pretty simple), and then attaching it to the new server once it's up and running again. I should be able to assign the raid controller to be managed by the "guest" VM, correct? This would allow me to keep the file services role completely virtualized, if my understanding is correct.

On a similar note, would it be possible to migrate the settings to a VM on the current setup, and then simply export the VM to the new box once it's assembled?

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