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Upgrading Hyper-V Host to Server 2012 R2 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have two Hyper-V Hosts running Server 2012 with 4 Guests on each running a mix of 2008 R2 and Server 2012. I am in a position where I need to move to Server 2012 R2 to take advantage of larger memory capacity per VM and some other functionality but don't know the best way to license the upgrade and go about the upgrade itself.

    For licensing I thought if I purchase 4 Server 2012 R2 (2 each for each Physical Server) then that could cover all Hosts and Guests through virtualization rights. Is this correct?

    If the above is correct, then would the smartest way to upgrade be to upgrade Hosts first with a simple in place upgrade with guests shutdown? Then after each Host is upgraded then look to scope each Guest as best makes sense? A part from in place upgrades for Server 2012, I would likely perform clean installs for any 2008 R2 to 2012 R2.

    Did I miss anything?

    Monday, September 19, 2016 12:38 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    "For licensing I thought if I purchase 4 Server 2012 R2 (2 each for each Physical Server) then that could cover all Hosts and Guests through virtualization rights. Is this correct?"

    Yes. Two hosts and each with 4 VMs will require 4 Windows Server 2012 R2 licenses. You need to assign 2 licenses to each Hyper-V server.

    "If the above is correct, then would the smartest way to upgrade be to upgrade Hosts first with a simple in place upgrade with guests shutdown?"

    You can do it, if high availability for VMs is not required and you can shut them down. Remember to upgrade geust integration services after in-place upgrade. If you would like to have those VMs online during upgrade and you have sufficient resources, you can do following:

    1. Use Shared Nothing Live Migration (SNLM) to migrate VMs from "Host A" to "Host B".

    2. Upgrade "Host A".

    3. Perform SNLM for all VMs from "Host B" to "Host A".

    4. Upgrade "Host B".


    My LinkedIn profile

    • Proposed as answer by Leo Han Tuesday, September 20, 2016 1:59 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Han Friday, September 23, 2016 8:47 AM
    Monday, September 19, 2016 3:32 PM
  • Remember that licenses are legal documents.  Your best source of information about licensing is from a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.  Here is a great article that explains Hyper-V licensing - http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/virtual-machine-licensing-hyper-v/

    You can do an in-place upgrade, though it is generally recommended to perform a clean installation. On a clean installation, you would simply import the VMs back in - no need to export them first for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.  (Assuming you have the VMs stored in a non-default location).

    Not sure that Live Migration works between 2012 and 2012 R2.  Besides, it would technically put you in violation of your virtualization rights while you have 8 VMs running on one host.


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    • Proposed as answer by Leo Han Tuesday, September 20, 2016 1:59 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Han Friday, September 23, 2016 8:47 AM
    Monday, September 19, 2016 9:40 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    "For licensing I thought if I purchase 4 Server 2012 R2 (2 each for each Physical Server) then that could cover all Hosts and Guests through virtualization rights. Is this correct?"

    Yes. Two hosts and each with 4 VMs will require 4 Windows Server 2012 R2 licenses. You need to assign 2 licenses to each Hyper-V server.

    "If the above is correct, then would the smartest way to upgrade be to upgrade Hosts first with a simple in place upgrade with guests shutdown?"

    You can do it, if high availability for VMs is not required and you can shut them down. Remember to upgrade geust integration services after in-place upgrade. If you would like to have those VMs online during upgrade and you have sufficient resources, you can do following:

    1. Use Shared Nothing Live Migration (SNLM) to migrate VMs from "Host A" to "Host B".

    2. Upgrade "Host A".

    3. Perform SNLM for all VMs from "Host B" to "Host A".

    4. Upgrade "Host B".


    My LinkedIn profile

    • Proposed as answer by Leo Han Tuesday, September 20, 2016 1:59 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Han Friday, September 23, 2016 8:47 AM
    Monday, September 19, 2016 3:32 PM
  • Remember that licenses are legal documents.  Your best source of information about licensing is from a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.  Here is a great article that explains Hyper-V licensing - http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/virtual-machine-licensing-hyper-v/

    You can do an in-place upgrade, though it is generally recommended to perform a clean installation. On a clean installation, you would simply import the VMs back in - no need to export them first for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.  (Assuming you have the VMs stored in a non-default location).

    Not sure that Live Migration works between 2012 and 2012 R2.  Besides, it would technically put you in violation of your virtualization rights while you have 8 VMs running on one host.


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    • Proposed as answer by Leo Han Tuesday, September 20, 2016 1:59 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Han Friday, September 23, 2016 8:47 AM
    Monday, September 19, 2016 9:40 PM