2012 cluster -> 2019 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    What is the most efficient way of migrating VMs on a 2012 cluster to a 2019 cluster?


    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 10:47 AM

All replies

  • Depends on network speed and number of VMs.  If you have a reasonable network speed, you could live migrate across the network.  But it might be faster to rebuild the VMs on the 2019 cluster by copying the VM files to removable media and importing them on the new system.


    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 12:12 PM
  • Thanks.

    Network speed won't be a problem/bottleneck. I take it then that you can LM between 2 distinct clusters?

    So I could stand up a brand new 2019 cluster and LM straight to that. Obviously I can't directly add 2019 nodes to the existing 2012 cluster.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 12:15 PM
  • Yes, you can LM between separate clusters.  Always been able to.

    2012 R2 VMs are at version 5.  2016/2019 are at a later version. 2016/2019 understand version 5, but 2012 R2 cannot understand the versions coming from 2016 to 2019, so your live migration won't work from 2019 to 2012 R2 unless you do not upgrade integration components when the machine is moved to 2019.  But if you don't upgrade integration components, you don't get the all the new features available on 2019.

    Personally, for an upgrade like you are talking about, I would most likely move the files to the new cluster and recreate the VMs.  Then I know I have a 'clean' VM.  I'm always cautious about possible artifacts of any conversion process.  And if done during a maintenance cycle for VMs that may 'need' live migration, the process of creating a new VM with the transferred files would take about the same time, maybe even less, than a live migration.


    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 1:00 PM
  • Thanks again.

    I will never need to go from 2019 to 2012 as this is to decommission the 2012 nodes. I have hundreds of VMs to move :)

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 1:25 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in our Technet forum!

    About your question, we offer you two method:

    1.Live migration your VM. First you have to create a new cluster on Windows 2019 server using Failover Cluster Manager. Then start the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate the VM in the original cluster to the target cluster. After that, you will see the migrated VM under the Role in the target cluster.

    The specific operations are included in this link:

    2.Recreate VM. First you have to install Windows 2019 server. Next create a new cluster. Then, use the virtual hard disk in the original VM to create new VM in the new cluster.

    These two methods both can help you migrate the VM. Personally, I suggest recreating VM as it takes less time than live migration and live migration requires VM to stay up and operational.


    Best Regards,


    • Edited by Ariana Zhang Thursday, July 2, 2020 7:58 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Ariana Zhang Monday, July 6, 2020 3:30 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Ariana Zhang Monday, July 6, 2020 3:30 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Ariana Zhang Wednesday, July 8, 2020 7:06 AM
    Thursday, July 2, 2020 7:57 AM
  • Then use a combination of recreating and Live Migration.  Again, personal preference, I would recreate any business critical VMs as 2019 VMs instead of live migrating and upgrading from version 5.  Live migration and upgrading can be done and is totally supported, but for business critical applications, I would rather simply recreate with the VHDs from the current VMs.

    For non-critical, and VMs that can be quickly created from scratch if something does go wrong, use live migration.

    Just a personal preference.  But I like to be cautious if I have hundreds of VMs to move and my business is dependent upon them.


    Thursday, July 2, 2020 1:36 PM
  • Hi,

    Just want to confirm the current situations.

    Please feel free to let us know if you need further assistance.   

    Best regards,


    Monday, July 6, 2020 2:01 AM
  • Hi,

    Is your problem solved? If you use our solution to solve the problem, please mark it as an answer to help other community members quickly find useful responses. If you use your own solution to solve the problem, please share your experience and solutions here. It is also very helpful for other community members with similar problems. If not, please reply and tell us what's going on to provide further assistance.

    Best regards,


    Wednesday, July 8, 2020 7:06 AM