Going Hyper-V R2 – Part 1


I was chatting with Brian Bourne from CMS Consulting in Toronto about some Hyper-V R2 work that they have done recently.  In the conversation Brian shared a ton of learning's from the field on some of the Hyper-V R2 upgrades, deployments and V2V/P2V migrations.  I asked him to write up a post and he did, so much so that I had to split it into two posts.

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The release of R2 has been a major step forward for Microsoft’s virtualization strategy. It has also meant a rise in customer interest and willingness to move their data center and production servers on to the platform. Here at CMS Consulting, we’ve been offering both training and consulting services to help customers through the process. Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.

General Planning

When you plan to move to Hyper-V, the source machine is going to be one of the following:

· Virtual machine running on VMWare

· Virtual machine running on Virtual Server

· Virtual machine running on Hyper-V 2008 (R1)

· Physical machine on domain

· Physical machine off domain

If you are unsure where to start, then I strongly recommend you start by running the MAP tool and using the Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation. A key part of your migration success will be ensuring that the virtual machines perform as well or better than their physical source machines. This exercise in performance counter gathering and capacity planning is where the MAP tool can really assist you.

This entire article assumes you will be using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) to do your migration. Ideally you would own both SCVMM and System Center Operations Manager so that you can take advantage of advanced performance and resource optimization (PRO) and reporting. But here’s a tip. You can download a 180-day evaluation copy of SCVMM (the last one I downloaded showed 365 days left in the eval). The evaluation copy doesn’t appear to be crippled in any way and can be used for your migration.

Here are a few high level tips on migrating to a Hyper-V based virtual environment. Actually, it all really boils down to one thought that you have to stick in the front of your brain. “I’m cloning to new hardware”. If you think about cloning to new hardware and the various challenges that brings, you’ll be able to predict most of the failures and gotchya’s.

Upgrading from Hyper-V 2008 to 2008 R2

Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t already have Hyper-V. If you have an existing Hyper-V environment, then you’ll likely want to upgrade it in-place. Performance benefits alone should compel you. The in-place upgrade generally goes smoothly. During the compatibility check portion of the installation you’ll be warned to remove the Hyper-V role from the server and directed to KB957256. Here’s the deal. Just make sure all the VM’s are cleanly shut down and that no snapshots are left behind before you start the upgrade. If you do this, you can safely ignore the warning and proceed with an in-place upgrade. For the most part, the process is then fairly obvious with one exception. The network adapters often end up mucked up. This could mean IP addresses missing or assigned to the wrong adapter. Be sure to be physically present for the upgrade. In my experience, this seems to happen consistently when you have allowed the management operating system to share the adapter. Be careful when you “fix” this since it can be a little confusing as to which adapters are real and which ones are virtual on the host machine.

The next blog post will cover the migration aspects and look at some best practices for virtual to virtual (V2V) and physical to virtual (P2V) migrations.

Deployment Considerations for Virtualized Domain Controllers

Considerations when hosting Active Directory domain controller in virtual hosting environments

Microsoft Virtualization Solution Accelerators

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog

The System Center Virtual Machine Manager Team Blog

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