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Server 2008 R2 clustering across Enterprise and Datacenter

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-04-17
I have a 2008 R2 Core Cluster using Datacenter hosting a variety of VMs and now we would like to move to Enterprise as the platform for the cluster.  It would be best if we didn't have to stop the system to do this. I was thinking of adding an Enterprise box and adding it to the cluster and then replicating to it and then killing the original Datacenter boxes and then creating another Enterprise box and cluster to it.  Is there a way to cluster between Datacenter and Enterprise?  If not that can we live migrate from a Datacenter cluster to an Enterprise cluster?
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Question by:lineonecorp
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 200 total points
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It will work mixing Datacenter and Enterprise, and does not affect CSV or live migration functionality, but it's not supported.

It's not supported because,  you will receive an error message stating this, when you run the Cluster validation tests as part of the cluster setup.

If it does not pass cluster validation it's not a supported configuration.

See here

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943984
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950179
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732181(WS.10).aspx
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by:Netflo
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Hi,

In answer to your question, no. See the answer by an MVP here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2highavailability/thread/2a44d063-34f7-445b-956e-e87cdc5a6ad0

To accomplish your scenario, I would create another 2 host cluster connected to the same (if your SAN permits) or different shared storage. Then migrate the VMs from the old cluster to new. You're not going to be able to utilise live migrate, so a window of downtime will be required. I would also recommend merging any snapshots you have of your VMs to reduce their storage footprint. For moving your VMs, I would recommend using MS SCVMM or installing a trial for the purpose of the move to simply the export / import procedure.

Best of luck!
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by:lineonecorp
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Actually reading the link from netflo it 'validates' hancocka's answer - it works but it is not supported per the MVP responding to the question in the link I am just wondering if hancocka has actually tried it  The links did bring up another issue - clustering between Core and GUI versions - is it possible even if not supported? And yet another twist - as I understand, I can cluster between HypeV Server and a full-2008 R2 Core Server. Would I be able to cluster HyperV to 2008 R2 GUI?  The scenario in that case could possibly be - cluster 2008 R2 Data Centre Core to HyperV Server and then cluster HyperV server to Windows 2008 Server Enterprise R2 GUI  0 doable - even if not supported?   Would DPM be useful in these cross platform situations?
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by:Netflo
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What I've found from answering questions on EE, especially related to clustering is that many times I've seen IT admins put non validated clusters into production, then wonder why certain features such as live migration not work. This is a classic example of over looking the important steps and messages you are presented with during the cluster creation and just pressing next, next, next finish.

Ultimately its your choice, you have full responsibility for your production environment and should things go wrong or not as expected, Microsoft or EE Experts will first ask you to get your cluster into a supported configuration. If you've over looked this and got yourself into a little mess, then I'm afraid there is not anything we can do or provide a quick fix to make it work. Remember that when something is not supported, there is a reason why and essentially you could bring down your whole cluster and be scratching your head or get into a panic. I cannot stress enough to stay clear of that!

Yes you could use DPM to take a backup of the VMs and restore to another cluster too.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 200 total points
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Yes we have tried and it does work in the lab, other than cluster validation fails. I would not use to migrate if this is a Production environment.
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by:lineonecorp
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Thanks for the further info. Just to be clear I share the philosophy of testing before trying so I would not do this without having set up a lab to test - the reason I ask on here is that I want to make sure that there is some feasibility to what I am trying so that when I do try I will know whether what I am seeing is 'my problem' or a 'common known problem'.  
Netflo:

You write:

"Yes you could use DPM to take a backup of the VMs and restore to another cluster too."

Could this be done live?
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by:Netflo
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Forget the concept of live. Backup VM, turn off. Restore VM to new cluster, done.
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