Changing new VM computer name to same name as old VM concerns

Hi Experts,

We have a virtual server (in VMware) running windows server 2008 Standard SP2 which also has Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2 and SAPB1 ERP software installed. It’s a member server not DC.

We soon need to upgrade the SAPB1 software to a newer version. However ideally we would like the new version of SAP clean installed along with a clean install of SQL server 2012 on a new clean VM running Windows server 2008 R2 & then import a backup copy of our SQL database but rather than the new VM having a different computer name we thought it might be good to keep it the same computer name as the current virtual server.

The reason being is because we have a number of crystal reports and some access databases that all reference the SQL database / i.e reference the server name so it would take some time changing and testing all of these if the new server has a different name.

Our initial idea is to first change current VM server name to oldserver and then name the new VM the same name as the old server and then install the software.
My question is…..Is there anything else that we would need to change in Active directory / SQL /elsewhere to maintain the same server name on the new VM? And ensure the same reports /Access DB would continue to work.

Thanks
Kevin
kevin1983Asked:
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Sumit GuptaSystem and Virtualization EngineerCommented:
Just remove server from active directory and then register server with old name. rest is all perfectly fine.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
There are certainly some applications that don't handle a server rename very well. In most cases, it is easier and safer to simply use a CNAME record set with the old server name pointing to the new server. Then old references continue to work as expected as they will simply get redirected to the new server.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
You will break SQL if you change the name and do nothing else. Please follow the steps to ensure that SQL will function properly after the computer name change.

http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2525/steps-to-change-the-server-name-for-a-sql-server-machine/

Thanks

Will.
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kevin1983Author Commented:
Setting up a CNAME record sounds like it could be a good option. Sounds like simply removing old server from AD might not work?

...so if new VM is all setup and given a completely new computer name and I add a CNAME record with the old server name to point to the new server would it still break SQL if i do this?

Will- that link seems to suggest those steps would need to be done in situations when a server name was changed to a new one, but not in my case in which I wouldn't intend on using the old server once the new server is setup.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Adding a CNAME record will not break SQL. If you decide to secure your SQL transactions via SSL, you will need to make sure both server names are on the SSL certificate, but this is a more advanced scenario and is not a significant concern. Chances are you'd know if this applied to you and would be able to easily adjust accordingly.
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kevin1983Author Commented:
cgaliher - thanks for further info, No we don't currently secure SQL transactions and don't intend to anytime soon. So in summary if we do the below this should do the trick, no other configuation changes should be needed.....?

1) setup the new VM with a new computer/server name, setup clean install of SQL, SAP etc as needed, import backup of SQL DB from old VM.
2) Rename the old VM and or remove its entry from Active directory
3) then Add a CNAME record in DNS using the old server alias name and the FQDN of the new VM's server name.

then Once the CNAME is setup crystal reports / Access DB's etc should work.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
You can flip steps two and three so you can verify this works without taking the destructive step of removing the old server first.
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kevin1983Author Commented:
Ok thanks, sounds like a quick, reliable and easy solution to get around this issue.

Kevin
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