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Windows 2003 File Server Migration to Windows 2008R2 on VmWare

Posted on 2013-12-08
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Last Modified: 2014-02-14
Hi,

We have a VM file server on Windows 2003 and we would like to move the data to a new Windows 2008 R2 file server.

The data resides on the D and E drives (vmdk disk files) can I remove the vmdk disks and add to the new Windows 2008r2 VM and keep the same file server name and share names.


Any thoughts on this regards to best method with minimal disruption?
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Question by:lhrslsshahi
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 39704513
Yes - Just don't forget anyone who has UNC paths mapped to these drives/folders will need DNS changing to reflect the move.

Pete
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:renazonse
ID: 39704515
As long as you intend to completely decommission the 03 server I would see no issue with that. I've used this method for moving around data from server to server a number of times.
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Expert Comment

by:ZabagaR
ID: 39704532
I'm assuming you'll keep the same machine name on the new 2008R2 server. That would certainly make it much easier! For VMWARE - make sure you do not have any snapshots of the disks you're planning to move to the new 2008R2 machine. If you do, make sure to remove them beforehand!

Use this as a quick guideline:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1000936
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39704533
If I am keeping the same file server name why would I need to do anything with DNS?

Plan of works

Take Windows 2003 file server down and take off domain.
Remove vmdk disks and add to Windows 2008 R2 VM
Change computer name to the same as the old Windows 2003 file server

Do I not need to do anything with the file shares or should they work on the new file server?
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Expert Comment

by:ZabagaR
ID: 39704555
You will have to recreate the shares. the shares are at the OS level. so when you bring the disks onto the new 2008 system the shares won't exist.

You should be able to do a test migration before you cut over for good. You could take the 2003 server down to copy the vmdk files then bring the 2003 server back up. add the disks to the 2008 server and keep it isolated...check permissions, shares, etc....so you know how it will behave when you do it next time for real.

You may have network equipment or machines where you have to clear their ARP cache after the switch. Rebooting takes care of that or running command to clear the cache.
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Expert Comment

by:renazonse
ID: 39704560
You will have to recreate the shares on the new server with the same share names.

Great point by ZabagaR. Definitely remove all snapshots from these drives first.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39704599
By simply moving VMDK files won't work, you need to make proper plan and preparation
How your share folders are mapped on client computers ? with IP or Hostnames ?
You can move those VMDK files to new server with below approach hopefully

1st note down the drive letters on 2003 server for those vmdk files (D and E in your case)

Export 2003 server shares registry key from below path and copy it to some safe location other than file server.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares]

Shutdown the 2003 server VM

Detach both VMDK files from 2003 server

Reset computer account for 2003 server in active directory

Join new 2008 R2 server to active directory as member server with same hostname and IP address as 2003 server and reboot. Check if you are able to resolve server hostname and IP address correctly

Again Shutdown the 2008 R2 server and attach vmdk files above with same drive letter as 2003 server (D and E in your case) and start the server.

merge server share registry exported above on 2008 Server. This will restore all existing share permissions on 2008 R2 server.
NTFS permissions are already there on folders in VMDK files
Hopefully users should be able to access share folders as appropriate with any issue.
If everything is works perfect, you can use 2003 server with different hostname and IP for some else purpose.

Fall Back Plan
If above plan fails, just shutdown 2008 R2 member server
Detach both VMDK files from him and attach to 2003 server
Reset file server computer account in active directory
Start 2003 file server and logon to server with local administrator account
disjoin server from domain and re-join to domain and reboot the server
Now users should be able to access share folders as usual

OR

You can simply use MS FSMT or Robocopy to copy data from old server to new server and then just swap IP and Hostname of old 2003 server with new 2008 server

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=10268 - FSMT

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_28302154.html#a39671791  - Robocopy

Lastly I suggest you to test all above plans 1st prior to deploy in production to validate its functionality

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39704656
Mahesh,
Sounds like a proper plan by importing share registry keys on the new server it will create the shares and set necessary permissions?
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39704678
Yes, provided that physical folders are present on the server with same drive and path as source.

You can test for confirmation..

Mahesh
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LVL 117
ID: 39704719
ACLs will already be on the NTFS disk.

Make sure you have a Backup befoer you start ALL this!

Full Backup not a Snapshot!

The number of times, we have seen VMware Admins, do the simplest of things and "cock it up" e.g. like detach a VMDK, and add to a different server!
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Expert Comment

by:ZabagaR
ID: 39704817
If you copy the lanman reg key for shares are you going to also retain share permissions?
Or just the setting that its shared? I'd test that ahead of time.
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Expert Comment

by:CraigFrost
ID: 39705186
You get both shares and security from the reg key export
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39707198
Now it's just a matter of testing! :-)
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39807566
Will keep on hold for now as the migration has been pushed back until April
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39807588
Not Sure if EE will allow you to keep question open for such a long duration

Mahesh
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39848753
Just need some more time
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Accepted Solution

by:
Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39849237
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Author Comment

by:lhrslsshahi
ID: 39860146
Thanks for your assistance guys
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