Migrate 2003 VM to Server 2012r2


We have a server 2003r2 VM that we want to migrate to 2012r2 on vSphere 5.ou3. It's just storing files so no apps installed. It's quite a big VM and we don't have a bunch of spare space on the SAN to build another large VM and run in paralell while we migrate the data across

What's the best/easiest way to do this?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm sorry but you cannot upgrade Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2, it's not supported.

So you will need to install a new Windows 2012 R2 Server, and once completed, add the existing virtual disk, to this new server.

You will have to re-create any shares, but the ACL NTFS permissions on the disk will remain intact.
AbhilashConnect With a Mentor BloggerCommented:
THe best way would be to spin up a new Windows 2012 server and then add the existing Data disks to the new VM. This way you will not be building two machines with large disks but you will have your old machine and you will build a new Windows 2012 machine with Just OS disk and move the data disks to the 2012 VM

I Assume you don't have the data in one single disk with OS. If that is the case then you will have to copy the data using other methods.

Also to point out, Windows 2012 R2 will not be available as an OS option in vSphere client yet.
You will have to select Windows 2012 (64 Bit) and install it.
kswan_expertAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andrew, that sounds promising. There's a few shares but easy enough to recreate. So we could:

Build (offline) the new server with same name.
Take old sever off domain.
Add new server to domain with same name.
Reattach the drives. (Never done this, what's the best way to do this in vsphere?)
Do i need to be aware of anything more? Back

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kswan_expertAuthor Commented:
Thanks Abhilash Hb also. Just saw your post and i replied to Andrew.
Yup the steps that you have mentioned are correct.
In vSphere you don't have to Anything complicated.
Finish Building the VM's and the domain part. Once you are ready you can GO to New VM>Edit Settings>Add>New Hard disk.
While you add it be sure to select the "Use an existing Disk" and point it to the location of the data disk of 2003.

Make sure the 2003 VM is off as it will lock the VMDk if its on and you won't be able to add it to the New VM.
Also, make sure you do not have any snapshots on 2003 VM.
kswan_expertAuthor Commented:
Cheers Abhilash, seems pretty straight forward. And being a 2003 vm and attaching to a 2012 shouldn't be an issue?
Dumb  question - Once it's all working OK in the new VM i need to remove from old VM right?

Plus I guess i should add and remove the VM from our Veeam backups too?

Any other gotchas?
I don't think it would cause any issues as they are all NTFS disks.
You will have your disks in New VM now once you finish adding the disks,
The 2003 machine will be a VM with just OS disk. If you do not need it you can discard it.

Yes you need to remove the old one and add the new one if you need the backup protection for the new one.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Just make sure you have a valid full backup of the 2003 VM before you start.
kswan_expertAuthor Commented:
Will do. Thanks guys.
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