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Swapping out 2003 file server cluster for 2008 standalone file server without changing name or IP

I have an immediate need to replace a pair of 2003 Enterprise servers acting as a clustered file server with a standalone 2008 file server.

We've been migrating user data off of this cluster, but the underlying disk is at risk.

I've done this before with file servers (and a SQL server) by doing the following:

1. bring up the new server and storage and join to the domain
2. restore seed data from last full backup.
3. sync data from production system to new system
4. Export share maps from production system registry
5. Import share maps on "new" file server
6. disconnect production system
7. assign IP from the (now old) production server to the new production server (to accomodate any raw ip mapping)
8. drop the NEW system from the domain, change the name to match the OLD system, and re-add to the domain
9. reboot


The above steps have worked flawlessly in the past with single servers and even a SQL server.   What I'm uneasy about is the way that server 2003 clusters interact with DNS and AD.  Specifically the way they handle the cluster object vs. unique cluster member objects, and handling a roll-back scenario.

Before we begin, I'll be shutting down the passive node.  Is there anything else I need to know about how the cluster object is treated in AD?  With the active node powered on but disconnected from the network, will I still be able to join the new standalone server to the domain using the same name?  

If not, are there specific objects I need to remove from AD prior to joining the new server?  I'd like to be able to shut down the new system, restore AD objects, and reconnect the legacy system in a 'worst case scenario' situation.

Thanks!
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Jon Brelie
Asked:
Jon Brelie
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1 Solution
 
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
> Is there anything else I need to know about how the cluster object is treated in AD?

Exporting and importing registry items from W2K3 to W2012 is not recommended especially for migrating from a cluster to standalone computer. Better use script to rebuild the network shares.

> With the active node powered on but disconnected from the network, will I still be able to join the new standalone server to the domain using the same name?

NO. the cluster nodes must first quit from the AD before another computer joining in the domain using the same computer name.

> If not, are there specific objects I need to
remove from AD prior to joining the new
server?

given above.

> I'd like to be able to shut down the new system, restore AD objects, and reconnect the legacy system in a 'worst case scenario' situation.

that's OK once all objects of the new system have been removed from the AD.

good luck.
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Jon BrelieSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Wouldn't removing the nodes from AD break my cluster configuration?

What would be the best procedure to quickly roll back to the 2003 cluster if necessary?  I'd prefer not to have to rebuild the cluster configuration.
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MaheshArchitectCommented:
Your steps are right
Check below articles on same topic with little difference
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_28358230.html

In windows 2003 and 2008 cluster account behaviour is bit different
http://msmvps.com/blogs/clusterhelp/archive/2007/06/05/teched-cluster-booth-top-questions.aspx

You can shutdown offline node with pleasure before starting migration

After you shutdown cluster machine s completely after step 6, just get into ADUC, find cluster virtual account and simply reset it
after reset, join your new 2008 server with same name to active directory as cluster virtual account (I believe you are accessing shares on cluster with cluster virtual account name)

This will change cluster virtual account to regular computer account and you can verify the same with account properties, you should see server dns name there
Check if users are able to access shares as appropriate \ map as appropriate and then you can simply remove original cluster from production systems \ format them whatever you want you can do

The another alternative is, after restoring data from backup on new server check if users are able to access new server with new name without any permissions issue and once that done, simply delete cluster completely from live production system and delete its cluster virtual account from AD and force Ad replication and join new file server with same hostname as virtual cluster name to active directory and that's all

Mahesh.
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Jon BrelieSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input.  This is scheduled for next week so I'll followup at that time.
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Jon BrelieSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Okay, so we postponed a bit...  We had about 700 users to schedule around.

Anyway, things went pretty flawlessly.  We had two shares (out of around 90) that ended up missing permissions, but we did not diagnose.  Just re-applied.

Did not test rollback scenario because thankfully we did not have to.

Many thanks!
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