Migrate an existing Physical server to a Hyper-V VM on the same machine

ajdenver used Ask the Experts™
Customer has one physical box with Server 2016 running Active Directory and all services needed for that, and File/Print/ redirected folders, etc. They now have need for an RDS server. Is it possible to add the Hyper-V role to that server, create 2 new Virtual Windows Server 2016 Machines - one for RDS and the other to migrate everything that the current server is doing at the moment? It would be like an in place migration project. Their network has less than 20 users and the physical server is quite nice. In the end they would have a Hyper-V host, with 2 VMs, one Server running AD, File Print , DNS DHCP and another running RDS. Does that sound doable?
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Kenza CohenIT Solutions Provider

On the same box would be complicated, i would personally add Paragon Virtualization Manager to P2V the Server, Wipe the server with a new install of Server 2016 and install only the Hyper-V Role, Import the VHD file and the configure the VM to use the IP it previously used.

Kenza :)
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer
I agree that it sounds like a good time to test that bare metal restore capability. If you can't recover the server into a VM right now, then you should get that setup and working.

You can just add Hyper-V role right now and setup the 1 VM. That is within the licensing rights and technical capability, but you should really have the full server restore capability working.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Flat-out No.

Hyper-V needs to run as the one and only role. It digs deep into all aspects of the operating system and hardware especially the network setup.
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Can you come up with a temporary computer that would suffice for the upgrade?  Install a trial version of Windows Server on it, set up a new VM as the DC, and take over roles from the existing Server.  Once that is completed and working well, you could set up the second VM (more on that below).  With both VMs working well, shut down the first server and confirm that all works as expected.

Assuming it does, wipe the first server and reinstall Windows Server with just the Hyper-V role as Phillip recommends.  It is VERY easy to move over the two VMs (one of their many advantages) to the original server at this point.

I'd also recommend a new question asking about which roles should be on which VM.  My usual practice (been doing this for a while, no where near as long or as extensively as some others on EE) has been to have one VM that is the DC but also does DNS and DHCP.  The other VM does file and print services and any application services that are needed.  I'd likely put RDS on the second VM.  I would try to keep file and print sharing off the DC for security reasons.

Of course, it would be nice to have a third VM just for RDS, but that's adding about $1k in cost.

Lastly, I'd avoid P2V unless really necessary.  It may come back to bite you with little incompatibilities.  It's useful in temporary emergency situations, but would discourage it for long-term use.  Other experts may have different views.
Network Engineer
FWIW, I have added Hyper-V role remotely to over a dozen physical 2008 R2 DC/fileservers when I needed to add RDS Server. It's okay to do.

By remotely, I wasn't on site.


Thanks all, If I install the Hyper V role on the one physical server, can I then create two VM's and move the DNS/DHCP/AD roles to one of those VMs, so that I am not violating the licensing? the original server will temporally have the roles until I move them to the new DC. The Server with the Hyper V role will have all roles removed from it, except Hyper V of course.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer
Yes, if you create a VM, migrate all roles and data to it, and then demote the host from being a DC and remove all roles from it, you can then add the second VM and be within the licensing rights during the entire process.

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