Server 2012 Migration scenarios #migration

Cloud computing comes to NERSC

Cloud computing comes to NERSC (Photo credit: Berkeley Lab)

Migration projects involving servers can be categorized in a number of ways, depending on whether you are deploying a new infrastructure, upgrading or consolidating an existing infrastructure, or implementing a new infrastructure such as moving to the cloud. Other variables also include whether you are fully upgrading your entire infrastructure or only some of the server(s). There are also other scenarios such as managed or unmanaged environments, and whether the infrastructure is small or large.

You will find there is no single process for migrating a server but by utilising one or some of the follow migration best practices you will find your upgrade will be successful.

 

Windows Server 2012 has many possible migration scenarios, below I have briefly covered the main ways to move to Server 2012;

  • GreenField – Scenario where there is no current infrastructure, for example a new start up company.

 

English: Main components of a Service within a...
English: Main components of a Service within a Service Oriented Infrastructure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Forest Upgrade – Schema upgrade on current infrastructure using ADprep.exe command-line utility.

 

  • Mixed Environment – New hardware with 2012 and upgrade functional level within a legacy OS environment.

 

  • Server Consolidation – Using virtualisation to consolidate multiple physical servers to virtual hosts.

 

  • Private Cloud – Software as a Service (SaaS) / Platform as a Service (PaaS) / Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Utilising AD and System Center 2012.

 

  • Public Cloud – Hosting provider maintains a shared pool of resources – all customer data is fully isolated from others. Services such as Office 365 and Windows Azure offer this public cloud technology.

 

Installation Sources – Windows Server 2012

Microsoft distributes Windows Server 2012 either on optical media or in an .iso image format.

You can install Windows Server 2012 by using several methods, including those listed below;

Optical media

Requires that the computer has access to a DVD drive.

Optical media is usually slower than USB media.

You cannot update the installation image without replacing the media.

You can only perform one installation per DVD at a time.

USB media

Requires the administrator to perform special steps to prepare USB media from an ISO file.

All computers should support booting from USB media.

Image can be updated as new software updates and drivers become available.

Answer file can be stored on USB drive, reducing the interaction that the administrator must perform.

Mounted ISO image

Virtualization software enables you to directly mount the ISO image.

Does not require writing the ISO image to optical media.

Network share 

Deploy from installation files on network share.

Requires you boot the server off a boot device (DVD or USB drive) and install from installation files hosted on a network share.

Much slower than using Windows Deployment Services (WDS).

If you already have access to a DVD or USB media, it is simpler to use those tools for operating system deployment.

Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

WDS enables you deploy Windows Server 2012 from Windows Imaging Format (WIM) image files or specially prepared VHD files.

You can use the Windows Automated Installation Kit to configure Lite-Touch deployment.

Clients perform a Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot to contact the WDS server. The operating system image is then transmitted to the server over the network.

WDS supports multiple concurrent installations of Windows Server 2012 using multicast network transmissions.

System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager enables you to fully automate the deployment of Windows Server 2012 to bare-metal servers.

Enables Zero-Touch deployment.

Virtual Machine Manager templates

Requires Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in System Center.

Enables rapid deployment of Windows Server 2012 in private cloud scenarios.

Can be used to enable self-service deployment of Windows Server 2012 virtual machines.

 

Windows Server 2012 Editions

There are several editions of Windows Server 2012. Organisations can select the edition of Windows Server 2012 that best meets their needs. System Administrators can save costs by selecting the appropriate edition when deploying a server for a specific role. The editions of Windows Server 2012 are listed below;

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012
  • Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup
  • Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Multipoint Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Multipoint Server 2012 Premium

Windows Server 2012 Standard edition

Provides all roles and features available on the Windows Server 2012

platform.

Supports up to 64 sockets and up to 4 terabytes (TB) of RAM.

Includes 2 virtual machine licenses.

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition

Provides all roles and features that are available on the Windows Server 2012 platform.

Supports 64 sockets, up to 640 processor cores, and up to 4 TB of RAM.

Includes unlimited virtual-machine licenses for virtual machines run on the same hardware.

Windows Server 2012 Foundation edition

Allows only 15 users and cannot be joined to a domain.

Supports one processor core and up to 32 GB of RAM.

Includes limited server roles.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Serves as the next edition of Small Business Server.

Cannot function as a Hyper-V Server 2012 failover clustering, Server Core, or remote desktop services server.

Supports up to 25 users, 50 devices.

Supports 2 processor cores and 64 GB of RAM.

Must be root server in domain.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012

Standalone Hyper-V Server 2012 platform for virtual machines with no UI.

No licensing cost for host OS; virtual machines to be licensed normally.

Supports 64 sockets and 4 TB of RAM.

Supports domain join.

Does not support other Windows Server 2012 roles, other than limited file-services features.

Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup

Entry-level unified storage appliance.

Supports up to 50 users.

Supports one processor core, 32 GB of RAM.

Supports domain join.

Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard

Supports 64 sockets, but is licensed on a 2-socket increment basis.

Supports 4 TB of RAM.

Includes 2 virtual-machine licenses.

Supports domain join.

Supports some roles, including DNS and DHCP Server roles, but does not support others, including Active Directory ® Domain Services (AD DS), Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS), and Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS).

Windows Multipoint Server 2012 Standard

Supports multiple users accessing the same host computer directly using separate mouse, keyboard, and monitors.

Supports one socket, 32 GB of RAM, and a maximum of 12 sessions.

Supports some roles, including DNS and DHCP Server roles, but does not support others, including AD DS, AD CS, and AD FS.

Does not support domain join.

Windows Multipoint Server 2012 Premium

Supports multiple users accessing the same host computer directly using separate mouse, keyboard, and monitors.

Limited to 2 sockets, 4 TB of RAM, and a maximum of 22 sessions.

Supports some roles, including DNS and DHCP Server roles, but does not support others, including AD DS, AD CS, and AD FS.

•Supports domain join.

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