Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows 8 (Beta) – Part 2


This is a multipart series based on some lab test & work I did.

  1. Part 1 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows Server 8 (Beta) – Part 1
  2. Part 2 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows 8 (Beta) – Part 2
  3. Part 3 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows 8 (Beta) – Part 3

Here’s part two of my adventures while upgrading or rather “transitioning” my Hyper-V cluster nodes to Windows 8. Transition is more correctly as you can not upgrade a cluster, you create a new cluster en recuperate the node. I did however not reinstall them but upgrade them. Why, because I can and I wanted to try it out to see what happens. For production purposes I do advise you to rebuild nodes from scratch using a well defined and automated plan if possible. I already mentioned this in Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows Server 8 (Beta) – Part 1

So we stopped Part 1 with a evicted and upgraded node. We’ll want to create a new cluster with that node and then transition the other nodes over to the new Windows 8 cluster one by one, or in batches, depending on how many you can afford to take down at one time. In this part we’ll just build our new Window 8 cluster with a single node. It’s a good thing this is possible as we can start a transition with just one node. This an easy part.

First of all we create a new cluster. I will all look very familiar if you’ve ever created a Windows 2008 (R2) cluster.

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The Create Cluster Wizard appears, read all the advice you want and click “Next”

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We select the node that we evicted from the old cluster and upgraded to Windows 8

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You now run the validation test for your cluster

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Let’s run ‘m all and see what it has to say.

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We get a summary of what notes will be tested and what tests will be run. Click “Next”

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The tests are running.

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We get a pass with some warnings. So we click “View Report” to take a look. It’s OK we only have one node, we don’t have storage yet and networking wise we still need to configure some things but we can create a one node cluster, So click “Finish”

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I named my new cluster “warriors”, the old one was called “warrior”.

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I define the IP Address for the Access Point for administering the cluster

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We’re ready to create the cluster so we click “Next” and the creation process starts

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And we’re informed we’ve have successfully created a cluster. Click Finish. Any experienced cluster builder should find this process very familiar without surprises.

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So now we have a cluster existing out of one node and we haven’t got any storage assigned yet.

We have several options for storage here. We could assign new storage but we cannot do a Quick Storage Migration between cluster using SCVMM2008R2 but that doesn’t fly as SCVMM2008R2 can’t manage Windows 8 clusters and I don’t know if it ever will.  We can do a good old manual or scripted export and import of the VMs what takes a considerable amount of time.

We can recuperate the old storage with the VMs still on there. This could get tricky as no two cluster should be able to see & use the storage at the same time. The benefit could be that we can just use the import type in Windows 8 ("Register the virtual machine in-place" (use the existing unique ID) and be done with it. We’ll try that one. We’ll still have some down time but it should be pretty fast. It’s only from Windows 8 on that we’ll be able to do Shared Nothing Live Migrations between clusters Smile We’ll address that in Part 3.

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Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows Server 2012 (Beta) – Part 1


This is a multipart series based on some lab test & work I did.

  1. Part 1 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows Server 2012 (Beta) – Part 1
  2. Part 2 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows Server 2012 (Beta) – Part 2
  3. Part 3 Upgrading Hyper-V Cluster Nodes to Windows 8 (Beta) – Part 3

After I got back from the MVP Summit 2012 in Bellevue/Redmond I could wait to start playing with a Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster so I decided to upgrade my Windows 2008 R2 cluster nodes to Windows 8. That means evicting them on by one, upgrading them and adding them to a new Windows 8 cluster. As we can build a one node cluster this can be done a node at the time. This isn’t a fail proof definite “How To”, I’m just sharing what I did.

Evicting a node

Before evicting a node make sure all virtual machines are running on the other node(s). As you can see the cluster warrior has 2 nodes, crusader & saracen (I was listening to some Saxon heavy metal at the time I built that lab setup). We evacuated node saracen prior to evicting it.

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Evict the node & confirm when asked.

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When this is done all storage is off line to the node evicted from the cluster. No need to worry about that.

Upgrade that node to Windows 8

To anyone having installed/upgraded to Windows 2008 R2 this should all be a very recognizable experience. Being lazy, I left the iSCSI initiator configuration in there with the Hyper-V & failover cluster roles installed during the upgrade. Now for production environments I like to build my nodes from scratch to have an exactly known, new and clean installation base. But for my test lab at home I wanted to get it done as fast as possible. If only the days had more hours …For extra safety you can pull the plug (or disable the switch ports) on your iSCSI or FC connections and make sure no storage is presented to the node during the upgrade process. Now please do mind is use Intel server grade NIC adaptors for which Windows 8 beta has drivers. Your situation may vary so I can’t guarantee the 7 year old FC HBA in your lab server will just work, OK!?

So run setup.exe from the Windows 8 (Beta) ISO you extracted to a folder on the server or  from the (bootable) USB you created with the downloaded ISO.

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The Windows Setup installer will start.

04 run setup

 

Click on “Install now” to proceed and start the setup process.

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Select to “Go online to get the latest updates for Setup (Recommended)”

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So it looks for updates on line.

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It didn’t find any but that’s OK.

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Select the installation you want. I went with for Server with a GUI as I want screen shots. But as I wrote in the blog post Windows 8 Server With GUI, Minimal Server Interface & Server Core Lesson with the Desktop Experience Feature you can turn it into a Server Core Installation and back again now. So no regrets with any choice you make here, which is a nice improvement that can save us a lot of time.

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Accept the EULA

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We opt to upgrade (in production I go for a clean install)

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I get notified that I have to remove PerfectDisk. I had an evaluation copy of Raxco PerfectDisk installed I used to do some testing with redirected CSV traffic and defragmentation (see Some Feedback On How to defrag a Hyper-V R2 Cluster Shared Volume).

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So the upgrade was cancelled.

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I uninstalled PerfectDisk but still it was a no go. I  had to remove all traces of it in the registry & files systems that the uninstall left or the upgrade just wouldn’t start. But after that it worked.

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That means we can kick of the upgrade! It all looks very familiar Smile It takes a couple of reboots and some patience. But all in all it’s a fast process.

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After this step it takes a couple of reboots and some patience. But all in all it’s a fast process. After some reboots and a screen that goes dark in between those …we get our restyled beta fish.

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And voila we’re where we need to be … Smile

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After the upgrade process I ran into one error. The GUI for Failover Clustering would not start. The solution if found for that was simply to remove that role and add it again. That did the trick.

ClusGUI

 

So this was a description of the first steps to transition a  Windows 2008 R2 SP1 cluster to a  Windows 8 (Beta) Cluster. As seen we evict the nodes one by one to upgrade them or do a clean install. In the latter case you’ll need to do the iSCSI initiator configuration again,  install the Failover Cluster role and in the case of a Hyper-V cluster the Hyper-V role. The nodes can than be added to a new Windows 8 cluster, starting out with a one node cluster. More on that in the second part of this blog post.

Upgrading Exchange 2010 SP1 To SP2


Here is a step by step walk trough of an Exchange 2010 SP2 installation. I needed to document the process for a partner anyway so I might as well throw on here as well. Perhaps it will help out some people. The Exchange Team announced Exchange 2010 SP2 RTM on their blog recently. There you can find some more information and links to the downloads, release notes etc. You will also note that the Exchange 2012 TechNet documentation has SP2 relevant information added. if you just want to grab the bits get them here; Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 directly from Microsoft
 
Exchange 2010 SP1 and SP2 can coexist for the time you need to upgrade the entire organizations. Once you started to upgrade it’s best to upgrade all nodes in the Exchange Organization as fast as you can to SP2. That way you’ll have all of them on the same install base which is easier to support and trouble shoot. Before I did this upgrade in production environments I tested this two time in a lab/test environment. I also made sure  anti virus, backup and other agents dis not have any issues with Exchange 2010 SP2. Nothing is more annoying then telling a customer his Exchange Organization has been upgraded to the lasted and greatest version only to follow up on that statement with the fact the backups don’t run anymore.

You can install Exchange SP2 easily via the setup wizard that will guide you through the entire process. There are some well documented “issues” you might see but these are just about the fact you need IIS 6 WMI compatibility for the CAS role now and the fact that you need to upgrade the Active Directory Schema. Please look at Jetze Mellema’s blog for some detailed info & at Dave Stork’s blog post for consolidated information on this service pack.

Changing the Active Directory schema is a big deal in some environments and you might not be able to do this just as part of the Exchange upgrade. Perhaps you need to hand this of to a different team and they’ll do that for you using the  command “setup /prepareschema” as shown below.

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You’ll have to wait for them to give you the go ahead when everything is replicated and all is still working fine. Below we’ll show you how you can do it with the setup wizard.

Order of upgrade is a it has been for a while

  1. CAS servers
  2. HUB Transport servers
  3. If you run Unified Messaging servers upgrade these now, before doing the mailbox servers
  4. Mailbox servers
  5. If you’re using Edge Transport servers you can upgrade them whenever you want.

Let’s walk through the process with some additional information

Once you’ve download the bits and have the Exchange2010-SP2-x64.exe file click it to extract the contents. Find the  setup.exe and it will copy the files it needs to start the installation.

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You then arrive at the welcome screen where you choose “Install Microsoft Exchange Server Upgrade”

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The setup then initializes

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You get to the Upgrade Introduction screen where you can read what Exchange is and does Smile. I hope you already know this at this stage. Click Next.

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You accept the EULA

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And watch the wizard run the readiness checks

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In the lab we have our CAS/HUB servers on the same nodes, so the prerequisites are checked for both. The CAS servers in Exchange 2010 SP2 need the IIS 6 WMI Compatibility Feature. If you had done the upgrade from the CLI you would have to run SETUP /m:upgrade /InstallWindowsComponents and you would not have seen this error as it would have been taken care of installing the missing components. When using the GUI you’ll see the error below.

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You can take care of that by installing this via “Add Role Services” in Server Manager for the Web Server (IIS) role.

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Or you can use our beloved PowerShell with the following commands:

  • Import-Module ServerManager
  • Add-WindowsFeature Web-WMI.

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Now we have the IIS 6 WMI compatibility issue out of the way we can rerun the readiness checks and we’ll get all green check marks.

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So we can click on “Upgrade” and get the show on the road. The first thing you’ll see this step do is “Organization Preparation”. This is the schema upgrade that is needed for Exchange 2010. If you had run this one manually it would not have to this step and you’ll see later it only does is for the first server you upgrade (note that it is missing form the second screen print, which was taken from the second CAS/HUB role server). I like to do them manually and make sure Active Directory replication has occurred to all domain controllers involved. If I use the GUI setup I give it some time to replicate.

Intermezzo: How to check the schema version

You can verify after having run SP2 on the first node or having updated the schema manually that this is indeed effective by looking at the properties of both the domain and the schema via ADSIEdit or dsquery.

The value for objectVersion in the properties of “CN=Microsoft Exchange System Objects” should be 13040. This is the domain schema version. Via dsquery this is done as follows: dsquery * “CN=Microsoft Exchange System Objects,DC=datawisetech,DC=corp” -scope
base -attr objectVersion

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The rangeUpper property of “CN=ms-Exch-Schema-Version-Pt,cn=schema,cn=configuration,<Forest DN>” should be 14732. You can also check this using dsquery * CN=ms-Exch-Schema-Version-Pt,cn=schema,cn=configuration,<Forest DN> -scope base –attr rangeUpper tocheck this value

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Note that you might need to wait for Active Directory replication if you’re not looking at the domain controller where the update was run. If you want to verify all your domain controllers immediately you can always force replication.

Step By Step Continued

First CAS/HUB roles server (If you didn’t upgrade the schema manually)

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Additional CAS/HUB roles server

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… it takes a while …

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But then it completes and you can click “Finish”

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We’re done here so we click “Close”

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When you run the setup on the other server roles like Unified Messaging, Mailbox and Edge the process is very similar and is only different in the fact it checks the relevant prerequisites and upgrades the relevant roles. An example of this is below for a the mailbox role server.

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In DAG please upgrade all nodes a.s.a.p. and do so by evacuating the databases to the other nodes as to avoid service interruption. The process to upgrade DAG member is described here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb629560.aspx

  • Upgrade only passive servers Before applying the service pack to a DAG member, move all active mailbox database copies off the server to be upgraded and configure the server to be blocked from activation. If the server to be upgraded currently holds the primary Active Manager role, move the role to another DAG member prior to performing the upgrade. You can determine which DAG member holds the primary Active Manager role by running Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup <DAGName> -Status | Format-List PrimaryActiveManager.
  • Place server in maintenance mode Before applying the service pack to any DAG member, you may want to adjust monitoring applications that are in use so that the server doesn’t generate alerts or alarms during the upgrade. For example, if you’re using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor your DAG members, you should put the DAG member to be upgraded in maintenance mode prior to performing the upgrade. If you’re not using System Center Operations Manager 2007, you can use StartDagServerMaintenance.ps1 to put the DAG member in maintenance mode. After the upgrade is complete, you can use StopDagServerMaintenance.ps1 to take the server out of maintenance mode.
  • Stop any processes that might interfere with the upgrade Stop any scheduled tasks or other processes running on the DAG member or within that DAG that could adversely affect the DAG member being upgraded or the upgrade process.
  • Verify the DAG is healthy Before applying the service pack to any DAG member, we recommend that you verify the health of the DAG and its mailbox database copies. A healthy DAG will pass MAPI connectivity tests to all active databases in the DAG, will have mailbox database copies with a copy queue length and replay queue length that’s very low, if not 0, as well as a copy status and content index state of Healthy.
  • Be aware of other implications of the upgrade A DAG member running an older version of Exchange 2010 can move its active databases to a DAG member running a newer version of Exchange 2010, but not the reverse. After a DAG member has been upgraded to a newer Exchange 2010 service pack, its active database copies can’t be moved to another DAG member running the RTM version or an older service pack.

Microsoft provides two PowerShell scripts to automat this for you. These scripts are StartDagServerMaintenance.ps1 and StopDagServerMaintenance.ps1 to be found in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts folder. Usage is straight forware just open EMS, navigate to the scripts folder and run these scripts for each DAG member like below.

  1. .\StartDagServerMaintenance –ServerName “Invincible”
  2. Close the EMS other wise PowerShell will hold a lock files that need to be upgraded (same reason the EMC should be closed) and than upgrade of the node in question
  3. .\StopDagServerMaintenance –ServerName “invincible”

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Voila, there you have it. Happy upgrading. Do you preparations well and all will go smooth.

Upgrading Windows Server 2008R2 Editions With DISM


When an environment evolves (growth, mergers, different needs) you have might very well have resource needs above and beyond the  limits of the original Windows edition that was installed. Scaling out might not the right (or possible) solution you so scale up is alternative option. Today with Windows Server 2008 R2 this is very easy. However, again and again I see people resorting labor intensive and often tedious solutions. Some go the whole 9 yards and do a complete clean install and migration. Others get creative and do a custom install with the windows media to achieve an in place upgrade. But all this isn’t needed at all. Using DISM (Windows Edition-Servicing Command-Line Options) you can achieve anything you need and every role, feature, app on your server will remain in good working condition. Recently I had to upgrade some standard edition Hyper-V guest servers to the enterprise edition to make use of more than 32 GB of RAM. Another reason might be to move from Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition to Data Center Edition for hyper-v host to make use of that specific licensing model for virtual machines.

Please note the following:

  • You can only do upgrades. You CANNOT downgrade
  • The server you upgrade cannot be a domain controller (demote, upgrade, promote)
  • This works on Standard, Enterprise edition, both full & core installations.
  • You cannot switch form core to full or vice versa. It’s edition upgrade only, not  for switching type of install.

This is how to find the possible target editions for your server:

C:\Windows\system32>DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Editions that can be upgraded to:

Target Edition : ServerDataCenter
Target Edition : ServerEnterprise

The operation completed successfully.

So I went to Enterprise Edition by executing this process takes some time but is painless but for one reboot.

C:\Windows\system32>Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Starting to update components...
Starting to install product key...
Finished installing product key.

Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEdition~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.7601.17514
[==========================100.0%==========================]
Finished updating components.

Starting to apply edition-specific settings...
Restart Windows to complete this operation.
Do you want to restart the computer now (Y/N)?

You either use a MAK key (if you don’t have a KMS server) or the default key for your volume license media. When you have KMS in place (and the matching server group KMS key A, B, or C) the activation will be done automatically and transparent for you. Standard trouble shooting applies if you run into an issue there.

These are the public keys for use with a KMS server:

  • Windows 7 Professional – FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
  • Windows 7 Professional N – MRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG
  • Windows 7 Enterprise – 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
  • Windows 7 Enterprise N – YDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ
  • Windows 7 Enterprise E – C29WB-22CC8-VJ326-GHFJW-H9DH4
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition – FKJQ8-TMCVP-FRMR7-4WR42-3JCD7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter – 74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise – 489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems – GT63C-RJFQ3-4GMB6-BRFB9-CB83V
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard – YC6KT-GKW9T-YTKYR-T4X34-R7VHC
  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – 6TPJF-RBVHG-WBW2R-86QPH-6RTM4

Don’t worry this is public information (KMS Client Setup Keys), these will only activate if you have a KMS server and the to key make that KMS server work.

Either way there is no need for reinstall & migration or upgrade installation in for a simple upgrade scenario So do your self a  favor and always check if you can use DSIM to achieve your goals!