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Windows Server Migration Steps

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Business Advice, Cloud

Alright. You are taking a big step and moving your pile of data and files over to the Cloud or Azure. If that sounds daunting then you have come to the right place. We are going to explain the process, run through everything you need and then give you a step by step guide to do this yourself. 

If at any time you decide these server migration tools are feeling like deep water over your head, Spot Migration would love to help. Our services cover it all.  

We have used the migration tools and completed many successful migrations so we are old pros. Let’s run through how this process works.

The application server migration is done in three phases: inventory, transfer, and cutover. 

In the inventory phase you create a job, add a server, and then you start scanning. This is also called the testing phase. The configuration will be scanned as well as the network settings, volumes, and OS info on the source server. Now that the scan is complete you are ready to transfer the contents. 

For the transfer, you map the destination volumes based on the list of sources you have from the scan. Then you validate the settings on the transfer to make sure it will go smoothly. Then you can transfer and you’ll get a CSV report and you’re ready to cutover. 

With the cutover process, you map the network adapter on the migration destination server. You validate again and do the cutover and wait for the job to be finished. 

Windows Server Migration to the Cloud Step by Step

You need to make sure your servers meet the requirements for the migration process before you start the migration steps. Otherwise you may get more and more confused. So let’s make sure we’re starting off on the right foot. 

Your source server needs to be one of these:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019 
  • Your destination server needs to be one of these:
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows server 2019 

You also need an orchestrator server which is a Windows Server 2019 Standard or DataCenter. You don’t need to have the Windows Server 2019 be your destination Server. If it is, the transfer speed will be much faster due to the built-in Storage Migration Service proxy service in the Windows Server 2019. 

The source and the destination server must be in the same domain and the same forest root level as of today. 

You need a PC or Server running Windows Admin Center with minimum version 1809. 

You also need to have installed the extension msft.sme.storage-migration in Windows Admin Center

Here’s How to Migrate Your Server to the Cloud 

If you have already added your source and destination server, and you meet all the requirements listed above, then you’re ready to begin the actual migration with the active directory migration tool.  

Step 1

Launch Windows Admin Center portal and choose the orchestrator server (Windows Server 2019). Now you will install the Storage Migration Service (SMS)  that you will find on the left hand side. 

Step 2

Once it’s installed, you will see a description of the three steps you will complete to migrate your file shares and configure the new servers. These are the phases we have gone over previously. 

Step 3

Now we are in phase one (Inventory). Click +new job, make a new job and give it a name without any spaces. 

Step 4

Put in the credentials for the course server and select that you want to include all admin shares. 

Step 5

Now you want to add a device (+Add a device) so enter the migration source server and click OK. You are able to add more than one server at a time. 

Step 6

Click start scan for the inventory to begin. Now the SMS will start going through all the configuration, network settings, and the data on the source server.

Step 7

When that is done, you will find all the shares, their path, size, and files on the source server

Step 8

Now you have made it to phase 2. We are in the transfer phase. Now you will enter the credentials for your destination server.

Step 9

Add the destination server and map it against your source server and then click Scan device. You can now select which source share you want to have in the transfer.  

Step 10 

If you go to the Adjust transfer settings page, you can set the validation method (checksum), the maximum duration, and number of retries. 

Step 11

Now you will validate to see if the transfer will be successful. This is an awesome feature. Click validate.

Step 12

On the Start transfer page, click Start transfer. This may take some time depending on the amount of data. 

Step 13

When the transfer is done, the status will show it’s successful. Click the job name at the bottom. 

Step 14

In the start transfer page you will have the transfer and error log details. You can download them as CVS files and open them in Excel. This way you can make sure all the files are migrated. 

Step 15

Now we start the cutover phase. Here you will use the stored credentials or enter new ones in case they were changed.

Step 16

On the Configure cutover page, you will find the network adapter for your source server. You can set a new IP address for the source server, and you can rename the source server. 

Step 17

On the Validate source and destination devices page, click validate. 

Step 18

Now you can click start cutover. This will take some time. The servers will reboot twice so take a few minutes to relax. 

Step 19

Once the cutover has been successful, you can verify the names of the servers are correct. The old server will have a new name if the new server has the identity of the old server. 

If your destination server is the 2019 and it is also acting as the orchestrator, then you need to connect to the old servers name in the Windows Admin Center because the destination orchestrator server is changed to the name of the source server.  

That’s it, you have completed a server migration to the cloud.

Now if you didn’t do it or are having an issue or two, Spot Migration would be happy to help you out. Our team can handle your transfers without any trouble and answer any of your questions.

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