Windows Server 2008 R2 & Hyper-V Cluster upgrades or not…

Ahh the joys of participating in beta programs! 😉

 As part of my day job, and as co-founder of IT consulting firm “The Full Circle” – a Microsoft Gold Partner that likes to keep ahead of the game (or at least stay in it!) by being an early adopter, we are always working with new software and that means building and rebuilding boxes.  Clearly virtualisation can make huge savings, especially in time but not always, especially when working with beta & pre-release software…

Our current journey of discovery is clustering with Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) which is currently in late stages of development (went RC about month ago), and we are delighted to be a UK Early Adopter Program partner! 🙂

We have been working with a couple of different builds, the beta build 7000, and recenly the Release Candidate build 7100.  Our own infrastructure was built using the beta, as is our customer EAP project, and following a number of cluster issues we performed an in-place upgrade to the RC code…

However, last week I learnt that in-place upgrades to clusters are not supported across beta/pre-releases to RC, and eventually to RTM – this is often the case as would never be a mass adopter / real-world scenario.

What this means is that from Beta->RC and from RC->RTM, you will have to do the following:

1. Move workloads onto fewest nodes (1 in my case)

2. Using ‘Failover Cluster Manager’ drill-down on Nodes, and right-click on the non-primary node, chose More Actions…, Evict – you’ll get a message warning that evicting a node can cause problems if a clustered application requires that node.. obviously! – click ‘Evict node NODENAME’

3. When it comes to the last remaining node in the cluster, due to Quorum requirements, you will need to destroy the cluster.  Select the cluster, goto More Actions… select Destroy the Cluster

4. Remove the ‘Failover cluster virtual network name account’ from AD Users & Computers

5. Being slightly paranoid, I also disabled the Failover Clustering service from with Hyper-V Configuration and removed the machine from the domain (back to a workgroup)

3. Wipe/Reload with new version of Hyper-V.

4. Create new 1 Node Cluster, join to SAN etc

5. Move VMs, offline, to new Hyper-V host.

a. Upgrade VM’s IC’s

6. Wipe/Reload remaining host

7. Join it to the cluster

8. Smile, before you do the same for RTM… 😉


1 Comment »

  1. Chris Whithear said

    Great post.

    I wish I had read this before I deployed our Hyper-V Cluster using the 2008 R2 RC build. All our servers are using the new Shared Storage feature of 2008 R2 to enable live migration so once we destroy the cluster this will become unavailable so im kind of stuck as to how to get the VM’s upgraded to RTM.

    I have a fun weekend ahead of me i’m sure 🙂


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