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Migrating to R2, rename server?


bitleague
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I'm getting ready to migrate from WS 2012 Essentials to WS 2012 R2 (with Essentials feature enabled) in the coming week.

 

My data to Essentials is provided over iSCSI from another 2012 server so that shouldn't be a problem to connect to the new server.

 

What are folks doing about server names? I would really like to keep the same server name so I don't have to remap drives, shortcuts, etc.

 

 

There is currently a secondary DC in place in my environment (all on 2 Hyper-V servers) so I was thinking about demoting the current WS 2012 Essentials and then bringing up the WS 2012 R2 with the old server name. Any other ideas?

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In principal, yes that should work - demote the 2012E server, rename it, bring up your new 2012 R2 with the old name etc.

 

Technically you could do it by using the little known netdom command which will allow you to rename a domain controller

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816601(v=ws.10).aspx

 

Yes I know it says it's for Server 2008 but it should work for 2012 as well.

 

Before you bring up the new server, I would strongly suggest that you manually go through the DNS records and just make sure that all references to the old one have gone. Really shouldn't be necessary but I have found when doing server migrations that the old records do have an annoying habit of lingering on. 

 

However there is a big problem with 2012Essentials - when it was installed, was it also installed as a certification authority (CA). If so then it is not possible to rename a CA (doing so would break the certificate chain). What you would need to do is remove the CA role first, then it should be possible to rename it and then (if necessary) setup a CA on the new server and re-issue any certs.

 

As you say, the data should be trivial, just setup the new server as a iSCSI initiator and point it at the old target.

 

John 

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Thanks.

 

I ended up installing Server 2012 R2 with the Essentials feature.

Then I followed this article through demoting the old server, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn408633.aspx.

 

Used a Cname in DNS so that the existing mapped drives/shares point to the new server vs. renaming it to the old server name.

Will be setting up DFS Namespace as well for future upgrades and slowly moving the link/mapped drives over to that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Similar question...

I'm running WSE2012 and plan to replace it on the same box with WS2012 R2 and add the Essentials Role.  Ideally, I would like to keep the same server name and same domain name.

Once R2 is installed, I would not be booting the old version anymore.

Do I need to go through a migration process or could I just install R2 fresh, use the old names, and transfer the shared folders (I don't have any computer backups to keep)?

Thanks.

Tom

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If you want to/must use the same computer name for the server, then the only good way to do that would be to "wipe" the domain and start from fresh.

 

That means removing all the clients from the domain, wiping out those accounts and starting from scratch.

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I don't have any computers in the domain.  Just one desktop connected to the server via the connector and that was connected without joining the domain.

Maybe sounds like I'm good to go installing WS2012R2, adding Essentials Role, and reusing the old names??

Of course, I'll have to uninstall the WS2012E connector on the desktop and connect with the R2 connector.

Tom

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Yes, if you never joined computers to the domain, then a clean install of R2 should work and let you reuse all of your old computer names.  Just make sure you backup any data on the server first, because it will likely wipe your hard drives in the process (Not the iSCSI drives, but any local data).

 

Also, any customization of the server that you have performed (additional web sites, group policies, etc...) will need to be recreated.  Some of them do have ways to export and import into a new machine.

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This is where having your OS on its own drive is really useful. You can disconnect all drives except the OS one and install onto that, then bring the other drives into the mix afterward. For me it just gives a little extra measure of safety.

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