How to migrate phy. hyper-v host to windows server 2019

Tonito Dux 951 Reputation points


We have two Dell Servers which host our virtual machines. They are both Hyper-V hosts with Failover clustering roles on Windows Server 2012R2.
My plan would be to do this over the weekend:

  1. Move all of the VMs to Host2 (shut them down)
  2. On the Host1 un-install the hyper-V role as well as the failover clustering role (is this even necessary) or can i just remove the system from our domain?
  3. Shutdown Host1 and do a fresh install of Windows Server 2019.
  4. Install Hyper-V and failover clustering role and add them to the existing host2.

I have never done this.

What are the caveats? Is there a good step-by-step guide somewhere? All I found was the failover cluster upgrade. Should I first install WS 2016?
What do I have to export before this procedure? Some CA Certificate? We use them for SCCM.


Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server: A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.Clustering: The grouping of multiple servers in a way that allows them to appear to be a single unit to client computers on a network. Clustering is a means of increasing network capacity, providing live backup in case one of the servers fails, and improving data security.
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  1. Xiaowei He 9,866 Reputation points


    According to your description, you are doing cluster OS rolling upgrade.

    2012R2 and 2016 nodes can run in the same Cluster as long as it is at the 2012R2 Cluster functional level. 2016 and 2019 hosts can run in the same cluster as long as it is at the 2016 Cluster functional level. These are the only combinations you can have when there is a mix of OS's. So, we need to go with Server 2012 R2 -> Server 2016 -> Server 2019.

    And please refer to the following article learn the detailed upgrade steps:

    Thanks for your time!
    Best Regards,


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  1. TimCerling(ret) 1,156 Reputation points

    If you are going to shut down the VMs (as you state in step 1), and if you are going to reuse the storage on which the VMs are stored, it becomes fairly straightforward.

    If you want to reuse the cluster and host names, then you need to first destroy the cluster (Remove-Cluster PowerShell command) and evict the hosts from your domain. Then simply rebuild your hosts to 2019 and build a 2019 cluster. Once the cluster is built, import the VMs from the shared storage containing the VMs. 2019 does not require that the VMs are first exported; it can import directly from the VM files.

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  2. Tonito Dux 951 Reputation points

    Hi Tim,

    thank you for you answer. The storage is clustered so yes I plan to reuse it and "just" add back the VMs. Since I have no expierence here whatsoever I would first like to install WS 2019 on one Host while the other will have to co-exist for a week, I plan to do this over the weekend. Is it then smarter to install WS 2016 because of the co-existence? I would rather upgrade 4x times and that everything works than take shortcuts and try to go directly from 2012R2 -> 2019. I read it is not supported?
    Do I need to do anyhting else in the Failover Cluster Manager except evicting the host?


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