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Course Introduction

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Downloading and Installing Windows Server

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Roles and Features

• 1hr 35min

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Upgrading and Migrating Windows Server

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Windows Server Storage Solutions

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Windows Server Backup

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Course Conclusion

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About Server Migrations


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In this lecture, we are going to talk about Windows Server migrations.

First, let’s start by talking about what exactly migration is? And is when you perform a clean installation of Windows Server. Then you transfer Server Roles, Applications, Configurations, or OS Settings and Data from the old server to your new server.

Now, Microsoft will always recommend that you perform a migration over an upgrade. So, if you have Server 2012 that is running and you need to upgrade to Server 2016, instead of doing a traditional upgrade where you insert the 2016 installation media into your 2012 server and run the installation, instead, build a new server 2016 Server and then transfer those roles or migrate those roles from the old server to the new server.

The reason why Microsoft recommends this over an upgrade is that you get a clean installation that is less likely to have issues later on down the road. I actually cannot think of a time when I’ve completed an upgrade and not have some type of issues as a result of upgrading from an older operating system. So, you always want to do a migration over an upgrade if at all possible.

Now, there are also other benefits that are included. There are fewer restrictions, for example, you can go from Server 2008 directly to Server 2016, or even from Server 2003 to Server 2016.

You can go from a 32-bit installation directly to a 64-bit installation.

You can go from one edition to another like Standard to Datacenter.

You can go from a Virtual Machine, you can migrate that server to a physical server or vice versa.

And, you can go from Windows Server Core to the Desktop version directly through a migration which is not possible through an upgrade.

Those all go back the other direction too granted there’s no 32-bit version of Windows Server available anymore.

Now, what doesn’t work when you are working with migrations is migrating from one language to another and you cannot migrate Windows Server Core 2008 because there’s no .Net Framework in that version of Windows Server.

Now, when you are working with a server migration you are going to work with what’s called the Windows Server Migration Tools.

This is a Windows Feature that you install with Server Manager and adds five PowerShell cmdlets and help files that you’ll be able to use.

A basic process is that you are going to install the migration tools on your new server first.

We are going to run SmigDeploy.exe and you are going to pass a couple of arguments like if this is 32-bit, 64-bit, what version are we coming from like 2012, 2008. That is going to generate a series of files.

Once we have these generated files we are going to copy these files to the old server that we are migrating from.

We are going to run SmigDeploy.exe on the old server and that will allow us to begin the migration.

When we are working with Windows Server Migration Guides there’s no single procedure that you are going to complete to move all your server roles over to another server.

Instead, there are detailed migration guides that Microsoft will provide for individual roles and even for some role services. If you want to migrate Active Directory Domain Services, the migration guide for that is going to be a little bit different than migrating the DHCP server role or the DNS server role.

The steps are going to be a little bit different but there are migration guides for all these roles you might want to migrate.

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1 year ago

It doesn’t look like your have a lab to practice a migration. Do your have a good resource where I see the process of a migration?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jose Mattey
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Ricardo P(@ricardop)
Reply to  josem4
1 year ago

Hi profile avatar Jose Mattey

Unfortunately, we don’t have a lab for migration. It is challenging to migrate depending on the role to be migrated for new students to perform in a lab. We just give the basic theory in the video but you can find more information on the following links.

Here is a video on an Active Directory Migration from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2022:

Here’s an interesting learning document on migrating Windows Server Roles:

Here are the migration guides for different roles: