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Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation migrate to Server 2016 Essentials hosted on ESXi

  • 5 September 2022
  • 3 comments
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Userlevel 2

Dear concern, I’m looking for a way (if even possible) to migrate a Windows Server 2012 Foundation(!) to an upgradable Windows Server 2012 Essentials or higher. Final goal is to get this system on a 2022 Essentials including all installed applications. The Server 2012 Foundation is not a DC !

A direct upgrade of a Windows 2012 R2 Foundation to any other Windows Server version is imho not possible.

Previous steps so far:

  1. New machine running main lates ESXi7.02
  2. Migrate physical Server 2012 to VMware host. All test have been successful executed.
  3. Install Veeam Community main lates to the VM 
  4. Backup VM

Now my question concerning the restore. Will this be done to an existing VM e.g. running on a Server 2016 Essentials or even higher? What restore method will be applicable?

highly appreciate your comments/hints

cheers

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Best answer by Chris.Childerhose 5 September 2022, 17:02

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3 comments

Userlevel 2

Indeed this is what I was afraid about as I couldn’t think of any other then the “hard” way. Anyway I appreciate your thoughts  and fast response. Thanks again and take care.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Hi,

 

Veeam won’t be able to perform an OS-Upgrade for you, and it should be pointed out that Upgrading Windows Server 2012 Foundation is not supported, in any scenarios, by Microsoft (Link:https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-foundation/jj679892(v=ws.11)#upgrading-windows-server2012-foundation) though I believe from the way you’ve written your previous comment you already knew this, I’m just calling this out to be clear.

 

The questions that need to be asked at this point are what you need to restore.

Windows Server 2012 Foundation had many products installed/licensed as one image. Veeam can backup your data, however you’ll have the following key issues:

  • ACL - Without a domain, permissions can’t be preserved between servers, due to a lack of common domain.
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation is NOT permitted to be used as a virtual machine, I don’t know that it will block you from running as a VM, but it certainly is in violation of your Microsoft Licensing agreement.
  • Applications, whilst they can be processed by Veeam, will not be able to be directly restored to a new server, some exceptions exist, such as SQL Server database instances, but again, due to a lack of domain, ACLs within SQL Server won’t be preserved.

You’ll need to do this the hard way, you’ll need to catalog your applications, create a new virtual machine to install them on, and see how these applications get migrated, by the appropriate vendor. Veeam can certainly help if there are file shares, or in general, files that need to be backed up. You could for example perform an agent level backup, and then perform an export of the disk to a VMDK, to attach to your new VM, this would give you a copy of the data within the OS, to attach to any application installations as appropriate, but any file shares & permissions would still require being newly created.

 

I hope this helps as a starting place.

Wow I think this covers it.  Upgrading an OS is never a good thing unless absolutely necessary.  Always start fresh if you can. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Hi,

 

Veeam won’t be able to perform an OS-Upgrade for you, and it should be pointed out that Upgrading Windows Server 2012 Foundation is not supported, in any scenarios, by Microsoft (Link:https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-foundation/jj679892(v=ws.11)#upgrading-windows-server2012-foundation) though I believe from the way you’ve written your previous comment you already knew this, I’m just calling this out to be clear.

 

The questions that need to be asked at this point are what you need to restore.

Windows Server 2012 Foundation had many products installed/licensed as one image. Veeam can backup your data, however you’ll have the following key issues:

  • ACL - Without a domain, permissions can’t be preserved between servers, due to a lack of common domain.
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation is NOT permitted to be used as a virtual machine, I don’t know that it will block you from running as a VM, but it certainly is in violation of your Microsoft Licensing agreement.
  • Applications, whilst they can be processed by Veeam, will not be able to be directly restored to a new server, some exceptions exist, such as SQL Server database instances, but again, due to a lack of domain, ACLs within SQL Server won’t be preserved.

You’ll need to do this the hard way, you’ll need to catalog your applications, create a new virtual machine to install them on, and see how these applications get migrated, by the appropriate vendor. Veeam can certainly help if there are file shares, or in general, files that need to be backed up. You could for example perform an agent level backup, and then perform an export of the disk to a VMDK, to attach to your new VM, this would give you a copy of the data within the OS, to attach to any application installations as appropriate, but any file shares & permissions would still require being newly created.

 

I hope this helps as a starting place.

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