Migrate a farm deployed on a failover cluster environment (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

This article provides information that you can use for the migration of a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm or a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm that is deployed in a failover cluster environment to another cluster.

Although SharePoint Server is not cluster-aware and we do not support clusters running SharePoint Server, we recognize that some organizations do implement failover clusters at the operating system or database levels.

In this article:

  • Migration strategy

  • Migration resources

Migration strategy

If the environment uses failover clustering at the operating system level or the database server level (or both), you must develop a migration strategy that ensures that the SharePoint Server 2010 farm is highly available and not compromised in any way (for example, lost data and corrupted configurations).


Because SharePoint Server 2010 only supports a 64-bit operating system and 64-bit database environment, any migration strategy has to include this requirement.

Migration is typically done in order to upgrade the following cluster elements:

  • Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to Microsoft SQL Server 2008

The migration strategy will be based on the cluster elements that you want to work with. If your farm environment uses an operating system cluster and a database server cluster, we recommend that you complete the operating system migration first.

Windows Server clusters

In a Windows Server failover cluster environment, the cluster exists as a named server in the farm. When you migrate to a new cluster, you have to complete the following tasks:

  1. Add the new cluster as a different registered name.

  2. Move all the services to the new server cluster.

  3. Remove the existing server cluster as a named farm server.

In a scenario where SQL Server is hosted on a Windows Server cluster, database migration is fairly easy because you do not have to configure SQL Server connection strings.

Windows Server clusters expose one or more virtual server names, WINS entries, and DNS entries. The new cluster can use a virtual server name, WINS entry, or DNS entry that is available after the identifier is no longer registered with the existing cluster. Services are migrated as described in the Migrate an existing server farm to a 64-bit environment (Office SharePoint Server 2007) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=207555) article, which also applies to SharePoint Server 2010.

SQL Server clusters

In a SQL Server failover cluster environment, cluster migration is complex and involves more downtime than the migration of the operating system cluster. The challenges that a database server migration poses exist because SharePoint Server uses server names to reference SQL Server, other farm servers, and itself. This differs from a Windows Server cluster, which uses virtual server names, WINS entries, and DNS entries.

Migration resources

The following resources are available to assist you with all aspects of cluster migration: