Upgrading to VMM in System Center 2012 R2


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

If you have an existing deployment of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can upgrade VMM to System Center 2012 R2. This upgrade is basically a fresh installation of System Center 2012 R2, but it retains the VMM database from the System Center 2012 SP1 deployment.


If you are upgrading two or more System Center components, you must follow the procedures that are documented in the topic Upgrade Sequencing for System Center 2012 R2.

The order in which you perform component upgrades is very important. Failure to follow the correct upgrade sequence might result in component failure for which no recovery options exist. The affected System Center components are:

  1. Orchestrator

  2. Service Manager

  3. Data Protection Manager (DPM)

  4. Operations Manager

  5. Configuration Manager

  6. Virtual Machine Manager

  7. App Controller

Retaining encrypted data

Some data in the VMM database, such as the Run As account credentials and passwords in guest operating system profiles, are encrypted by using Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI). Consider the following issues to retain encrypted data when you perform your upgrade:

  • Management server The VMM management server must be installed on the same computer where VMM was previously installed, unless distributed key management was used.

  • Service account You must use the same System Center Virtual Machine Manager service account that you used in your previous installation of VMM.

  • Installation server You can install VMM in System Center 2012 R2 on the same server where VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 is currently installed, or on a different server. However, if you install VMM on a different computer, or if you use a different service account, the encrypted data is not retained unless you configured distributed key management.


Distributed key management stores the encryption keys in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). Later, when you move your VMM installation to another computer, the new computer has access to the encryption keys in AD DS.

The following topics provide information to help you with this upgrade:

For information about performing a new VMM installation in System Center 2012 R2, see Deploying System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager.

Known issues with this upgrade

The following issues have been identified when upgrading VMM to System Center 2012 R2:

Upgrading on a remote computer

Upgrading from VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 on one computer to VMM in System Center 2012 R2 on a different computer is not supported when data is retained from the original installation, and the following configurations apply:

  • The original installation uses Windows DPAPI. This is the default setting if you did not configure distributed key management during setup.

  • The VMM management server is configured to use any of the following encrypted values or settings:

    • Application settings (encrypted value)

    • Service setting (encrypted value)

    • SQL Server deployment (product key)

    • Web deploy package (encryption password)

Retaining the database

Data that is retained from VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 might not upgrade as expected, and an error message about the name and path of the shared library might be issued. To ensure that this does not occur, do one of the following on the Library configuration page of the Setup Wizard when you install System Center 2012 R2:

  • Select the default shared library.

  • Create a new library share.

WSMAN property values are not reset

The values of the MaxConcurrentOperationsPerUser and the MaxConnections properties of WSMAN (which are used by WinRM), are not reset during the upgrade. The values that existed prior to the upgrade persist after the upgrade, and they might be lower than the default values that are set by the operating system.

If you observe limited VMM throughput, it might be helpful to check these values and to reset them if needed.