Run a rolling upgrade of an SOFS cluster to Windows Server 2016 in VMM


This version of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) has reached the end of support, we recommend you to upgrade to VMM 2019.

Cluster rolling upgrade was introduced in Windows Server 2016. It enables you to upgrade the operating system of cluster nodes in a scale-out file server (SOFS) cluster, or Hyper-V cluster, without stopping workloads running on the nodes. Read more about rolling upgrade requirements and architecture.

This article describes how to perform a cluster rolling upgrade of SOFS managed in the System Center - Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) fabric. Here's what the upgrade does:

  • Creates a template: Creates a template of the node configuration by combining the appropriate physical computer profile with the node configuration settings detailed in the upgrade wizard.
  • Migrates workloads: Migrates workloads off the node so workload operations aren't interrupted.
  • Removes node: Puts the node into maintenance mode and then removes it from the cluster. This removes all VMM agents, virtual switch extensions, and so forth from the node.
  • Provisions the node: Provisions the node running Windows Server 2016, and configures it according to the saved template.
  • Returns the node to VMM: Brings the node back under VMM management and installs the VMM agent.
  • Returns the node to the cluster: Adds the node back into the SOFS cluster, brings it out of maintenance mode, and returns virtual machine workloads to it.

Before you start

  • The cluster must be managed by VMM.
  • The cluster must be running Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • The cluster must meet the requirements for bare metal deployment. The only exception is that the physical computer profile doesn't need to include network or disk configuration details. During the upgrade VMM records the node's network and disk configuration and uses that information instead of the computer profile.
  • You can upgrade nodes that weren't originally provisioned using bare metal as long as those nodes meet bare metal requirements such as BMC. You'll need to provide this information in the upgrade wizard.
  • The VMM library needs a virtual hard disk configured with Windows Server 2016.

Run the upgrade

  1. Click Fabric > Storage > File Servers. Right-click the SOFS > Upgrade Cluster.
  2. In the Upgrade Wizard > Nodes, click the nodes you want to upgrade or Select All. Then click Physical computer profile, and select the profile for the nodes.
  3. In BMC Configuration select the Run As account with permissions to access the BMC, or create a new account. In Out-of-band management protocol click the protocol that the BMCs use. To use DCMI click IPMI. DCMI is supported even though it's not listed. Make sure the correct port is listed.
  4. In Deployment Customization, review the nodes to upgrade. If the wizard couldn't figure out all of the settings it displays a Missing Settings alert for the node. For example, if the node wasn't provisioned by bare metal BMC settings might not be complete. Fill in the missing information.
    • Enter the BMC IP address if required. You can also change the node name. Don't clear Skip Active Directory check for this computer name unless you're changing the node name, and you want to make sure the new name is not in use.
    • In the network adapter configuration you can specify the MAC address. Do this if you're configuring the management adapter for the cluster, and you want to configure it as a virtual network adapter. It's not the MAC address of the BMC. If you choose to specify static IP settings for the adapter select a logical network and an IP subnet if applicable. If the subnet contains and address pool you can select Obtain an IP address corresponding to the selected subnet. Otherwise type an IP address within the logical network.
  5. In Summary, click Finish to begin the upgrade. If the wizard finishes, the node upgrades successfully so that all of the SOFS nodes are running Windows Server 2016. The wizard upgrades the cluster functional level to Windows Server 2016.

If you need to update the functional level of a SOFS that was upgraded outside VMM, you can do that by right-clicking the Files Servers > SOFS name > Update Version. This might be necessary if you upgraded the SOFS nodes before adding it to the VMM fabric, but SOFS is still functioning as a Windows Server 2012 R2 cluster.