Migrating roles and features in Windows Server

Applies to: Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012

This page contains links to information and tools that help guide you through the process of migrating roles and features to a newer version of Windows Server. You can migrate file servers and storage using Storage Migration Service, while many other roles and features can be migrated by using the Windows Server Migration Tools, a set of PowerShell cmdlets that were introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 for migrating roles and features.

The migration guides support migrations of specified roles and features from one server to another (not in-place upgrades). Unless otherwise noted in the guides, migrations are supported between physical and virtual computers, and between full installation options of Windows Server and servers that are running the Server Core installation option.

Before you begin

Before you begin migrating roles and features, verify that both source and destination servers are running the most current service packs that are available for their operating systems.

Note

Whenever you migrate or upgrade to any version of Windows Server, you should review and understand the support lifecycle policy and timeframe for that version and plan accordingly. You can search for the lifecycle information for the particular Windows Server release that you are interested in.

Windows Server 2019

To migrate file servers and storage to Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016, we recommend using Storage Migration Service. To migrate other roles, refer to the guidance for Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows Server 2016

Here are the migration guides for Windows Server 2016. Note that in many cases you can also use the Windows Server 2012 R2 migration guides.

To migrate file servers to Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016, we recommend using Storage Migration Service.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Follow the steps in these guides to migrate roles and features from servers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows Server Migration Tools in Windows Server 2012 R2 supports cross-subnet migrations.

An e-book of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 migration guides is now available. For more information, and to download the e-book, see the E-Book Gallery for Microsoft Technologies.

Windows Server 2012

Follow the steps in these guides to migrate roles and features from servers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012. Windows Server Migration Tools in Windows Server 2012 supports cross-subnet migrations.

For additional migration resources, visit Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2008 R2

Follow the steps in these guides to migrate roles and features from servers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Server Migration Tools in Windows Server 2008 R2 does not support cross-subnet migrations.

For additional migration resources, visit Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server 2008 R2.