Use Storage Migration Service to migrate a server
This topic discusses how to migrate a server, including its files and configuration, to another server by using Storage Migration Service and Windows Admin Center. Migrating takes three steps once you've installed the service and opened any necessary firewall ports: inventory your servers, transfer data, and cut over to the new servers.
Step 0: Install Storage Migration Service and check firewall ports
Before you get started, install Storage Migration Service and make sure that the necessary firewall ports are open.
- Check the Storage Migration Service requirements and install Windows Admin Center on your PC or a management server if you haven't already.
- In Windows Admin Center, connect to the orchestrator server running Windows Server 2019.
This is the server that you'll install Storage Migration Service on and use to manage the migration. If you're migrating only one server, you can use the destination server as long as it's running Windows Server 2019. We recommend you use a separate orchestration server for any multi-server migrations.
- Go to Server Manager (in Windows Admin Center) > Storage Migration Service and select Install to install Storage Migration Service and its required components (shown in Figure 1). Figure 1: Installing Storage Migration Service
- Install the Storage Migration Service proxy on all destination servers running Windows Server 2019. This doubles the transfer speed when installed on destination servers.
To do so, connect to the destination server in Windows Admin Center and then go to Server Manager (in Windows Admin Center) > Roles and features, select Storage Migration Service Proxy, and then select Install.
On all source servers and on any destination servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016, in Windows Admin Center, connect to each server, go to Server Manager (in Windows Admin Center) > Firewall > Incoming rules, and then check that the following rules are enabled:
- File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In)
- Netlogon Service (NP-In)
- Windows Management Instrumentation (DCOM-In)
- Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI-In)
If you're using third party firewalls, the inbound port ranges to open are TCP/445 (SMB) , TCP/135 (RPC/DCOM endpoint mapper), and TCP 1025-65535 (RPC/DCOM ephemeral ports).
If you're using an orchestrator server to manage the migration and you want to download events or a log of what data you transfer, check that the File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In) firewall rule is enabled on that server as well.
Step 1: Create a job and inventory your servers to figure out what to migrate
In this step, you specify what servers to migrate and then scan them to collect info on their files and configurations.
- Select New job, name the job, and then select OK.
- On the Enter credentials page, type admin credentials that work on the servers you want to migrate from, and then select Next.
- Select Add a device, type a source server name, and then select OK.
Repeat this for any other servers you want to inventory.
- Select Start scan.
The page updates to shows when the scan is complete. Figure 2: Inventorying servers
- Select each server to review the shares, configuration, network adapters, and volumes that were inventoried.
Storage Migration Service won't transfer files or folders that we know could interfere with Windows operation, so in this release you'll see warnings for any shares located in the Windows system folder. You'll have to skip these shares during the transfer phase. For more info, see What files and folders are excluded from transfers.
- Select Next to move on to transferring data.
Step 2: Transfer data from your old servers to the destination servers
In this step you transfer data after specifying where to put it on the destination servers.
- On the Transfer data > Enter credentials page, type admin credentials that work on the destination servers you want to migrate to, and then select Next.
- On the Add a destination device and mappings page, the first source server is listed. Type the name of the server to which you want to migrate and then select Scan device.
- Map the source volumes to destination volumes, clear the Include checkbox for any shares you don't want to transfer (including any administrative shares located in the Windows system folder), and then select Next. Figure 3: A source server and where its storage will be transferred to
- Add a destination server and mappings for any more source servers, and then select Next.
- Optionally adjust the transfer settings, and then select Next.
- Select Validate and then select Next.
- Select Start transfer to start transferring data.
The first time you transfer, we'll move any existing files in a destination to a backup folder. On subsequent transfers, by default we'll refresh the destination without backing it up first.
Also, Storage Migration Service is smart enough to deal with overlapping shares—we won’t copy the same folders twice in the same job.
After the transfer completes, check out the destination server to make sure everything transferred properly. Select Error log only if you want to download a log of any files that didn't transfer.
If you want to keep an audit trail of transfers or are planning to perform more than one transfer in a job, click Transfer log to save a CSV copy. Every subsequent transfer overwrites the database information of a previous run.
At this point, you have three options:
- Go to the next step, cutting over so that the destination servers adopt the identities of the source servers.
- Consider the migration complete without taking over the source servers' identities.
- Transfer again, copying only files that were updated since the last transfer.
If your goal is to sync the files with Azure, you could set up the destination servers with Azure File Sync after transferring files, or after cutting over to the destination servers (see Planning for an Azure File Sync deployment).
Step 3: Optionally cut over to the new servers
In this step you cut over from the source servers to the destination servers, moving the IP addresses and computer names to the destination servers. After this step is finished, apps and users access the new servers via the names and addresses of the servers you migrated from.
- If you've navigated away from the migration job, in Windows Admin Center, go to Server Manager > Storage Migration Service and then select the job that you want to complete.
- On the Cut over to the new servers > Enter credentials page, select Next to use the credentials you typed previously.
- On the Configure cutover page, specify which network adapters to take over each source device's settings. This moves the IP address from the source to the destination as part of the cutover.
- Specify what IP address to use for the source server after cutover moves its address to the destination. You can use DHCP or a static address. If using a static address, the new subnet must be the same as the old subnet or cutover will fail. Figure 4: A source server and how its network configuration will move to the destination
- Specify how to rename the source server after the destination server takes over its name. You can use a randomly generated name or type one yourself. Then select Next.
- Select Next on the Adjust cutover settings page.
- Select Validate on the Validate source and destination device page, and then select Next.
- When you're ready to perform the cutover, select Start cutover.
Users and apps might experience an interruption while the address and names are moved and the servers restarted several times each, but will otherwise be unaffected by the migration. How long cutover takes depends on how quickly the servers restart, as well as Active Directory and DNS replication times.
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