Upgrading System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 to System Center VMM 2012 RC

In this blog post I will run through upgrading an existing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 instance to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 20102 RC. I will then explain two different methods of updating the host agents that currently exist on my 2008 R2 SP1 host hyper-v servers.

I have already backed up the vmm database that currently resides in SQL Server 2008 R2, checked all my prerequisites and am ready to proceed. For a full list of prerequisites, please go here.

After extracting the install files, executing the setup.exe brings me to the below splash screen.

Click install to proceed. I purposely did not install WAIK for Windows 7 on the server, to see if it would either error out or prompt and assist with downloading and installing.

The installer detects that an existing installation of 2008 R2 Sp1 exists and asks if you would like to upgrade.

Obviously we will click Yes to proceed and the installer will then detect all roles or features installed on the server that will be updated as part of the process.

Clicking next to proceed will bring us to the product registration page.

Next is the License Agreement that you will read and agree to.

After agreeing you are asked to join the customer experience improvement program.

The installer will then check hardware and software prerequisites.

My check failed due to memory requirements as you can see below. I am in fact upgrading a scvmm 2008 r2 sp1 instance that is running as a guest in hyper-v r2 sp1 and is configured to use dynamic memory. The dynamic memory settings are configured for a maximum of 2048MB, but as you can see the installer is detecting only what is currently assigned in Hyper-V, which was 1289MB. Kind of annoying that I now have to cancel the installation because I can’t switch from dynamic to static memory while the vm is running, but no big deal really, I’ll shut down, reconfigure for 3GB of static memory and rerun the installer.

The prerequisite checker flagged the WAIK installation the second go around. Also kind of annoying that the prerequisite checker will not check for all requirements and provide a full list like the Exchange 2010 installer does. That’s ok though, did my due diligence and checked this myself before attempting the upgrade and have the .iso already mounted to the virtual machine for installation.

Attaching the WAIK iso and executing the startdc file in the source directory brings up the below splash screen.

Executing Windows AIK Setup on the left hand menu will start the WAIK installation process. The WAIK installer welcome screen in shown below.

Clicking next will bring us to the License Agreement which we will read and proceed through. Finally, we will select the installation location before confirming the installation and installing.

WAIK has been successfully installed and we can go back to the prerequisite checker to check requirements again.

The third time around we are presented with a memory warning shown below. I will proceed with the installation and update the memory afterward.

Clicking Next will bring us the database configuration page. Since we are upgrading an existence Virtual Machine Manger Database, I will leave this at defaults and continue.

The next part of the installation requires us to specify the service account for the virtual machine management service and asks us how we want to store encryption keys. Distributed Key Management is new in SCVMM 2012 and is required if installing SCVMM 2012 in an HA deployment. Distributed Key Management stores information in Active Directory instead of locally and is recommended. I purposely did not prepopulate the object using ADSI for DKM to see if the installer would create the object in AD for me as I have all necessary permissions required to do so and it states in the documentation here that if you have the required rights you do not have to prepopluate using ADSI Edit.

If you have any unique port configuration requirements the next screen will allow you to input them.

Self-Service portal configuration is next in the wizard. In my situation I am accepting the defaults as my portal is installed on the same virtual machine.

A report is then presented showing us what compatibility issues there are with SCVMM 2012 before proceeding.

The installation summary page will review all of our configuration. Review it before proceeding to make sure no changes are necessary and then click Install to continue with the upgrade. The installation will start and install any supported software necessary such as the .Net Framework and then will upgrade each of the three components below.

The entire upgrade process took about 8-10 minutes in my case but this is not a very large SCVMM deployment by any means. A successful installation should leave us at the below Setup Successful window.

Updating host agents from 2008 R2 SP1 to 2012 RC.

After a successful upgrade to 2012 we next need to update the host agents. This task does not need to be immediately done as the 2008 R2 SP1 host agents are compatible with SCVMM 2012.  There are two ways in the gui to update a host agent.

Method #1: To update a host agent we need to open the Fabric view from the left pane, resulting in the below view of the console.

Right click the host that will be updated and select “Update Agent”

System Center will prompt for credentials to update the host agent.

You can then view the status of the job in the lower right hand side of the console. The before and after views will show like the two images below.

Method #2: The other method of updating the host agent is to view the status of the host in the fabric view and remediate the errors the system has identified. Including the legacy host agent. Right click the host in the fabric view to display the below menu and select view status.

Viewing the status of the host will display what you see below. Notice the Yes under the remediation column for Host Agent Service and Host Agent Version.

Click Repair All to remediate all issue including updating the host agent version and service. The process will take a minute but can be run with active workloads running on the host. When complete the host status windows should look like image below.

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