The In-Place Upgrade Process
Before we get going with the technicals – Inplace upgrades are generally frowned upon within the IT community. However, those of you that have faced upgrading legacy implementations where the inhouse support is poor or non-existent have had to find a way to preserve the operation of a production environment. Inplace upgrades can help you achieve this and give the stakeholders valuable extra time to find alternatives and we have found that as long as you spend enough time checking system requirements and application compatibility, the upgrades are successful.
- You cannot cross architecture platforms when upgrading.
- You cannot upgrade from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012. Be ready to justify this to the Stakeholders.
- Hyper V integration tools (if upgrading a Virtual Machine).
- Legacy drivers.
- Internet Information Server (IIS)
- Poor system builds and bad practices.
- Lack of documentation.
- Application support.
- Frontpage Server Extensions.
Virtulisation and Inplace upgrades.
- Removing legacy hardware risk.
- Easier resource allocation.
- Ability to snapshot and rollback.
- Ability to test upgrades without Operational Impact.
- Faster deployment times.
System Requirements for Inplace Upgrades to Windows 2008.
|Processor||One or more processors with a recommended minimum speed of 550 megahertz (MHz). The minimum supported speed is 133 MHz. A maximum of four processors per computer is supported. Processors from the Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processors are recommended.|
|Memory||256 megabytes (MB) of RAM (recommended minimum). 128 MB is the minimum supported, and 4 gigabytes (GB) is the maximum supported.|
|Available Diskspace||Not detailed! Microsoft only suggest that you have at least 2gb available for the setup.|
• Minimum: 1 GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4 GHz (x64 processor) • Recommended: 2 GHz or faster Note: An Intel Itanium 2 processor is required for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems.
• Minimum: 512 MB RAM
• Recommended: 2 GB RAM or greater
• Maximum (32-bit systems): 4 GB (Standard) or 64 GB (Enterprise and Datacenter)
• Maximum (64-bit systems): 32 GB (Standard) or 1 TB (Enterprise and Datacenter) or 2 TB (Itanium-Based Systems)
• Minimum: 10 GB
• Recommended: 40 GB or greater
Note: Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.
The key area to watch for here is the available disk space for your target machine. Many Windows 2003 servers were built in a time where Hard Disks were expensive to purchase and therefore many System Partitions are small – sometimes less than 10GB.
You will need to extend these partitions prior to the Inplace upgrade. You will be aware that Windows 2003 doesn’t natively support extending System Partitions, however there are free tools available to assist you.
We have used Dells ‘ExtPart’ very successfully. You will need at least 15gb of available disk space for the setup to complete successfully with 40gb being recommended. Obviously if you server estate has already been virtualised this is very easy to accomplish, however you may struggle if you are working with a Physical Machine.
That’s it for now – next week we'll look into more ‘Gotchas’ to watch out for when performing upgrades to Windows 2008.