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We are in the phase of initiating P2V migration of old hardware servers with possible OS upgrade in order to free some space in DC and reduce energy consumption.

Some of the servers will be merely P2Ved, some requires OS upgrade. I've been thinking on how better to achieve the goal for server which require OS upgrade, but it seems to be not so trivial and applicable to all servers that we have.

Most of the servers are Windows Server 2003 machines and it's planned to upgrade them to Windows Server 2012. Since there is no direct upgrade from 2003 to 2012, it seems more logical to create a new VM with Windows Server 2012 and then transfer application and data to it.

What else are the reasons NOT to perform migration with subsequent OS upgrade so I can have more arguments to convince customers to the approach with creating a new VM and transfering application data?

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    Don't upgrade from 2003 to 2012, do a fresh build in a VM and migrate data and applications, it would be a complete waste of time to go from 2003>2008 R2>2012 – DanBig Sep 3 '13 at 14:20
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Assuming you have the licenses and the room on your VM server, your best option is going to be to stand up your new 2012 servers and do a standard migration. You will likely end up with headaches by trying to do a double upgrade from 2003 to get to 2012, stopping at 2008 R2 in the middle.

If you have servers that you absolutely need to upgrade rather than rebuild, you could always do the P2V on the old OS, then upgrade inside the VM, knowing that if it fails miserably, you still have the physical box to fall back on.

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  • To add...it is also very likely that the servers running 2003 are also running older version of the apps on them, requiring them to be upgraded as well in the process. Doing a true migration to both an up to date OS AND updated apps will allow for a clean new base to work from. – TheCleaner Sep 3 '13 at 16:11

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