I'm planning on migrating 2 HyperV VMs that are currently running on Windows Server 2012R2 to a new server running 2008R2. What's the best way to migrate the VMs? Will replication work between the two OSes? How about the export feature in HyperV? I know that it's not possible to move directly from 2008R2 to 2012R2 without an intermediate conversion, but I can't find any info on doing the reverse.

  • Why are you doing this? Why bother standing up a new 2008 R2 Hyper-V host in 2014? There were major Hyper-V improvements made between 2008 R2 and 2012 R2.
    – MDMarra
    Jun 20 '14 at 14:30
  • Licensing. We don't have any licenses for 2012R2, and it'd be tough to purchase more. Although we may have an availabe 2012 license.
    – zymhan
    Jun 20 '14 at 14:45
  • 3
    So use Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, which is free.
    – MDMarra
    Jun 20 '14 at 14:46
  • The standalone version of Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is entirely free? I had no idea!
    – zymhan
    Jun 20 '14 at 15:01
  • @MDMarra If you submit an answer, I'll accept it. You definitely solved my issue.
    – zymhan
    Jun 20 '14 at 15:16

I would recommend using Hyper-V 2012 R2 on all new installations. If you cannot afford Windows Server licensing for the hypervisors, use Hyper-V Server which is free.

That said, if you are denser than 7:1 it makes financial sense to license Windows Server Datacenter Edition which entitles you to unlimited OS installs on a physical host including the hypervisor OS. A single Datacenter edition license on a two socket host will allow you to run the host OS plus unlimited guests of any Windows Server version


MDMarra is Correct, use the Hyper-V Server which is free. You need to manage it with remote tools though.

to answer your first question, You can Migrate a 2012R2 VM if it is Version 1. If its a Version 2 you would have to do a disk copy of sorts to a version 1 VHD.

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