In our data center we have 4 physical server having ESXi 5.5 installed on them. On each physical server there are multiple virtual machines running on them and all of these virtual machines are managed by VMware vSphere. All of these virtual machines have Windows Server 2012 installed. I want to upgrade all of virtual machine operating system from Windows 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2.
The methods I have in mind are: 1- Create a windows 2012 R2 template and export and migrate the virtual machines one by one 2- Go inside the virtual machines one by one and upgrade them.
Is there any best practice advised for this matter which will have advantage of time and efficiency without loosing data?