How to move a guest virtual machine from one Microsoft Windows 2012 Hyper-V server to another Microsoft Windows 2012 Hyper-V server

Windows Server 2012 has tons of new and great features built into it.  One of my favorites is the ability to move a guest virtual machine from one Hyper-V server to another with no downtime.  I’m not talking a cluster here but actually moving an entire guest VM from one physical server’s local disk to another physical server’s local disk over the network without using any shared storage!

In this example I’m going to move a VM named DC01(my domain controller) from Host1 to Host2.  What Hyper-V does is copy over the VHDX from Host1 to Host2 while It’s still online, copy over the change files , then makes the switch from Host1 to Host2 instantly.

  • Right click the VM DC01 on Host1 and choose move.
    screenshot.3
  • Next.
    screenshot.5
  • In this example I want to move the entire VM from one Hyper-V server to another so I’ll choose move the virtual machine.  If I just wanted to move the storage I would choose the other option.
    screenshot.7
  • Host2 is the destination.
    screenshot.9
  • I want to just move it using the defaults so I’ll choose move the virtual machine’s data to a single location.
    screenshot.11
  • I’m going to browse and choose the destination folder.  screenshot.13
    screenshot.15
  • Finish
    screenshot.17
  • The move begins without taking DC1 down or off-line.  You’ll see in the screenshots below the progress of moving the 10GB VHDX.  The percentage gauge is not accurate.  You’ll see how it’s still 9% when 9GB has been transferred. 
    Host1
  • screenshot.18
    Host2
    screenshot.5
  • Host1
    screenshot.19
    Host2
    screenshot.7
  • Host1
    screenshot.20
    Host2
    screenshot.9
  • Host1
    screenshot.21
    Host2
    screenshot.11
  • Host1
    screenshot.22
    Host2
    screenshot.13
  • Host1
    The DC01 VM is gone
    screenshot.23
    Host2
    The DC02 VM is now on Host2
    screenshot.15
  • The amount of time it takes DC01 to go off-line on Host1 and on-line on Host2 is pretty darn fast.  Please ignore the response time while it’s being moved.  Since this is my budget friendly personal lab I’m not using best practices as in multiple NICs for now.  I’m also still running a 100MEG LAN.  I plan on upgrading soon.  After the VM is running on Host2 my response times are back to “normal”.
    screenshot.91

All of that and just missing one single ping.  Not bad if you ask me. 

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