Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

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Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby AlexLeadingEdge » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:59 am

Hi guys,

We have just tried to replicate a VM from a Server 2012 R2 Host to a Server 2016 Host using Veeam B&R 9.5 Update 2, then back again from the Server 2016 Host to the Server 2012 R2 Host and got an error message saying this action isn't possible. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Reading this article below it indicates that this action isn't supported:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backu ... tml?ver=95

Will Veeam B&R 9.5 Update 3 support this action? As we slowly move all of our Hosts to Server 2016 this will become important!
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Re: Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:50 am

Hi AlexLeadingEdge,

No, that won't be possible. Don't forget that the entire way of snapshotting on Windows server 2016 has changed compared to windows server 2012 R2. Once you are over there, getting back is not backwards compatible. So the only way to do this is start replication to windows server 2016 (the new host). Move the VM to another 2016 host and upgrade the old 2012 host. You might want to check rolling-cluster upgrade (if your VMs are in a cluster) from MSFT to do this project

cheers
Mike
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Re: Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby AlexLeadingEdge » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:43 pm

Thanks Mike. Looks like an oversight on our part, we weren't aware that snapshotting only works one way! For now I guess we will just have to have the Server 2016 Host sitting around doing nothing until needed, or downgrade to align with the other two Hosts :(
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Re: Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:50 am

Yes and no. I have seen quite a few people doing this (from 2012 R2 to 2016) during the upgrade project. In worst case scenario, they failover to the 2016 host (and that becomes their running version). Then they can upgrade the old host quickly and reverse the failover. Call it a second failsafe (besides backup) that you build in while doing the upgrade of hosts project
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Re: Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby AlexLeadingEdge » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:03 pm

Mike Resseler wrote:Yes and no. I have seen quite a few people doing this (from 2012 R2 to 2016) during the upgrade project. In worst case scenario, they failover to the 2016 host (and that becomes their running version). Then they can upgrade the old host quickly and reverse the failover. Call it a second failsafe (besides backup) that you build in while doing the upgrade of hosts project
We have three Hosts, A and B are Server 2012 R2 and C is Server 2016. We had hoped to create a round-robin replication where A --> B --> C --> A , this way we can handle an outage of one Host and can do maintenance on a single Host during the day. Obviously this isn't going to work with C replicating to A. The Microsoft licencing allows us to downgrade to earlier versions of Server so that is what we will have to do, downgrade to Server 2012 R2 to match.

Server 2012 R2 becomes End of Extended Life on 1/10/2023 so we have plenty of time to upgrade. Perhaps we might even go to the next server after Server 2016 (Server 2018? Server 2019?).
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Re: Replication of VM on Server 2016 Host to earlier Host?

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:35 pm

If server 2018 or 2019 ever going to exist, now that you have 6-monthly releases :-)

I understand that the round-robin does not work at this moment for you, but I would really consider replicating A to C and when the replication is done, you can bring them live on C. Upgrade host A and then you can start the opposite direction. Do the same afterwards with B.

Server 2016 brings quite some enhancements, and with the many fixes in the latest build (1709) you really want to consider being on that version.

But obviously I can understand that sometimes it is more easier on paper than in reality :-)
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