I am looking for ideas on how to move SQL Server 2012(standard) two node cluster installed on Windows server 2012 standard to other location which is far away from current location. The two locations are of course connected. The source and destination would be exactly same in all terms.

I am aware that the old and good approach would be to create exact same cluster on the destination and then move database by backup restore and then either change SQL server virtual name to old one or make changes in DNS or application to point to new cluster. But we cannot follow this approach because

  1. The number of such machines are high
  2. There is no application owner, so we are not sure where exactly changes needs to be done(a bit tricky situation).
  3. SQL Server cluster does not supports renaming if database is replicated.

The OS on both the locations would be sitting on Vmware Esxi 5.5. So this is virtual environment. Everything would be exactly same between source and destination.

The cluster has quorum disk as witness not fileshare and shared disks are on SAN.

NOTE: We have luxury of downtime as weekends would be given to us for migration.

  • How feasible is it to copy all VMs to new location over weekend? Alternatively, copy backups and add new VMs as secondary cluster nodes. They'll get updated. Break connection, and reconfigure new site for long term 2 node set up, if needed... – Stoleg Jun 23 '16 at 14:51
  • Copying VM's is not feasible. Yes we are looking at converting cluster into Geo cluster and adding node to current cluster from destination. After this we would failover to added node and eventually evict old node. But this is not safe – Shanky Jun 24 '16 at 4:58
  • Why is it not safe? Is it due to possible structural changes? – Stoleg Jun 24 '16 at 14:30
  • Have you considered AlwaysOn Availability Groups? They allow SQL Server level data sync, rather than hardware or FS level. – Stoleg Jun 24 '16 at 16:24
  • I have SQL Server 2012 standard I cannot use Availability Groups. This was the possibility I was considering. There are many servers it would be tedious task to go ahead and configure AG on all databases. – Shanky Jun 24 '16 at 16:50

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