Shared nothing live migration with a virtual switch change and VLAN ID configuration


I was working on a hardware refresh, consolidation and upgrade to Windows Server 2019 project. This mainly boils down to cluster operating system rolling upgrades from Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2019 with new servers replacing the old ones. Pretty straight forward. So what does this has to do with shared nothing live migration with a virtual switch change and VLAN ID configuration

Due to the consolidation aspect, we also had to move virtual machines from some older clusters to the new clusters. The old cluster nodes have multiple virtual switches. These connect to different VLANs. Some of the virtual machines have on only one virtual network adapter that connects to one of the virtual switches. Many of the virtual machines are multihomed. The number of virtual NICs per virtual machine was anything between 1 to 3. For this purpose, we had the challenge of doing a shared nothing live migration with a virtual switch change and VLAN ID configuration. All this without downtime.

Meeting the challenge

In the new cluster, there is only one converged virtual switch. This virtual switch attaches to trunked network ports with all the required VLANs. As we have only one virtual switch on the new Hyper-V cluster nodes, the name differs from those on the old Hyper-V cluster nodes. This prevents live migration. Fixing this is our challenge.

First of all, compare-vm is your friend to find out blocking incompatibilities between the source and the target nodes. You can read about that in many places. Here, we focus on our challenge.

Making Shared nothing migration work

The first step is to make sure shared nothing migration works. We can achieve this in several ways.

Option 1

We can disconnect the virtual machine network adapters from their virtual switch. While this allows you to migrate the virtual machines, this leads to connectivity loss. This is not acceptable.


We can preemptively set the virtual machine network adapters to a virtual switch with the same name as the one on the target and enable VLAN ID. Consequently, this means you have to create those and need NICs to do so. but unless you configure and connect those to the network just like on the new Hyper-V hosts this also leads to connectivity loss. That was not possible in this case. So this option again is unacceptable.

Option 3

What I did was create dummy virtual switches on the target hosts. For this purpose, I used some spare LOM NICs. I did not configure them otherwise. As a matter of fact, tI did not even connect them. Just the fact that they exist with the same names as on the old Hyper-V hosts is sufficient to make shared nothing migration possible. Actually, this is a great time point to remind ourselves that we don’t even spare NICs. Dummy private virtual switches that are not even attached to a NIC will also do.

After we have finished the migrations we just delete the dummy virtual switches. That all there is to do if you used private ones. If you used spare NICs just disable them again. Now all is as was and should be on the new cluster nodes.

Turning shared nothing migration into shared nothing live migration

Remember, we need zero downtime. You have to keep in mind that long as the shared nothing live migration is running all is well. We have connectivity to the original virtual machines on the old cluster nodes. As soon as the shared nothing live migration finishes we do 2 things. First of all, we connect the virtual network adapters of the virtual machines to the new converged virtual switch. Also, we enable the VLAN ID. To achieve this, we script it out in PowerShell. As a result, is so fast we only drop only 1 or 2 pings. Just like a standard live migration.

Below you can find a conceptual script you can adapt for your own purposes. For real migrations add logging and error handling. Please note that to leverage share nothing migration you need to be aware of the security requirements. Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) is the default option. If you want or must use Kerberos you must configure constrained delegation in Active Directory.

I chose to use CredSSP as we would decommission the old host soon afterward anyway. It also means we did not need Active Directory work done. This can be handy if that is not evident in the environment you are in. We started the script on every source Hyper-V host, migrating a bunch of VMs to a new Hyper-V host. This works very well for us. Hope this helps.

Sample Script

    #The source Hyper-V host
    $SourceNode = 'NODE-A'
    #The LUN where you want to storage migrate your VMs away from
    $SourceRootPath = "C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1*"
    #The source Hyper-V host

    #The target Hypr-V host
    $TargetNode = 'ZULU'
    #The storage pathe where you want to storage migrate your VMs to
    $TargetRootPath = "C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1"

    $OldVirtualSwitch01 = 'vSwitch-VLAN500'
    $OldVirtualSwitch02 = 'vSwitch-VLAN600'
    $NewVirtualSwitch = 'ConvergedVirtualSwitch'
    $VlanId01 = 500
    $VlanId02 = 600

    #Grab all the VM we find that have virtual disks on the source CSV - WARNING for W2K12 you'll need to loop through all cluster nodes.
    $AllVMsOnRootPath = Get-VM -ComputerName $SourceNode | where-object { $_.HardDrives.Path -like $SourceRootPath }

    #We loop through all VMs we find on our SourceRoootPath
    ForEach ($VM in $AllVMsOnRootPath) {
        #We generate the final VM destination path
        $TargetVMPath = $TargetRootPath + "\" + ($VM.Name).ToUpper()
        #Grab the VM name
        $VMName = $VM.Name

        if ($VM.isclustered -eq $True) {
            write-Host -ForegroundColor Magenta $VM.Name "is clustered and is being removed from cluster"
            Remove-ClusterGroup -VMId $VM.VMid -Force -RemoveResources
            Do { Start-Sleep -seconds 1 } While ($VM.isclustered -eq $True)
            write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow $VM.Name "has been removed from cluster"
        #Do the actual storage migration of the VM, $DestinationVMPath creates the default subfolder structure
        #for the virtual machine config, snapshots, smartpaging & virtual hard disk files.
        Move-VM -Name $VMName -ComputerName $VM.ComputerName -IncludeStorage -DestinationStoragePath $TargetVMPath -DestinationHost $TargetNode
         $OldvSwitch01 = Get-VMNetworkAdapter -ComputerName $TargetNode -VMName $MovedVM.VMName | where-object SwitchName -eq $OldVirtualSwitch01

        if ($Null -ne $OldvSwitch01) {
            foreach ($VMNetworkadapater in $OldvSwitch01)
            {   write-host 'Moving to correct vSwitch'
                Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -VMNetworkAdapter $OldvSwitch01 -SwitchName $NewVirtualSwitch
                write-out "Setting VLAN $VlanId01"
                Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan  -VMNetworkAdapter $OldvSwitch01 -Access -VLANid $VlanId01
        $OldvSwitch02 = Get-VMNetworkAdapter -ComputerName $TargetNode -VMName $MovedVM.VMName | where-object SwitchName -eq $OldVirtualSwitch02
        if ($NULL -ne $OldvSwitch02) {
            foreach ($VMNetworkadapater in $OldvSwitch02) {
                write-host 'Moving to correct vSwitch'
                Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -VMNetworkAdapter $OldvSwitch02 -SwitchName $NewVirtualSwitch
                write-host "Setting VLAN $VlanId02"
                Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan  -VMNetworkAdapter $OldvSwitch02 -Access -VLANid $VlanId02

Collect cluster nodes with HBA WWN info


Below is a script that I use to collect cluster nodes with HBA WWN info. It grabs the cluster nodes and their HBA (virtual ports) WWN information form an existing cluster. In this example the nodes have Fibre Channel (FC) HBAs. It works equally well for iSCSI HBA or other cards. You can use the collected info in real time. As an example I also demonstrate writing and reading the info to and from a CSV.

This script comes in handy when you are replacing the storage arrays. You’ll need that info to do the FC zoning for example.  And to create the cluster en server object with the correct HBA on the new storage arrays if it allows for automation. As a Hyper-V cluster admin you can grab all that info from your cluster nodes without the need to have access to the SAN or FC fabrics. You can use it yourself and hand it over to those handling them, who can use if to cross check the info they see on the switch or the old storage arrays.


Script to collect cluster nodes with HBA WWN info

The script demos a single cluster but you could use it for many. It collects the cluster name, the cluster nodes and their Emulex HBAs. It writes that information to a CSV files you can read easily in an editor or Excel.


The scripts demonstrates reading that CSV file and parsing the info. That info can be used in PowerShell to script the creation of the cluster and server objects on your SAN and add the HBAs to the server objects. I recently used it to move a bunch of Hyper-V and File clusters to a new DELLEMC SC Series storage arrays. That has the DELL Storage PowerShell SDK. You might find it useful as an example and to to adapt for your own needs (iSCSI, brand, model of HBA etc.).

#region Supporting Functions
Function Convert-OutputForCSV {
            Provides a way to expand collections in an object property prior
            to being sent to Export-Csv.

            Provides a way to expand collections in an object property prior
            to being sent to Export-Csv. This helps to avoid the object type
            from being shown such as system.object[] in a spreadsheet.

        .PARAMETER InputObject
            The object that will be sent to Export-Csv

        .PARAMETER OutPropertyType
            This determines whether the property that has the collection will be
            shown in the CSV as a comma delimmited string or as a stacked string.

            Possible values:

            Default value is: Stack

            Name: Convert-OutputForCSV
            Author: Boe Prox
            Created: 24 Jan 2014
            Version History:
                1.1 - 02 Feb 2014
                    -Removed OutputOrder parameter as it is no longer needed; inputobject order is now respected 
                    in the output object
                1.0 - 24 Jan 2014
                    -Initial Creation

            $Output = 'PSComputername','IPAddress','DNSServerSearchOrder'

            Get-WMIObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled='True'" |
            Select-Object $Output | Convert-OutputForCSV | 
            Export-Csv -NoTypeInformation -Path NIC.csv    
            Using a predefined set of properties to display ($Output), data is collected from the 
            Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration class and then passed to the Convert-OutputForCSV
            funtion which expands any property with a collection so it can be read properly prior
            to being sent to Export-Csv. Properties that had a collection will be viewed as a stack
            in the spreadsheet.        
    #Requires -Version 3.0
    Param (
        [ValidateSet('Stack', 'Comma')]
        [string]$OutputPropertyType = 'Stack'
    Begin {
        $PSBoundParameters.GetEnumerator() | ForEach {
            Write-Verbose "$($_)"
        $FirstRun = $True
    Process {
        If ($FirstRun) {
            $OutputOrder = $
            Write-Verbose "Output Order:`n $($OutputOrder -join ', ' )"
            $FirstRun = $False
            #Get properties to process
            $Properties = Get-Member -InputObject $InputObject -MemberType *Property
            #Get properties that hold a collection
            $Properties_Collection = @(($Properties | Where-Object {
                        $_.Definition -match "Collection|\[\]"
            #Get properties that do not hold a collection
            $Properties_NoCollection = @(($Properties | Where-Object {
                        $_.Definition -notmatch "Collection|\[\]"
            Write-Verbose "Properties Found that have collections:`n $(($Properties_Collection) -join ', ')"
            Write-Verbose "Properties Found that have no collections:`n $(($Properties_NoCollection) -join ', ')"
        $InputObject | ForEach {
            $Line = $_
            $stringBuilder = New-Object Text.StringBuilder
            $Null = $stringBuilder.AppendLine("[pscustomobject] @{")

            $OutputOrder | ForEach {
                If ($OutputPropertyType -eq 'Stack') {
                    $Null = $stringBuilder.AppendLine("`"$($_)`" = `"$(($line.$($_) | Out-String).Trim())`"")
                ElseIf ($OutputPropertyType -eq "Comma") {
                    $Null = $stringBuilder.AppendLine("`"$($_)`" = `"$($line.$($_) -join ', ')`"")                   
            $Null = $stringBuilder.AppendLine("}")
            Invoke-Expression $stringBuilder.ToString()
    End {}
function Get-WinOSHBAInfo {
Basically add 3 nicely formated properties to the HBA info we get via WMI
These are the NodeWWW, the PortWWN and the FabricName. The raw attributes
from WMI are not readily consumable. WWNs are given with a ":" delimiter.
This can easiliy be replaced or removed depending on the need.

param ($ComputerName = "localhost")
# Get HBA Information
$Port = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $ComputerName -Class MSFC_FibrePortHBAAttributes -Namespace "root\WMI"
$HBAs = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $ComputerName -Class MSFC_FCAdapterHBAAttributes  -Namespace "root\WMI"
$HBAProperties = $HBAs | Get-Member -MemberType Property, AliasProperty | Select -ExpandProperty name | ? {$_ -notlike "__*"}
$HBAs = $HBAs | Select-Object $HBAProperties
$HBAs | % { $_.NodeWWN = ((($_.NodeWWN) | % {"{0:x2}" -f $_}) -join ":").ToUpper() }
ForEach ($HBA in $HBAs) {
    # Get Port WWN
    $PortWWN = (($Port |? { $_.instancename -eq $HBA.instancename }).attributes).PortWWN
    $PortWWN = (($PortWWN | % {"{0:x2}" -f $_}) -join ":").ToUpper()
    Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -InputObject $HBA -Name PortWWN -Value $PortWWN
    # Get Fabric WWN
    $FabricWWN = (($Port |? { $_.instancename -eq $HBA.instancename }).attributes).FabricName
    $FabricWWN = (($FabricWWN | % {"{0:x2}" -f $_}) -join ":").ToUpper()
    Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -InputObject $HBA -Name FabricWWN -Value $FabricWWN
    # Output

#Grab the cluster nane in a variable. Adapt thiscode to loop through all your clusters.
#Grab all cluster node 
$ClusterNodes = Get-Cluster -name $ClusterName | Get-ClusterNode
#Create array of custom object to store ClusterName, the cluster nodes and the HBAs
$ServerWWNArray = @()

ForEach ($ClusterNode in $ClusterNodes) {
    #We loop through the cluster nodes the cluster and for each one we grab the HBAs that are relevant.
    #My lab nodes have different types installed up and off, so I specify the manufacturer to get the relevant ones.
    #Adapt to your needs. You ca also use modeldescription to filter out FCoE vers FC HBAs etc.
    $AllHBAPorts = Get-WinOSHBAInfo -ComputerName $ClusterNode.Name | Where-Object {$_.Manufacturer -eq "Emulex Corporation"} 

    #The SC Series SAN PowerShell takes the WWNs without any delimiters, so we dump the ":" for this use case.
    $WWNs = $AllHBAPorts.PortWWN -replace ":", ""
    $NodeName = $ClusterNode.Name

    #Build a nice node object with the info and add it to the $ServerWWNArray 
    $ServerWWNObject = New-Object psobject -Property @{
        WWN         = $WWNs
        ServerName  = $NodeName 
        ClusterName = $ClusterName         
    $ServerWWNArray += $ServerWWNObject

#Show our array

#just a demo to list what's in the array
ForEach ($ServerNode in $ServerWWNArray) {    
    ForEach ($WWN in $Servernode.WWN)


#Show the results
$Export = $ServerWWNArray | Convert-OutputForCSV
#region write to CSV and read from CSV

#You can dump this in a file
$Export | export-csv -Path "c:\SysAdmin\$ClusterName.csv" -Delimiter ";"

#and get it back from a file
Get-Content -Path "c:\SysAdmin\$ClusterName.csv"
$ClusterInfoFile = Import-CSV -Path "c:\SysAdmin\$ClusterName.csv" -Delimiter ";"
$ClusterInfoFile | Format-List

#just a demo to list what's in the array
$MyClusterName = $ClusterInfoFile.clustername | get-unique
ForEach ($ClusterNode in $ClusterInfoFile) {  

    ForEach ($WWN in $ClusterNode.WWN) {


PowerShell Script to Load Balance DNS Server Search Order

Load Balance DNS Server Search Order

DNS servers need to be configured correctly, operate perfectly and respond as fast as possible to their clients. For some applications this is critical, but many have a more relaxed attitude. Hence a DNS Server has a full second to respond to a query. That means that even when you have 2 DNS servers configured on the clients the second will only be used when the first is not available or doesn’t respond quickly enough. This has a side effect which is that moving traffic away from an overloaded DNS servers isn’t that easy or optimal. We’ll look at when to use a PowerShell script to Load balance DNS server search order.

DHCP now and then

The trick here is to balance the possible DNS servers search order amongst the clients. We used to do this via split scopes and use different DNS servers search orders in each scope. When we got Windows server 2012(R2) we not only gained policies to take care of this but also DHCP failover with replica. That’s awesome as it relieves us of much of the tedious work of keeping track of maintaining split scopes and different options on all DCHP servers involved. For more information in using the MAC addresses and DCHP policies to load balance the use of your DNS servers read this TechNet article Load balancing DNS servers using DHCP Server Policies.

Fixed IP configurations

But what about servers with fixed IP addresses? Indeed, the dream world where we’ll see dynamically assigned IP configuration everywhere is a good one but perfection is not of this world. Fixed IP configurations are still very common and often for good reasons. Some turn to DCHP reservations to achieve this but many go for static IP configuration on the servers.


When that’s the case, our sys admins are told the DNS servers to use. Most of the time they’ll enter those in the same order over and over again, whether they do this manual or automated. So that means that the first and second DNS server in the search order are the same everywhere. No load balancing to be found. So potentially one DNS server is doing all the work and getting slower at it while the second or third DNS servers in the search order only help out when the first one is down or doesn’t respond quickly enough anymore. Not good. When you consider many (most?) used AD integrated DNS for their MSFT environments that’s even less good.

PowerShell Script to Load Balance DNS Server Search Order

That’s why when replacing DNS Servers or seeing response time issues on AD/DNS servers I balance the DNS server search order list. I do this based on their IP address its last octet. If that’s even, DNS Server A is the first in the search order and if not it’s DNS Server B that goes in first. That mixes them up pseudo random enough.

I use a PowerShell script for that nowadays instead of my age-old VBScript one. But recently I wanted to update it to no longer use WMI calls to get the job done. That’s the script I’m sharing here, or at least the core cons pet part of it, you’ll need to turn it into a module and parameterize if further to suit your needs. The main idea is here offering an alternative to WMI calls. Do note you’ll need PowerShell remoting enabled and configured and have the more recent Windows OS versions (Windows Server 2012 and up).

#The transcipt provides a log to check what was found and what changed.
Start-Transcript -Path C:\SysAdmin\MyDNSUpdateLog.txt #
$VMsOnHost = (Get-VM -ComputerName MyHyperVHostorClusterName).Name

foreach ($VM in $VMsOnHost)
    Invoke-Command -ComputerName $VM -ScriptBlock {

    #This function checks if the last octet of an IP address is even or not
    Function IsLastOctetEven ($IPAddress)
             $Octets = $IPAddress.Split(".")
             #$Octets[3] #0 based array, grab 4th octet

             #See if 4th octect is even
             $Boolean = [bool]!($Octets[3]%2)
             if ($Boolean)
                 Return $Boolean
                 #write-host "even"
                 Return $Boolean
                 #write-host "odd"

        $OldDns1 = ""
        $OldDns2 = ""
        $NewDns1 = ""
        $NewDns2 = ""

        $NicInterfaces = Get-DnsClientServerAddress

        foreach ($NICinterface in $NicInterfaces)
                #Here we filter out all interfaces that are not used for client/server connectivity.
                #Cluster Interfaces, HeartBeats, Loop back adapters, ...
                #We also filter out IPv6 here as this is for a IVp4 environment.
             if($NicInterface.InterfaceAlias -notmatch "isatap" -and $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias -notmatch "Pseudo" `
                -and $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias.Contains("Local Area Connection*") -ne $True `
                -and $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias.Contains("KEMP-DSR-LOOPBACK") -ne $True `
                -and $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias.ToLower().Contains("Heartbeat".Tolower()) -ne $True `
                -and $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias.Contains("NLB-PRIVATE") -ne $True-and $NicInterface.AddressFamily -ne "23")

                $Output = "Hello from  $env:computername" + $NICinterface.InterfaceAlias
                write-Output $Output            
                $Output = $NicInterface.InterfaceAlias +": DNS1=" + $NicInterface.ServerAddresses.GetValue(0) + " & DNS2=" +  $NicInterface.ServerAddresses.GetValue(1)
                write-Output $Output

                If (($NicInterface.ServerAddresses.GetValue(0) -like $OldDns1 -or $NicInterface.ServerAddresses.getvalue(0) -like $OldDns2) -and ($NicInterface.ServerAddresses.getvalue(1) -like $oldDns1 -or $NicInterface.ServerAddresses.getvalue(1) -like $OldDns2))
                    #If the IP address is DHCP assignd, leave it alone,
                    #that's handled via DHCP policies on the MAC address
                    $GetNetIPInfo = Get-NetIpAddress -InterfaceIndex  $NicInterface.InterfaceIndex
                     if ($GetNetIPInfo.PrefixOrigin -like "DHCP")
                        write-output "DHCP address - leave it alone"
                         $IPAddresses = $GetNetIPInfo.IPv4Address
                         $FirstIP = $IPAddresses[1] #1 based array
                         if (IsLastOctetEven($FirstIP)){
                            write-output "EVEN 4th IP octet => so DNS search order becomes $NewDns1 , $NewDns2"
                            Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex $NicInterface.InterfaceIndex -ServerAddresses ($NewDns1,$NewDns2)
                            write-Output "ODD 4th IP octet => so DNS search order becomes $NewDns2 , $NewDns1"
                            Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex $NicInterface.InterfaceIndex -ServerAddresses ($NewDns2, $NewDns1)
                         $NicInterface |  Select-Object -ExpandProperty ServerAddresses    
                    write-Output "Existing DNS values not like expected old values. They are propably already changed"