Evening All,

As it’s a nice quiet bank holiday weekend, I thought I would take the opportunity to write up my experience this week with attempting to move the Data Warehouse Management Server and the Reporting Server in my Service Manager management group.

The reason for wanting to move these components was to move all onto a newly implemented Hyper-V platform, as well as to reclaim Enterprise SQL licenses that had been incorrectly used during the initial installation.  First of all, I had to move all the databases for Service Manager to new SQL Servers, which was accomplished successfully following the guides available on TechNet, http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2012/04/22/moving-the-service-manager-and-dw-databases.aspx.  After this was completed, I relaxed a bit and thought that that was the difficult bit over with, now to simply move the management servers, DW management server, and reporting.

To “move” the management servers to new servers wasn’t a problem, as expected, as I just installed new management servers on the new Hyper-V platform and then decommissioned the old ones.  The DW MS and Reporting Server, however, turned out to be a very different story.

My first inclination that moving these components may be difficult was when I tried to look up Microsoft guides on how to do so, and couldn’t really find anything.  I couldn’t find anything at all on moving the Reporting Server, and I could only find a guide on recovering a Data Warehouse Management Server, which is here, https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/hh524223.aspx, and on further investigation is itself lacking important information for a successful recovery.

So, to start with I thought I would use the DW MS recovery guide to try and install a new DW MS with a new Reporting Server.  I followed the guide exactly, changing the ReportServer URL to the new URL from the new Reporting Server, however I just couldn’t get the DW MS to install.  After some investigation through the logs, and discussion with Microsoft, it turns out that if you want to install the DW MS on a new server, the new server must have the same name as the original server, as the encryption key contains host name information.  This extremely important piece of information is omitted from the recovery guide!!

Then, I started to look at how I could implement a new Reporting Server, and the same thing applied; you must use a new server with the same as the original, and it must be the restored Report Server instance from the original, as reports will not redeploy from Service Manager.

With all this information, I was able to put together a step by step guide on how to put the DW MS and Reporting Services on a new server:

 

  1. Get details of all service accounts used by the DW management group, as the re-installation must use the same service accounts.
  2. Backup the DW encryption key from the DW MS, if not already done so (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/hh519808.aspx).
  3. Uninstall the Data Warehouse Management Server from the original server.
  4. Shutdown the Data Warehouse Management Server.
  5. Backup the SQL Reporting Services databases and encryption key (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms157275.aspx).
  6. Shutdown server hosting SQL Reporting Services.
  7. Start the new server to host SQL Reporting Services – this server must have the same computer name as the original server.
  8. Install a SQL Reporting Services instance on the new server with the same instance name as the original.
  9. Configure SQL Reporting Services for Remote SQL Server Reporting Services, following this guide, https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh519664.aspx.
  10. Start the new server to host the Data Warehouse Management Server which must have the same computer name as the original.
  11. Restore the DW Management Server encryption key on the new server.
  12. Install the DW Management Server and choose the existing Service Manager DW databases when the asked to provide database information.
  13. When prompted for service accounts, use the same service accounts noted earlier.
  14. The installation wizard will pick up details of Management Group name, database and SQL Reporting Services instance from the DB to complete the wizard and installation.
  15. Restore the Report Server databases and encryption key over the newly created SQL Server Reporting Services databases, and verify the report manager URL can be accessed and reports exist.
  16. Once installation completes, the new servers will be running the DW MS and Reporting Services.

A couple things to note…

  • Remember to use the same IP addresses for the new servers as the old to prevent any name resolution issues, or make sure DNS is updated.
  • The new servers will need to join the domain, so ensure records about the old servers is removed first.
  • Decommission the old servers once the new ones are verified as working, to prevent them being booted back up and conflicting with the new servers.

Although this isn’t straight forward, it can be done, it’s just a real shame Microsoft haven’t published any official guide on how to do so.

Working with Microsoft, it was confirmed that this is the only approach that will work.  Due to encryption keys, and report deployment issues, renaming the computer hosting any of the components will prevent it from installing.

So, good luck to everyone who needs to attempt this, and I hope this helps!!

 

David