Windows Server 2016 Rolling Hyper-V Cluster upgrade

You can now add a node running Windows Server 2016 to a Hyper-V Cluster with nodes running Windows Server 2012 R2. This allows you to upgrade the cluster without downtime. The cluster runs at a Windows Server 2012 R2 feature level until you upgrade all nodes in the cluster and update the cluster functional level with the Windows PowerShell cmdlet, Update-ClusterFunctionalLevel.

For a Hyper-V cluster with a functional level of Windows Server 2012 R2 with nodes running Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016, note the following:

  • Manage the cluster, Hyper-V, and virtual machines from a node running Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10.
  • You can move virtual machines between all of the nodes in the Hyper-V cluster.
  • To use new Hyper-V features, all nodes must run Windows Server 2016 and the cluster functional level must be updated.
  • The virtual machine configuration version for existing virtual machines isn’t upgraded. You can upgrade the configuration version only after you upgrade the cluster functional level.
  • Virtual machines that you create are compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2, virtual machine configuration level 5.

After you update the cluster functional level:

  • You can enable new Hyper-V features.
  • To make new virtual machine features available, use the Update-VmConfigurationVersion cmdlet to manually update the virtual machine configuration level. For instructions, see Upgrade virtual machine version.
  • You can’t add a node to the Hyper-V Cluster that runs Windows Server 2012 R2.