Migrate 2008 R2 file servers to a newer version of OS in Azure.

Copper Contributor

Is it possible to upgrade the operating system and migrate to Azure using the migration tool?

9 Replies
The Azure Migrate: Server Migration tool only supports like-for-like migrations currently. The tool doesn’t support upgrading the OS version during migration. The migrated machine will have the same OS as the source machine.
Currently, we don't support OS upgrades during migration. You need to upgrade the operating system manually and then use the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool to migrate the server.
If it comes to a file server, all shares and access permissions will not change, correct? The only change that could have an impact on users (depending on how we configure the environment) is the server IP, correct?

@ssteinBR Yes, that is correct.


If it is a file server that you are looking to upgrade the OS for as you migrate, you can also take a look at the Storage Migration Service tool in Windows Admin Center - 



IMO you should definitely consider using SMS Storage Migration Service  for this particular need . 

Main Benefits are :  

  • Inventory multiple servers and their data
  • Rapidly transfer files, file shares, and security configuration from the source servers
  • Optionally take over the identity of the source servers (also known as cutting over) so that users and apps don't have to change anything to access existing data
  • Manage one or multiple migrations from the Windows Admin Center user interface

@ibrahimambodji thank you so much for your response.

I want to consolidate my onprem file servers into a single file server in Azure. I know I can't perform the cutover because they're multiple sources.
Can I select a folder, volume, or disk on the destination for each of the sources to create an organized structure?
Do you know if it's possible?

best response confirmed by ssteinBR (Copper Contributor)





If you want  to consolidate your file servers Azure File Sync can be suitable since you can use many servers in a sync  group 


An end to end tutorial below :


In my case, I'll really need to create a new regional file and printer server (by continents) in Azure and then migrate the on-site file and printer servers to it.
My question now is whether i could use SMS to migrate the files, shares and permissions to the new server in azure and not perform the cutover in the end? Additionally, could you use it for syncing the files?


No the cutover is not mandatory . In fact at the end of the migration  you have three options:

  • Go to the next step, cutting over so that the destination servers adopt the identities of the source servers.( What you don't wan to do in my understanding ) 
  • Consider the migration complete without taking over the source servers' identities.
  • Transfer again, copying only files that were updated since the last transfer.

Ref: Migrate a file server by using Storage Migration Service | Microsoft Docs


You cannot use SMS to perform file sync .For that you need to do an Azure File sync deployment 

Planning for an Azure File Sync deployment | Microsoft Docs