Server Change We Can Believe In

One of the main admin scenarios that customers have problems with is moving TFS between severs. In my next few blog postings, I will be discussing several move scenarios and how they can be achieved.


Before discussing, the more complicated move scenarios I want to discuss some fundamentals. TFS has two different methods for moving to a new system. The primary method, what we call a restoration-based move, involves backing up a whole server and restoring it to a different server.


The secondary method is to use the TFS to TFS migration tool, which can be found here While the TFS to TFS migration tool can be used to migrate individual projects from one TFS server to another, we strongly caution users against using the TFS to TFS migration tool. There are many many negative side-effects of using this tool. (For example, the TFS to TFS migration tool cannot retain timestamps or WorkItem IDs.) If you must use the TFS to TFS migration tool, read the directions VERY CAREFULLY. That being said, I am no longer going to discuss the TFS to TFS migration tool, and focus on restoration-based moves.


Restoration-Based Moves

As mentioned above, restoration-based moves consist of

1.      Backing up all of your databases.

2.      Install necessary software on the new server. (TFS, SQL, etc...)

3.      Restoring these databases to a different server.

4.      Hooking up the new server to system.

That’s it! Unfortunately, the “hooking up the new server to the system” step can be daunting.


We’ve provided documentation on three different types of server moves:

·        Moving from One Hardware Configuration to Another

·        Moving from a Single-Server to a Dual-Sever

·        Moving from One Environment to Another, moving from a workgroup to a domain, (technically not a restoration-based move since the environment changes but the TFS server doesn’t move)

You can find the documentation for TFS 2005 here:, and the documentation for TFS 2008 here:


In the following posts, I will present overviews of the most common move scenarios starting with the three above. Over the next few weeks, I will add overviews of more scenarios. You can find an index for all of the server moves I will describe here:  

As I add more scenarios, this index will be updated.

Comments (3)

  1. I’m currently putting together a series of blog posts that describe the most common team foundation server

  2. One of the most common problems that users encounter is how do I upgrade TFS 2005 to TFS 2008 and change

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