Server migrations are a necessary and routine task for web hosting companies. However, being a routine task doesn’t mean it’s free of challenges. Doesn’t matter how many successful migrations you have done, the next migration will always give you sleepless nights as each migration is unique and requires meticulous planning and its implementation. And if you are a growing business with a website or application, there definitely comes a point where you would have to think about migrating to another server. But before delving into technicalities, it is essential to understand the basics.
Server migration can be described as shifting the important data from one server to another server while configuring the targeted server simultaneously to replace the earlier one. In context to web hosting, server migrations involve positioning the database software and web server, copying websites and their respective configurations, and changing the DNS to direct visitors over the new server.
Why is Server Migration Necessary?
There are several reasons which make server migration a necessary process. Enterprises may want to consider server migration to:
- Leverage the advanced technology or ensuring that the OS (operating system) and hardware behind it is in sync with the latest technologies available;
- Move to the cloud for advantages like improved scalability and flexibility;
- Retrench while consolidating hosting to reduce the capital expenditure;
- Replace the existing legacy infrastructure once it reaches its lifecycle’s end;
- Broaden and distribution of hosting to decrease the load off from a single point and gain better availability.
The process of migration should be manoeuvred with utmost attention and care. Hours of effort, time, and capital investment into a migration may result in a wrong server solution, downtime, or worse, profit loss. And all this just because of a minor technical error. Substantial planning and brainstorming is required for data migration onto an optimized server which is perfect for the business requirements. After all, an average downtime can easily cost a business around $686,000 per hour, which makes the successful migration an integral pillar of the success of any business.
cPanel to Plesk Migration
Numerous website hosting servers utilize cPanel and Plesk as control panels, which makes the cPanel to Plesk migration a common and routine task for tech support professionals. Unsuccessful cPanel to Plesk migration can easily burn a hole in the pocket, therefore requires utmost and thorough planning. To ensure that there are no glitches during the entire migration process, it is better to follow certain necessary preparation processes while preparing both servers simultaneously.
- Ensure that cPanel and Plesk server has enough disk space. The space availability on the source should be the same as to the amount of data which is being transferred. The destination server should have storage space at least 5 GB more than the data amount.
- Use the migration manager to ensure that Plesk and cPanel versions are compatible with each other for the migration.
- Deploy Plesk transfer and migration manager on the targeted server.
- To ensure that there are no problems regarding IP addresses, ensure to add more than one shared IP address. During the process, keep an eye on the number of dedicated IP addresses present on both servers.
- If there’s mailing lists present in the source server, deploy the Mailman mailing list manager in the targeted server to handle entire lists properly and without compromising the essential data.
- In order to connect the source server with the destination server, allow the Plesk server’s IP within the firewall of cPanel. Additionally, start the configuration of the source server to permit SSH connections.
- While the process is going, ensure that SELinux is disable on the Plesk server.
Typical Errors Made While Migration
Some of the most common errors made while server migration includes:
- Lack of the complete information about the natural and quantity of data and assuming that existing data would be compatible with the destination server.
- Lack of pre-data analysis and holistic approach toward migration which can lead to incomplete migration or migration of unwanted, duplicated, or outdated data.
- Lack of a transparent and well-coordinated human communication as the entire process of migration involves multiple stakeholders, devices, locations, sources, and phases. Absence of the proper coordination can lead to chaotic and unsuccessful migration.
Key Lifesaving Hacks for A Successful Migration
Though each migration is unique in itself, there are certain high-level hacks that increase the chances of a successful migration. Following these hacks can ensure that nothing is amiss and the important data is successfully migrated to the destination server.
- Before starting the process, understand and assess the data. Explore what is being migrated and how well it syncs with the destination system. Understand the amount of data being pulled and what exactly it looks like. It is better to run a data audit of the actual data to find incomplete data silos, inaccuracies, and other issues that may impact the migration process.
- Define the design of the migration that the enterprise is planning. It includes laying out the solution’s technical architecture and other details. Keeping the design, type of data to be pulled, and destination system in mind, the migration timeline can easily be defined.
- If the migration is large, chances of errors also increase manifolds. In such scenarios, it is advised to break the entire data into different subsets and building an individual category at one time, followed by running a test. This would help find any error, if present, immediately without the need to test entire data in the end for the error.
- Go for live testing as testing the data migration design with real data can help check the accuracy of the completeness and implementation of the application.
- Once final testing is completed, implementation can be done, followed by auditing data in the destination server to check the migration accuracy.
If your enterprise is looking forward to upgrading systems, or data consolidation, or moving to the cloud, data migration is just around the corner. A simple to understand yet big process in itself, the whole task can be complicated in execution. But all it takes is strategy and planning, which makes this such an amazing process. The simplistic nature of the server migration means that anyone can easily do this by following the SOPs and details of each phase, and voila, we have a successful server migration!