A Simple Guide to Migrating your Hosting to server such as EC2 or Rackspace Cloud..

Weather you are doing this for the fun of it or doing for better availability, scalability or pricing; your domain may have the same importance.

Here is a list of steps that can help and may not a be prefect solution all the time but covers many 'oh I should have thought about that stories'.

Stage one:

Ensure that your DNS service allows you to lower you TTL to x seconds / minutes. DYNDNS 
is one such service that allows you to do that.  If you are asking yourself why this should be done the reason is simple. TTL is how long before that new value is queried for. What this means is if your TTL is 30 Seconds, every 30 Seconds you can change your server address. So you potential loss of data is limited to that.

Stage two : 
Migrate your email before hand to google apps free or live. Before you set up this forward all mail to new box. This way all mail will still come to your email and will still be live during migration.

Stage 3:
Before you start:
  • Get All your passwords and access mechanisms such as VPN key etc ready and active.
  • Create a situation specific check list which you will need to check in the and before shouting "Im going home !!".

Copy all data and code and the works to new location and test it.  Recommendation use server to server transfer servers are on high bandwidth so its usually faster. Also saves you one step.
Useful commands on Linux.

  • scp
  • ssh
  • rsync
On Amazon EC2, you will need to allow port wise access to get the server accessible via you aws console.

Stage 4: 
 Notify users on upcoming maintenance.

Stage 5: 
Put the old site on maintenance so that new data does not get added during migration after and repeat stage 3  for new data and files.

Have a team check and double check every thing. Get your bosses to sign off on working status so that the responsibility is joint.  Expect migration issues due to human error. Address it pro-actively as far as possible.

Just one more thing have monitoring tools  automatically notify you of downtime as you are in a new setup may be text or email you. Having a blackberry will help for push mails. It better for you to handle it before someone says hey server is down. Media Temple is infamous for unannounced downtime.

Plan for the worst because the best will take care of itself.

All the best for a safe migration!



Philips Huges said...

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