There isn’t a field that has not noticed deviations in demands over the last few years. The product in demand two decades back may now be outdated. To cope with the changing demands, organizations are changing themselves. This change has happened not just in business structure but also in IT capabilities. Unpredicted business changes like mergers and acquisitions have resulted in organizations’ changing IT needs.
Every business wants to move to a better and cheaper server. Server migration, at one point, becomes inevitable. It takes a lot of effort to migrate data to a new server. And in the end, the outcome of server migration could be devastating.
This blog talks about the ins and outs of server migration. Out prime focus shall be the tactics one can make use of to switch to a new server safely.
Server Migration – a quick glance
Migration is the positioning of data to a new server to adapt to the changing business requirements. A lot of factors contribute to migration; the following is the most common and unavoidable ones:
- Business mergers, bifurcations, acquisition
- Upgradation/down gradation to/from a dedicated server hosting
- Cost-cutting- looking for a cheaper server
- Undelivered promises of the current host
- Moving an entire server in-house or moving the business to Cloud
- Moving your third party emails hosting to an in-house exchange email hosting
Migration is not a child’s play. Moving data comes with its own set of problems. Not much can be done to avoid a negative upshot and catastrophe have been known to exist even in the most unexpected circumstances.
Pick the correct provider for your server
Moving to a new server on a new provider is not as easy as moving to a new server from the same provider. It is, therefore, imperative to review your needs and pick a provider meticulously.
Sticking to the same provider for eased migration is not at all reasonable.
Almost equally important is correctly sizing the server space required. Frequent migration can be bothering. The last thing you would want is to migrate to different servers every month. It is essential to strategically work out the server requirements based on your company’s future prospects. Companies expecting a popularity hit should choose a server that can cater to their forthcoming traffic.
Craft your downtime plan
A lot of companies claim zero downtime migration.
On the flip side, server migration will always be accompanied by some downtime, no matter how insignificant.
Websites that collect databases, customer surveys, etc. are the ones that will bear the most deafening effect of downtime. It is essential to initiate migration during hours when there is little to no traffic on your server.
Calculate the amount of downtime you can afford. You can migrate in phases, too, moving a part of data in each phase until the last phase by which all the data will have moved to the new server.
Prioritizing is another important tactic you can make use of.
It is a good exercise to sort data on the basis of how critical they are to your business. Once sorted, start moving the less important ones first. Several shortcomings are often identified only during migration.
Moving low priority data ensures that by the time the crucial ones are moved, the shortcoming would have been fixed and worked out.
Download Backup to localhost
You would normally want as many instances of the backup as you can.
So, log in to your cPanel and download files to your localhost – that could be your computer.
Make sure you download the entire database as one missing file is enough to trigger as many glitches as a missing folder.
In case anything goes wrong during migration you will at least have a clean back up to restore.
Note: make sure you do not unzip files downloaded from your server, as it will unnecessarily burden you with more work. Most servers are capable of working with compressed files, and webmasters need not worry about decompressing the files at their ends.
Adhere to the best strategy
The easiest way to migrate is to move a one-to-one copy of the actual data.
In one-to-one migration, the data is first copied to a new server, and then the necessary configurations and adjustments are tested.
The new host is then tweaked and the DNS setting adjusted.
Despite being one of the easiest strategies to execute, one-to-one migration is likely to suspend operations from the current server until the migration is complete.
There are other methods too – like, hybrid migration – where the new host and the old host are always live even when migration is undergoing.
In hybrid migration, one of the data is set as master and the other as slave. The master and slave databases are able to synchronize with each other in real-time. Once the slave and the master data attains the same state, the roles are reversed, and the slave becomes the master database and vice versa.
Migration is an extremely risky operation to perform, considering that your company’s fate depends upon the data being moved.
Server migration becomes inevitable for all businesses at some point. The fate of migration is beyond prediction. Adopting aforesaid precautionary and preventive measures can help bring down the possibility of a potential catastrophe.