Migrating Web Servers

Screenshot 2016-05-07 21.08.33For the past few years I’ve been adding more and more websites to my server instance. This has the benefit of a single pool of resources and a single cost.

However the number of sites has grown a fair bit, and if something is running in the background it slows them all down.

So the more recent sites I’ve been placing on new servers and for Defiance (the oldest of my sites) I decided to move that to a new one too.

I’ve always been afraid of site migration, which is why I have rarely done it, but it went surprisingly smoothly.

Because there wasn’t much database and file activity, I didn’t stress too much about doing pre and post updates, just a single dump.

The process went as follows.

  1. Download all site files from the server
  2. Create the new server instance
  3. Upload all site files to the new server
    • Add a change to the files to make it identifiable as the new server
  4. Dump the database to a file
  5. Import the database to the new server
    • Spend a while correcting the errors on import (cry)
  6. Update the DNS information to point to the new server
  7. Wait until the DNS update propagates throughout the internet
  8. Visit the new server

I was able to access the new server about 5 hours after I updated the DNS, but I saw visitors from other places in the world a few hours earlier.

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