Shared Account Migration to CloudServer
This article is intended to provide a very basic outline of the migration process for a shared account to a new CloudServer account. This will provide you with a basic understanding of what the GearHost Engineers do when moving an account over to a CloudServer. Most of the time this is done by an experienced GearHost Support Engineer so we are not providing detailed instructions on how this is accomplished in this article. The migration process can take anywhere from 1 day to over a week depending on many different variables. A GearHost Support Engineer will be there for each step and provide you with updates on the process.
Prior to the migration is the provisioning process. One of our system administrators will custom build your new CloudServer to the specifications per your contract. You will receive a welcome email from the sales department and support department. One of our engineers will contact you that day to arrange the actual migration of your shared account to DDS.
Each customer may also migrate their shared account to their new CloudServer on their own as well. GearHost Engineers will be available to help with the setup or even move or setup certain aspects of the server. Such as setting up DNS or moving the content for you. Most of the time this is a billable item and will be subject to our normal labor rate. However, this article outlines the process taken by a GearHost engineer and is not meant as instructions for migrating.
Prepare the server and assign SmarterTools Bundle.
Using GearPanel as a reference we add all of the domains, sub domains, and domain aliases in DNS and IIS. A directory is created for each domain name within the default location on your server. This will always be C:\Inetpub\wwwroot unless otherwise specified.
Each new CloudServer comes with the SmarterTools Bundle for free. This includes SmarterMail, SmarterStats, and SmarterTracks. You will receive two emails from SmarterTools. One will have your login information and the other email will have your SmarterTools license information. The GearHost engineer working on your migration will send out another email to you requesting the license information and email address and password for your SmarterTools bundle. We require this information to activate your account.
Create and assign FTP users.
Your FTP site is created on the server and FTP users are added and assigned to directories based on what you have already added through GearPanel. We will add your GearPanel user name and password as a user as well.
Move content and assign permissions.
Content is moved across the GearHost network from the shared server to your CloudServer. Password protected directories and anonymous access are applied according to configuration in GearPanel.
Test websites running on new DDS.
This involves adding some DNS records to your domains. We add an “A” record named “dds” and point the IP address to your CloudServer IP. This allows us to add a binding to each site in IIS to test the websites using a URL.
A backup is created of your databases and then copied to the new server. We then restore the database and assign user permissions. At this point you will need to change the connection strings or DSNs in your applications to point to the new server. A GearHost engineer can help with this.
Change DNS records with DNS provider.
After the websites are tested the records in DNS are changed to point to your new CloudServer. We wait 24 hours or at least over night to ensure that everything is properly working.
Move email and setup stats.
While DNS is propagating for the websites we move email. Moving email is the only part of the migration where there is noticeable downtime. This is because the records in DNS for mail are changed and the mail is inaccessible on the old mail server during that time. However, no email is lost and you can still access mail using a temporary URL that we setup. Your domains are disabled on the mail server and forwarders are configured to point to the new server. The forwarders will deliver any email that is sent to your old mail server onto your new DDS. This prevents email from being lost or rejected.
The mail is then copied from the old mail server over to the new dedicated. Your domains are added to the new mail server and configured with the correct IP address. We provide a temporary URL so that you may login through webmail to access mail on the new server. Within 24 hours the records will switch over and you can use mail normally.
GearHost does not move over statistics information or logs. We do setup each website that has stats enabled on your new server in SmarterStats. SmarterStats will collect logs from the moment the domains are changed to point to your server.
Change and register name servers.
After everything is moved over and tested the last step is to register and change the name servers for each domain. If your domains are registered with GearHost we will do this for you. If they are registered with an outside registrar you will need to follow their procedure for registering custom name servers. We will provide you with the custom name servers and IP addresses to use, all you need to do is register them. Below is a KB GearHost has created with instructions for several different registrars.
Change Account Type.
Your shared account is switched to a CloudServer. Your billing will be switched as well. All domains will be deleted from our DNS, web, and mail servers as well as databases. Everything must be running on the new CloudServer. If we cannot get everything moved over you may have to pay for the shared account and dedicated server until it can be moved.
Changing the account is the last step. Once that is accomplished the process is over and everything will be running on the new CloudServer.