A COMPLETE GUIDE TO SERVER MIGRATION


What is Server Migration?
Server migration is a technique in which data is positioned from one server to another. The reasons behind server migration are security concerns, equipment is being replaced and many other factors. Server Migrations are often performed by tech experts, who have expertise on server maintenance, up-gradation and migration. While it may appear as an ordinary click and enter process, server migration needs a lot of contemplation. If you move data to a new server without any thought on the impact, you are likely to face troubles starting day one. Although it is unlikely that you would choose to pursue migration to a new server without consulting an expert, if it were so, we recommend you to draft a migration plan carefully.
During the migration process, data on the server may be temporarily inaccessible. Before server migration takes place, a plan is outlined in order to prevent data loss. The server specialists, performing the migration may need to reformat the data so that it will be accessible to the new server. To achieve migration smoothly, data must be backed up properly. In some cases, when data is being migrated between different kinds of servers, however, it is necessary to reformat the system. Once all of the data has been moved, it is subjected to authenticate that it is intact and no parts of the data have become corrupted from the transition. Get also details of Pulse CMS.
Server migration: how to transfer your data to a new server?
If you are looking for a new hosting solution for an existing project, for example because you want more performance, more flexible scaling, or you simply wish to switch providers – you might ask yourself this question: what happens to the existing data, structures, and configurations?
The answer isn’t far away: with the necessary know-how, the appropriate planning and specific software, you simply transfer the desired data to the new server. Transferring from one system to another is also referred to as data migration. The complexity of the migration process increases with the complexity and size of the project. It is also important to know whether you’re migrating your data to a server of the same type, or whether the new server has a completely new architecture.
We will show you what you should pay attention to when moving your server data and how server migration works with IONOS.

Types of Server Migration

Server migrations can be classified in a number of ways, depending upon the operating system, technology involved, and the server to which the data is moved. Some common types of server migration include :-

Mail Server Migration – Data is moved between email servers migrations within the same or different hosts.

Virtual Server Migration – Migration involving virtual servers.

Ubuntu Server Migration – When data is being moved to servers running on Ubuntu.

Cloud Server Migration – Cloud server migration is all the hype these days. It involves positioning data to the modern, scalable cloud servers.

Application Server Migration – Servers that have applications hosted are the ones said to undergo application server migration every time files are moved from these servers.

Why Should I Consider a Server Migration?

Server migrations may need to happen for a number of reasons. Organizations may migrate to:

Take advantage of new technology or better service, or to ensure that the operating system (OS) and the hardware beneath it stay up-to-date with current technology.
Move to the cloud for increased flexibility or scalability.
To economize and consolidate hosting and reduce CapEx.
Replace aging infrastructure at the end of its lifecycle.
To expand and distribute hosting to help reduce load at a single point and achieve high availability.
Migrations should be handled with utmost care. You could sink hours of time, effort, and money into a migration only to find yourself onto the wrong server solution, or worse, with downtime and profit loss. It takes considerable planning and forethought to migrate your data onto an optimized server that is right for you.
When does it make sense to migrate data to another server?
There are very different reasons for transferring data to a new server. In most cases, migrations take place because more capacity is needed. If the hardware can no longer meet the requirements and an upgrade is not possible, there is no alternative but to relocate to a new server. Vice versa, it makes sense to migrate your data to a smaller server if the available computing power exceeds the amount you require. This is mainly due to the cost factor, which is often why people change their supplier.
If you rent your server resources, you might not look exclusively at the costs for the respective hosting service. The contract conditions can also be a reason for migrating servers. The various packages from providers differ in what they offer i.e. availability, data security, and support. Therefore, it makes sense to compare the different packages before making your selection. Another reason for migrating data could be that you want to take some pressure off your IT department. In this case, a managed server solution would be a good choice. It isn’t only hosted, but also maintained and updated by the provider.


What Should You Avoid During Server Migrations?

Avoid the following during server migrations:

Avoid scheduling a move immediately before a critical period for your business, such as Black Friday for an online retailer, to prevent a situation in which a minor problem needs to be fixed in an unrealistic time frame and becomes a major disruption.

Migrations should generally be performed during off-hours or times when a minimal amount of business is expected. This limits the chances of a disruption, but also gives the IT team an opportunity to focus solely on the migration, and prevents the legacy environment from being overwhelmed or the network from becoming saturated.

Avoid starting a migration until the exploration period is complete. An incomplete exploration is one of the main sources of preventable problems in migration projects of all kinds.

Notify staff outside of the migration team about the migration, including migration timelines, the changes expected to occur, and responsibilities, if any, that may be included as part of the project. It may be necessary to create or make available documentation and have a window of time in which IT personnel can assist other staff or end users with any initial set-up.

What are the challenges to face during server migration?

The server migration plan is an overall complex effort that is comprised of multiple challenges. It’s because migrating server means practically moving hundreds of millions of data and records which is pretty much complex. Such complexities bring unnecessary and prolonged delays in the server migration steps. These challenges are-

a. Complexity of the Source data- As data has to migrate in bulk, issues tend to occur at the source level. It’s not as easy as moving data between two sources within the content management system. Complexities related to source data include-
  • It might need a lot of data transformations as different mainframes store data in different ways. A modern database will not support your outdated data storing format. Generally, databases based on Oracle, SQL, etc. need data transformation as they are more of a modern data storage format.
  • Your new data format to which you are migrating might not support long-tail codified fields. Breaking down or decoding such information is a bit of complexity. This information can be like sequence numbers, dates, member identifiers, etc.
  • When you have been in the same content management system for a very long time then the same data can be stored at more than one location. The task of finding such multi-located data and then correcting it is called data normalization.
b. Corrupted or lost data- Data loss and corruption is the biggest challenge of the server migration plan. A single record misplaced can cost you millions. So server migrations must be strategized accordingly to avoid any unexpected data loss. Data loss can be of the various form like-
  • Sometimes there is a misinterpretation regarding the data which is brought in or which is produced in the new system. This confusion generally arises when a set of data is duplicated. To avoid such complexity thorough research is needed.
  • The data migrated to the new server environment should fulfill all your expectations and for this, it needs to be validated. Non-validated data once migrated into the new system can cause many complexities. Thus, you need to have tools to validate your data that has to be migrated.
c. Unmanaged cost- Sometimes, people don’t refer to server migration support at all. This leads to establishing obscure KPIs relating to the expenditures been made or could have been saved in the process. For this, it’s important to keep a check on the deviations from the ideal server migration cost model. Making a clear cut business cost model and laying down all the possibilities wherein you can save any costs would be the best way to eliminate unnecessary costing.
d. Avoid jeopardizing data security - Sometimes while server migration, data security gets jeopardized. This happens when all your data and applications get migrated but some of the essential security tools are left behind on-premise. For this, you need to build a deployment plan that makes sure that none of the tools are left behind. The applications that are still in their developing or testing phase should be migrated with a little bit of extra care. This is because such applications are more vulnerable and tend to get disrupted much easily.
Which resources are available for data migration to a new server?
There are several tools and services available that simplify server migration. For example, if you want to simply move your data without having to adjust the operating system or other software, you shouldn’t forgo a control panel. Server management programs like these help you create backups of your data and then migrate them to the new server. The required configuration effort is minimal. Content management systems such as WordPress can also be transferred using simple FTP and backup applications, and often offer their own plugins for migrating the linked database. These automate the process for the most part.
For more complex projects, root permissions always pay dividends: via SSH, you can transfer complete databases, including all permissions and user data, to a new server via the respective command line. For example, you can use MySQLdump to send MySQL databases to the target system as a copy. As a Microsoft SQL server user, you can even use the built-in functions for this purpose.
However, you can also outsource the migration of your server data: many hosting providers offer their customers not only specific software for manually performing a server data transfer, but also offer to actively support the data migration. Furthermore, there are also services that specialize in the migration of web projects and provide a round-the-clock service – whether it’s a simple switch from one shared server to another, you’re changing your provider, or you plan to switch to a server cluster.

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