** Any customer being migrated will receive multiple advance notices via e-mail before the migration begins. If you have any questions or concerns about the migration, please contact our support team. ***
In the next few weeks we will begin migrating some of our customers on older hardware over to brand new machines. The new servers will offer better performance and stability along with an operating system upgrade. This post will explain in further detail the benefits of the migration along with how the migration process will work. If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them in the thread.
I first wanted to make it clear that we are dedicated to making this migration as seamless as possible. We understand that moving a website to a new server is a big deal, which is why we are taking every precaution imaginable to ensure there is no downtime or configuration issues on the new server. Site5 has migrated a lot of websites — we migrate dozens of sites every day for new and current customers. On top of this daily experience, we have also performed a large scale account migration in recent years when we migrated all customers from our old data center in New Jersey to our new data center in Texas.
Our support team is always here 24/7 to help you with any questions you may have about the migration.
Operating System Upgrade
All of the servers we are migrating are currently running CentOS 4.8. Once the migration is complete, everyone will be using the latest branch of CentOS 5. Although you will not immediately notice any big changes in terms of account functionality, this upgrade will make it much easier for us to support newer applications and scripts that depends on other software.
Any customer being migrated will receive two email warnings before your account is migrated (these will usually be sent out a week before it happens and a second a few days before). You will also receive an e-mail once your individual account begins its migration and one additional e-mail once it is finished. The e-mail you receive when your migration is finished will contain your new IP address and server name. The notification will be sent to all “technical” contacts you have configured in Backstage, so it is important that your addresses are up to date in order to receive these e-mails.
We are migrating all websites using a combination of the cPanel restoration tools and a lot of custom software written by our engineering team. When a site is migrated, we first gather all of the necessary account information and settings and transfer those over to the brand new server. Once the account is configured we then begin transferring the bulk of the account data — your website files (home directory), e-mail data, and your MySQL databases. This process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several hours depending on the total disk usage on your account.
Your domain will remain pointed to your old server until the migration is finished and the DNS change is processed (more info below under DNS). We do this in order to ensure there is no downtime during the transition — your site will remain online for the entire time.
Once your migration is complete, as explained above, you will receive an e-mail with your new IP address and server name. If you are connecting directly to the IP address or hostname (e-mail, ftp, etc.) it is very important that you immediately update those settings in your e-mail or FTP client to the new IP or hostname. This will ensure that you are connecting to the new server instead of the old one.
Once your migration is complete, the name servers will need to be updated in order to point to the new server. If you are using Site5’s name servers (dns.site5.com & dns2.site5.com) then you do not need to make any changes whatsoever — we will modify your DNS for you after migration completion. The majority of our customers use our name servers. If you registered your domain with Site5 when you ordered your hosting account, you are more than likely using our name servers.
Some of our customers choose to use third party name servers, which is fine, but it means that we will not have access to make the necessary DNS changes automatically. Instead, when the migration is complete and you receive the e-mail with your new IP address, you would need to manually modify your DNS zone at your DNS provider. If you need help making this change, your DNS provider should be able to make the change for you or assist you further. Site5 admins are also available to help you in any way possible.
Although we are confident in our migration system, we completely understand if you are nervous about the server change. If you have an e-commerce or a similar website that receives a lot of traffic during the holiday season, you may request a manual migration prior to the automated migration mentioned above. To request a manual migration, please submit a ticket to our support team via Backstage or by e-mailing email@example.com and indicate that you would like for your account to be migrated manually before the automated migration.
Servers Being Migrated
I have posted a full list of the servers being migrated in the comments section, but I will keep an up-to-date list along with the scheduled start date in our forum post: