Moving to a new server (cpanel to cpanel)

Operating System & Version
CENTOS 6.10 virtuozzo
cPanel & WHM Version
v86.0.38

mmaciel

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
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Hello

my current server is from a pretty old plan from my hosting company, with centOS v6 and with limited disk space, and to only way to get more space is to move to a new server with a new plan (which for some reason happens to be cheaper and better at every single aspect)

anyway, i never did a server transfer before, so i would like to know the easiest way to do this and how to proceed

our current server has 90GB of disk space with around 60GB being used, most of it being emails (over 99%) that we absolutely can't lose and must transfer to the new server, in fact, we need everything to be exactly the same as it is now, only in a new server

any help pointing me in the right direction or explaining how it should be done would be greatly appreciated...

i've read that i can ask cpanel own team of specialists to do this Migrations Service but not sure if it's only when moving from a third party platform
 
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ffeingol

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If you are going to do it yourself, the WHM transfer tool ( Transfer Tool | cPanel & WHM Documentation ) is what you want to look at. It can transfer a lot of the system level settings (you'll still need to tweak php.ini etc.) and then you can use it to migrate the accounts. Account transfers are effectively a backup and restore, so everything moves.

The biggest part of migrating (IMHO) is planning. We put spreadsheets together and list information like name servers, who manages manage, who manages web etc. when we do migrates. If you handle DNS for everything it's pretty straight forward. If your customers are doing their own DNS it gets more complicated, as you have to coordinate with them to update DNS.

There are lots of lots of threads that go into a lot more detail on do the transfers.
 

mmaciel

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
42
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If you are going to do it yourself, the WHM transfer tool ( Transfer Tool | cPanel & WHM Documentation ) is what you want to look at. It can transfer a lot of the system level settings (you'll still need to tweak php.ini etc.) and then you can use it to migrate the accounts. Account transfers are effectively a backup and restore, so everything moves.

The biggest part of migrating (IMHO) is planning. We put spreadsheets together and list information like name servers, who manages manage, who manages web etc. when we do migrates. If you handle DNS for everything it's pretty straight forward. If your customers are doing their own DNS it gets more complicated, as you have to coordinate with them to update DNS.

There are lots of lots of threads that go into a lot more detail on do the transfers.
thanks for your answer... well, there's only 3 account and its all ours, no customers, in fact im the only one who has access to them, no one else is involved (there is no one else in this sector in the company haha)

we mainly use cpanel for emails and our website hosting and that's pretty much it

i'll take a closer look at the transfer tool, thanks
 

cPRex

Jurassic Moderator
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Transfer Tool really is awesome. I know, I have to say that because I'm from cPanel, but it makes life so easy. I would recommend lowering the TTL in your DNS zone a few days/weeks before you plan to do the migration, and then you'll experience little to no downtime.

If you are CentOS 64-bit, you wouldn't be eligible for our free migration services at this time as we are only moving the following servers/operating systems listed here:


I also ran into the same thing - I had an old CentOS 6 box that was low on RAM and other resources, and ended up moving to a CentOS 7 box that was far more powerful AND it ended up being half the price :D
 

mmaciel

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
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Transfer Tool really is awesome. I know, I have to say that because I'm from cPanel, but it makes life so easy. I would recommend lowering the TTL in your DNS zone a few days/weeks before you plan to do the migration, and then you'll experience little to no downtime.

If you are CentOS 64-bit, you wouldn't be eligible for our free migration services at this time as we are only moving the following servers/operating systems listed here:


I also ran into the same thing - I had an old CentOS 6 box that was low on RAM and other resources, and ended up moving to a CentOS 7 box that was far more powerful AND it ended up being half the price :D
ahh i see, thanks anyway

this transfer tool keeps the same ip address i have now? or is this something i have to set up manually? also, i'm not too sure about this php.ini mentioned by @ffeingol , what should i tweak on it?
 

cPRex

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The Transfer Tool moves the data between servers, so it isn't concerned with IP addresses. Your DNS zones would be updated with the new IP address of the Destination machine you are migrating to.

php.ini is just referencing the various PHP configuration files for each version of PHP you have installed, as the Transfer Tool can take care of those as well for you:

 

mmaciel

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Mar 25, 2019
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The Transfer Tool moves the data between servers, so it isn't concerned with IP addresses. Your DNS zones would be updated with the new IP address of the Destination machine you are migrating to.

php.ini is just referencing the various PHP configuration files for each version of PHP you have installed, as the Transfer Tool can take care of those as well for you:

i see, thanks for you help and patience

so even with a different server ip, my email would still work? and do you have any idea how long it would take for this transfer to complete? (around 60gb)

also, i forgot to mention, but i can't create a full backup because we lack the disk space to do so, even if i choose the ftp method, it still needs the free space available on the server to create the backup file before sending it... is there a way to send this backup directly via ftp without storing it on the server first?
 

cPRex

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Email is all handled with DNS, so if the DNS change is properly made so things point to the new system, that will work as well.

There's never a good way to estimate how long it will take for a transfer to complete, as it depends on both servers and the network connection between them.

You don't need to create a full backup as part of the Transfer Tool as it will stream the data to the new system.
 

mmaciel

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Mar 25, 2019
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Email is all handled with DNS, so if the DNS change is properly made so things point to the new system, that will work as well.

There's never a good way to estimate how long it will take for a transfer to complete, as it depends on both servers and the network connection between them.

You don't need to create a full backup as part of the Transfer Tool as it will stream the data to the new system.
i see, and the transfer tool takes care of these dns changes as well?

ah ok, i only asked because i was reading this article from my provider and one method to transfer was simply downloading the full account backup and uploading it on the new server... would it work if i use only the home directory backup?
 

cPRex

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That's the one thing Transfer Tool can't do - it can't handle the DNS for you. It will create new DNS zones on the Destination server, but it's up to you to know where each domain's DNS is controlled and ensure that gets updated.
 

mmaciel

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Mar 25, 2019
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That's the one thing Transfer Tool can't do - it can't handle the DNS for you. It will create new DNS zones on the Destination server, but it's up to you to know where each domain's DNS is controlled and ensure that gets updated.
so if i copy all the settings under DNS Functions in WHM onto the new server, would that work?

Is your DNS handled by the existing cPanel server or is it managed somewhere else?
sorry, not sure, but think it's by the existing cpanel server
 

cPRex

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It would be good to confirm what server is handling your DNS in the early stages of the migration plan. You can use a tool like intoDNS: checks DNS and mail servers health to check the nameservers for a domain and confirm they are or are not pointing to the cPanel machine. Your hosting provider may also offer help for a migration as well.
 

mmaciel

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It would be good to confirm what server is handling your DNS in the early stages of the migration plan. You can use a tool like intoDNS: checks DNS and mail servers health to check the nameservers for a domain and confirm they are or are not pointing to the cPanel machine. Your hosting provider may also offer help for a migration as well.

alright... uh, do you want a screenshot of that page? everything points to the ip address assigned by my hosting provider

also, not sure if this will cause a problem, but i have been talking to my provider and they said i can't use the same ip address i have now on the new server after i migrate and shut down the old one

sorry, as you can guess i don't have much knowledge on dns, every setting under dns in whm uses the same address (the ip address from my provider) and that's it
 

cPRex

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That's correct - your IP address will change when you perform the migration.

What you need to find out is where the DNS is handled. You can use that tool to check each domain, and the very first thing on the page will be the nameservers the domain is using. You'll have to confirm if those are pointed to your current cPanel server. If so, all you would have to do is update the IP address of the nameservers at the registrar.

I would recommend working with your host to see if they offer migration assistance as they may take care of the whole process for you.
 

mmaciel

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
42
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Brazil
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That's correct - your IP address will change when you perform the migration.

What you need to find out is where the DNS is handled. You can use that tool to check each domain, and the very first thing on the page will be the nameservers the domain is using. You'll have to confirm if those are pointed to your current cPanel server. If so, all you would have to do is update the IP address of the nameservers at the registrar.

I would recommend working with your host to see if they offer migration assistance as they may take care of the whole process for you.
thanks again... i talked to them and they can help with the migration, but they don't configure the dns, which is weird, because it wasn't me and there's no one else in the company working with this

anyway, another question, if for some reason i mess up the migration and the new server doesn't work, would the old (current) server still work normally? or does the transfer tool mess up with it? also, is it possible to have two servers up at the same time using the same nameserver with different ips/dns?
 

cPDavidL

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Greetings @mmaciel!

anyway, another question, if for some reason i mess up the migration and the new server doesn't work, would the old (current) server still work normally? or does the transfer tool mess up with it?
This depends largely on whether the "Live Transfer" option is used. If this is enabled in Transfer Tool, then it will set the old server so that traffic comes to the new one. As of now there is no means to undo this if things go sideways. Hindsight edit: There is a means to revert in the event of a failed live transfer as documented here.

Given your concerns, I would recommend ensuring the option is disabled when perform the transfer. This will allow you test sites before any permanent changes are made. Then when you're satisfied everything is intact, you can perform the Transfer again with the "overwrite" option to resync any changes(mailboxes, databases etc).

also, is it possible to have two servers up at the same time using the same nameserver with different ips/dns?
Yes, technically speaking. However, I would discourage it. Things like mailboxes and databases will present issues.
 
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ffeingol

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This depends largely on whether the "Live Transfer" option is used. If this is enabled in Transfer Tool, then it will set the old server so that traffic comes to the new one. As of now there is no means to undo this if things go sideways.
Not to sidetrack this, but @cPDavidL is this really true? We have not yet used the "live transfer" but with the old "express transfer" all we had to do to back out was:

  • Undo the DNS changes on the old server
  • Unsuspend the account
  • Remove the redirects added in the .htaccess file
 

mmaciel

Active Member
Mar 25, 2019
42
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Greetings @mmaciel!



This depends largely on whether the "Live Transfer" option is used. If this is enabled in Transfer Tool, then it will set the old server so that traffic comes to the new one. As of now there is no means to undo this if things go sideways. Hindsight edit: There is a means to revert in the event of a failed live transfer as documented here.

Given your concerns, I would recommend ensuring the option is disabled when perform the transfer. This will allow you test sites before any permanent changes are made. Then when you're satisfied everything is intact, you can perform the Transfer again with the "overwrite" option to resync any changes(mailboxes, databases etc).



Yes, technically speaking. However, I would discourage it. Things like mailboxes and databases will present issues.
Not to sidetrack this, but @cPDavidL is this really true? We have not yet used the "live transfer" but with the old "express transfer" all we had to do to back out was:

  • Undo the DNS changes on the old server
  • Unsuspend the account
  • Remove the redirects added in the .htaccess file
Oh my, that is embarrassing. Partially true. The live transfer option makes changes at the account level that the old express transfer tool did not.

As it turns out tools have been implemented(relatively recently) to revert the live transfer changes. See this article for details
ah good to know then, thanks again

now, i've been reading a lot and watching videos to try and not mess this up, and i've come across this short video explaining how to move servers... would this be all i have to do regarding the dns/nameserver thing after transfering?