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Replacing A Web Server

tracking the migration of a web server -- April 5, 2008

We had been having hardware problems with a web server ... to the point that pushing the Power button did nothing. The server continued to run, but you didn't want to breath on it for fear of something bad happening. This had been going on for a while, with no resolution in sight. So, decided to lease a dedicated server from Deru Internet rather than stay in the hardware business. smiley face

As the migration of software, content, and data progressed, I used a Site Wizard web page to keep everyone apprised of the progress.

This was the log of the evening's festivities...

Conversion Log
10:55 AM (Fri.)
Getting organized. Will start the migration process around 1:00 pm. Don't make any web site changes after 1:00 pm.
1:14 PM
Backing up web sites & corresponding data bases. No web changes made after this point will be saved.
2:33 PM
Transferring web site files & loading support software. So far, so good.
4:17 PM
Still transferring web site files. Will be shutting down e-mail soon. Will also be rebooting the old server once or more as needed to get access, so the web sites may be off-line for a few minutes at a time.
5:31 PM
E-mail going down. Web server may be off-line for short periods of time in order for us to get access to the old server.
7:23 PM
OK, tried a different way of transferring files and things went much faster (thank you WinZip). If all goes well, will start pointing to the new server around 8 pm. It will take a while for DNS (i.e., the Internet) to realize that the new server exists -- from 1 to 4 hours (or more) depending on where you are and how your ISP handles DNS changes.
7:47 PM
Not going to make the 8 pm switchover time, so now aiming for 9 pm. Everyone should be seeing the new server by midnight (see next entry for details).
9:04 PM
OK, ran into some problems with the Firewall, so not switching over yet. Taking a break and will hit it again in about an hour. In the mean time, the web sites are up, but e-mail is still off-line. We're currently looking at 11 pm or midnight to flip the switch. Sorry for the delays.
11:48 PM
Ready or not, flipping the switch to the new server.
12:13 AM (Sat.)
One of Deru's other customers was hacked and was sending out a massive denial of service attack that shut down the Deru network. Everyone was blocked out until about 1:07 am. (Why you should keep your virus/firewall software current!) This was the only period when we were not processing web page requests.
2:12 AM
Welcome to the new server! While things are not yet settled, we are making progress. E-mail & FTP still off-line.
5:20 AM
We are serving web pages and handling e-mail once again. FTP access will be off-line until later today. Time to sleep!
1:15 PM
Back at it. The new server appears to be running fine. Will get FTP, etc. back up over the next few hours.
2:29 PM
FTP is back up! You can now update your web sites normally.
4:30 PM
All done! If you're having any problems, please contact me.
Lessons & Observations