Ever heard of server migrations? As the name implies, the server migration process involves taking data from one server and moving it to another. Companies that undertake migration projects do so in order to protect from possible security breaches, to prevent data loss or when old equipment is being replaced. Server migrations are typically done by IT specialists who’re experienced in server management, migration, and upgrades. They hash out a detailed plan of the migration to avoid data loss.

This is a very delicate process because the experts involved need to back up the data so that they can send it whole to the destination server. They also have to reformat the operating systems, especially if they’re moving data from servers that are totally different from one another. After the data transfer is complete, it’s important to verify that no data loss or corruption occurred along the way.

How to Migrate Your Server

Server migrations are no piece of cake. You’re dealing with high-risk margins where you could possibly lose sensitive and important company data or suffer downtime that slows down productivity. To help you achieve smoother server migrations, we’ve put together some helpful tips based on our years of experience moving data between servers.

  1. Choose a Quality Server Provider

First, you must determine where you plan to move your web server. Start by looking at your hosting requirements. For instance, if you have a very active website then you may opt for a content delivery network. If your current hosting company doesn’t provide one, then now’s the perfect time to switch providers.

Server migration is the perfect time to change server companies and you shouldn’t allow fear of the unknown to prevent you from making the leap, especially if you’ve already outgrown your current one. Try to maximise your server migration as much as possible so you come out the other side with a better deal.

  1. Get the Right Server Size

We all know that no-one likes IT changes. That’s why you must fix any issues you have now before you start the server migration process.

This involves sizing your new server properly to check if there are any business requirements that you need to look into. For instance, you might need redundancy to deal with the fact that your company is not very effective at handling downtime. In order to accurately size your server, the sales rep you’re dealing with needs to thoroughly examine your existing environment. It’s best to get a professional to do the analysis for you if you’re not well versed in the process.

It’s also worth noting that there’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to meeting a business’ technical needs. Every company is unique. That’s why it’s important to perform this analysis in order to ensure that you can maximise your new server.

  1. Prepare Ahead for Downtime

You must also plan for possible downtime as part of your server migration. Most server management companies will tell you that they can complete a smooth migration without any downtime. But there’s really no value in this statement. It’s recommended to plan for possible downtime regardless, especially if you have a database driven application that includes collecting user-generated data, forum posts, and blog comments.

Now, there are several downtime-reducing methods to explore, some better than others. On one end of the spectrum, you have IT companies that offer almost zero downtime no matter how complex the migration is. The only downside with this is that it requires a lot of time and effort, which means you’ll have to pay more for the overall service.

It’s better to just factor in possible downtime during the planning phase. Consider it a cost or loss of revenue for your business. The sooner you can come up with a figure, the faster you can factor it in your migration plan in order to make up for the inevitable downtime.

The bottom line is that it’s important to plan for downtime whenever you do a server migration. Don’t forget to inform your staff and your clients about the possible interruptions that may happen so they’re not surprised.

  1. Make a Good Plan

As they say, ‘if you fail to plan you plan to fail,’ and the same can be said for server migrations. It’s especially important to plan for migration if you’ve never done it before because you never know what to expect. Some of the things to include in your migration plan include IP address issues, control panel changes, DNS updates, database changes, data consistency, document root changes, OS changes, software version changes, SSL certification, email accounts and much more. Basically, planning is the foundation of a smooth migration.

  1. Get Professional Help

There are numerous cases of companies who try to perform server migrations on their own only to ruin their whole IT systems and cause even more problems than before. If you don’t really know much about web hosting, data server, Apache or DNS then you should leave the server migration to business IT support professionals.

Anyone can deal with daily account management but server migrations are a whole different matter. A lot of unexpected issues may come up that you’re not qualified to take care of. That’s why it’s better to hire an experienced server management company from the get-go to help you with the whole process, from planning to execution. Make sure you hire a firm that has dealt with several migrations because that means they have enough experience to deal with any eventuality.

The best part about hiring help is that it could end up saving you money and time.

Conclusion

Every company will have to undergo server migrations at some point. This process doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. But, you can easily botch it if you do it without the necessary experience. If you don’t know your windows server from your cloud servers, better hire a professional who can guide you through the entire process to make sure you come out on the other side with no casualties.