Automated Migration Service (AMS)

From time to time you may wish or need to move your account to a different or newer server to take advantage of the latest technologies. Pipe Ten can provide automated migration of web content and DNS records and assistance with the transfer of database data in order to meet this objective.

  • There is no charge for entire account transfers at this time.
  • Account transfers are without service level agreement or guarantees but every effort will be made to ensure there is no downtime.
  • You are expected to test all domains after migration has been completed and notify Pipe Ten of any problems.

Common / Typical Scenarios

  • Your current web server does not support a certain .NET version
  • Your current web server does not support a certain PHP version
  • You are upgrading from Shared Hosting to Cloud or Physical Server Hosting

Infrastructure Overview

Unlike most other web hosting companies, Pipe Ten does not put all of its different services on the same physical machine for performance, stability and availability benefits.

All of the above listed typical scenarios involve moving the web server content from a current server to a new server.

Where the current web server and new web server are in a different data centres it may also require the move of database content from the current database server to a new database server.

Mail and other data does not typically need to be moved.

All of Pipe Ten’s managed hosting accounts consist of the following core elements and locations of data:

  • Control Panel Server (cp.pipeten.co.uk)
  • DNS Servers (ns0, ns1, ns2.pipeten.co.uk)
  • Web Server (dwebX or dwinX.pipeten.co.uk)
  • DB Server (dmysql or dmssql.pipeten.co.uk)
  • Mail Cluster (mail.pipeten.co.uk and associated services)

Automated Web Account Migration

To assist with the above listed scenarios, Pipe Ten has a semi-automated process/script to move the WEB content from its current to new locations along with updating the DNS and control panel servers.

When you have requested a web account migration and confirmed your understanding of this document, Pipe Ten will initiate the web account migration by starting the following process:

  1. Account migration is started by Pipe Ten.
  2. The process then:
    1. Checks compatibility between old web server and new web server.
    2. Locks control panel and web servers FTP against changes.
    3. Copies the live/current FTP content from old web server to new web server.
    4. Updates the Pipe Ten DNS servers to point web records from old web server IP address to new web server IP address.
    5. Updates control panel settings to reflect the new server.
    6. Waits approximately 24 hours for DNS propagation.
    7. Removes the old/unused data from old web server.
    8. Unlocks the control panel to allow changes.
  3. Pipe Ten will endeavour to notify you when the migration has completed or you may request the current status of the process via a support ticket.
  4. If you are also required to move database servers, this can now be started.

The whole account migration process takes on average about 25 hours but in some circumstances can take longer depending on the amount of data there is to transfer.

After your migration has completed, you should then check that your website’s are working correctly.

If you have any websites which are not working, please first check its settings and versions are correctly applied within the hosting control panel.

Prerequisites / Risks / Bugs / Considerations

The account migration process in itself is technically quite a simple one and 99% of the time a pain free one, but there can be issues and limitations with the surrounding/related technologies and systems. Pipe Ten will try and check the most common problems prior to your migration on your behalf, but you have the best understanding your site(s) needs and are encouraged to check the items below closely and ask if unsure.

1. Dedicated IP addresses

If your site is using a dedicated IP address, this IP address will definitely change and may need to be re-enabled as a dedicated IP address.

2. SSL Certificates

When using an SSL certificate, these will need to be re-applied to a domain name after the account migration completes. For SSL certificates purchased through Pipe Ten please raise a ticket for re-installation, for externally purchased certificates you must re-install these from your own backups.

3. Domain Names not using Pipe Ten name-servers

If any domain names within your account do not use ns0, ns1 or ns2.pipeten.co.uk then they will be using custom external DNS with an A NAME record pointing domain.com and www.domain.com to an IP address. This IP address will change and you will need to update these records with your external DNS provider.

4. Time taken for account migrations

On average account migrations take about 25 hours due to 24 hours being reserved to allow for DNS caches to expire around the world. Depending on the size of FTP data, number of domains/dns records and success of the migration process it can take several hours more. In rare circumstances where a bug requires escalation to the control panel developers additional delays may occur where this is outside of Pipe Ten’s control.

5. Other domain dependant software

As all websites within the account will be moved from old to new servers special consideration should be made to what software/modules/libraries are currently in use and what are available on the new server for all of your domains.

6. DNS caches

The 24 hours during which web content exists on both new and old web servers is intended to allow for external global nameservers to take notice of the DNS changes made and for all visitors to be directed to the new server before removal of content from the old server. In some circumstances these external global nameservers may retain caches for a period greater than 24 hours and this is not something under our control. If you suffer fromextended DNS caching problems you should change your local DNS resolver.

7. Windows read-only problem

On occasion when moving between Windows servers your home directory/FTP data may become read-only and require our intervention via support ticket. We are working on resolving this problem with the control panel developers.

8. Default index page problem

On occasion the control panel may restore its default index.html page within each domain name. You should check that your sites are loading correctly after the migration is complete, if you see the default H-Sphere login page then please remove or replace the index.html file within your /domain.com/ FTP directory.

9. PHP Version

Upgrade problem On occasion when an account is being moved from an older server to a newer one, where the PHP versions available differ or are newer (and especially when the “Apply now” option has not been clicked) it is possible the PHP version and/or mode of a domain can change to the default / newest version. Consider updating your application to use the latest PHP version or re-apply the correct PHP version http://www.pipeten.info/linux-php/

10. Temporary URL

Temporary URL (those provided for testing domains) are temporary, they can and will change and especially during account migration.

11. Moving databases

If you need to move database servers further information on this can be found for MySQL at http://www.pipeten.info/2011/09/switching-mysql-database-severs/ with MS SQL instructions at http://www.pipeten.info/2011/10/switching-ms-sql-database-severs/.

12. Database connection strings

In your applications database connection strings you should always use the hostname of the database server. There are some servers where localhost will work in the connection string but if you are moving from one of these servers then your website will almost definitely encounter problems when the migration has started. Please ensure you are not using localhost in your connection strings before the migration has commenced and it is set to the hostname of your allocated database server.

13. Outbound mail / relay servers

When moving between servers and/or data centers there’s a possibility you may need to update your scripts outbound mail server / relay server. It is recommended that you check that all contact forms and outbound mail is working correctly after migration and contact the support team if you find any problem.

14. ODBC Connections

When moving from a Windows 2003 server to a Windows 2008 server the ODBC service will need be turned off prior to the migration losing any ODBC connections you may have created in your control panel. They will be able to be recreated when the migration has completed.

15. Custom Web Directories

It is often not possible to automatically migrate custom web directories. All custom web directories should be backed up prior to migration and recreated manually afterwards.

16. FrontPage Extensions

Microsoft announced the end-of-life for FrontPage Server Extensions in 2006, replacing it with Expression Web. Whilst there are ways of getting FrontPage working on Windows 2008 and later servers, it is not suitably secure enough for shared hosting usage. FrontPage Server extensions are no longer support on any Pipe Ten server you are likely to be migrated to. It is recommended that customers use the standard FTP deployment method for which configuration assistance for Visual Studio can be found on our support website.

TO PROCEED WITH ACCOUNT MIGRATION

Please create or update a support ticket within the correct account’s control panel requesting to move to a new server and for what reason. See the above ‘Common / Typical Scenarios’ section of this document for examples.

Last modified 5th December 2017 by Carl Heaton