Some Quick Lessons I Learned While Moving Servers
The Grid Service (gs) at Media Temple is pretty badass. Yeah, it’s had a rough few weeks with some outages, but overall it’s about as solid as any other host. For $20 a month, I’m not sure it can be beat. CSS-Tricks was sitting on it since it’s very launch, and it’s now serving over half a million pages a month and there are probably 30 other sites on the same account.
But alas, I was starting to exceed the (gs) capabilities. I was accruing larger and larger overage charges each month. Besides, a few slowness complaints were starting to trickle in so I figured it was time to go for some bigger hardware. I decided to stick with Media Temple and go with the Dedicated Virtual (dv) service. Still a decent price for what you get, if you ask me. What sucks though, is that this is a manual move, nothing automated whatsoever. You also lose the awesome (gs) admin area and have to use Plesk instead. I’m not a huge fan of Plesk.
Here is some stuff I learned.
- You can export a database of any size from phpMyAdmin from (gs), but you can only import up to 2MB (even on (dv)). So, you are going to have to go in with Shell. Shell access is off by default, so you’ll have to turn it on for the particular domain you are dealing with. You’ll need to FTP upload the .SQL file you exported, navigate yourself to the location of that .SQL file and then do this to import it:
mysql -uDATABASEUSER -pDATABASEPASSWORD DATABASENAME < EXPORTEDFILE.sql
Also remember that on (gs) you use some weird host name for databases, on (dv) it's back to the normal 'localhost'
- They come with Apache turned off. Yeah... You have to go into Virtuozzo and turn that on. And... if your site is even unresponsive, this should be the first thing you check. Apache has shut off on me randomly before. The service is called "httpd" in the services list
- Even though I wasn't changing nameservers, it still took a good while to propagate. I figured since the change was all internal to Media Temple it would be instant, but no, it wasn't. It took probably over 12 hours for everyone to see it without trouble. What is weird is that the site with www. in front of it started working right away. Then it failed... then they both came back together. Not sure what to think about that.
- It's going to suck. Yeah, no matter what, changing servers is going to have hiccups. It's going to suck. I'm pretty sure there is no way around it.