Sometimes here at SingleHop, we run into small speed bumps when migrating large accounts. We have encountered this conundrum more often recently due to the response of our $200 Cash Back Offer. The accounts can be large for numerous reasons: The customer does not realize how big their account is, or receives an unknown increase of disk space. Most of our clients use cPanel or Plesk, so this only applies to moving these types of accounts.
Most of the actual data in these accounts are in the document root of the website. I have seen document roots of around 150 gigabytes, proving a tough challenge if the server only has 250 gigabytes of storage. When migrating accounts using cPanel or Plesk, it usually copies the data to a central location, then makes a larg packaged file with everything in it. This includes the document root, the DNS zone files, any databases (MySQL, Microsoft SQL server and PostgreSQL) and email. The second largest set of files is usually email.
Prior to starting the migration you might want to run down the following checklist in order to prepare:
1. Move the larger files to another location on the server -- this will work for both Windows and Linux
(you can easily find these out by executing "find /home/username/ -size +100000k" on the Linux command line -- this will locate any files greater than 100MB in size)
2. Copy the email to another location where more disk space is available
3. Ensure that your database server is running prior to beginning the migration
Begin the migration as you would normally, but when it is done packaging the account, put those files back in their original location. The migration utility should also package and restore a lot faster using this method since the larger files are out of the way. After the mgiration is done, copy the files from one server to the other over the publicly facing interface. If your server is running Linux I suggest using rsync. Rsync provides a full set of options that will not only ensure data integrity, but can be used in incremental mode if there is a lapse in communication during the migration. If your server is running Windows, Windows File Sharing comes into play, or use FTP to upload it to the destination server. It is also wise to do a migration at night or during off peak hours for your site in order to avoid a drop in traffic and upset customers.
The above tips and tricks will help anyone quickly migrate configuration of your site to another server. If you have any questions or would like assistance just drop a line or a ticket to our subsantially experienced System Administrators!