Successful migration of a server environment
Increase of availability, scalability, speed, security and manageability.
Reliably and with no perceptible incidents - this was the dedicated physical server environment,
in which the numerous websites and web applications had found their technical home.
"With no perceptible incidents" however meant that one time or another it took some special effort
to take the necessary steps either very quickly or beyond office hours.
In order to be even better prepared for "special scenarios" in the future we were running preparations for several weeks
to convert the existing server environment to a virtual one.
Aspects as increasing the availability, scalability, speed, security and manageability played a decisive role.
A first evaluation phase at the various hosting partners was followed by an in-depth testing,
inter alia creating and restoring so-called snapshots of the current system state
was tested for its correct function and easy handling.
At the end of this preparation phase there was a timetable with all the necessary steps for a migration to the new virtual system environment.
One of the first concretizing steps was to establish the virtual server environment:
Usage of the latest Microsoft server operating system (Windows Server 2012 R2)
and the latest Microsoft database technology (SQL Server 2014).
For the impending creation of the application environments Microsoft PowerShell scripts were prepared,
by example to create users and their rights or to configure databases by just "pushing a button".
In a final preparatory step, the affected customers were informed about the upcoming activities.
Last weekend the migration should be processed.
Data, databases, applications and application environments as well as e-mail accounts were transferred to the new environment.
In addition, the own DNS servers were migrated. These are used for more complex customer requirements and are responsible
for the mapping of domain names to IP addresses on the internet.
A special attention during the migration of databases and the mailboxes has been on data changes that might have occurred
during the ongoing migration process.
Here, the ongoing operation of the existing environment should be restricted as little as possible.
After all significant steps were carried out, the migrated websites and applications could be tested extensively
using special testing domain names.
At the end of the migration process the DNS records were updated at the official registries.
Except for the fact that in some cases e-mails previously marked as read were unread,
there were no special behaviors or problem situations found. Mission accomplished.
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