How To Perform A Server Migration

If your company continues to work on improving the efficiency and performance of its IT systems, you will face a wide range of issues when it comes to moving data to a more reliable server, dedicated server, virtualization and cloud hosting. Server migration has become a critical aspect of today’s IT world as everyone expects rapid deployment and minimal downtime.

How quickly and efficiently you can migrate servers will be critical to realizing future growth opportunities for your business. If you want to understand what server migration is and what elements are included in this process, you will find the information in this article.

What Is Server Migration?

Server migration is a method of transferring data from one server to another. Server migration can occur for a variety of reasons, including security issues, hardware failures, outdated servers, and other factors.

Server migration is carried out for:

  • reduction of operational loads;
  • improving the reliability, availability and performance of computing resources;
  • simplification of the server environment (for example, as part of the consolidation of servers);
  • accelerate the deployment of workloads;
  • ensuring compatibility with certain software, etc.

Server migration is performed by technical experts who have the necessary knowledge in server support and data migration. This procedure may appear to be as simple as a few mouse clicks, but it needs a deeper understanding of how to migrate data to a new server without incurring unforeseen downtime.

During a server migration, it is important to remember that some data may be temporarily unavailable, so it is essential to plan your server migration before you start preventing unplanned data loss. It is also important to note which data may need to be reformatted to fit the new system.

Once the data has been mapped correctly and the server migration has been completed, your technical team will need to verify that all data is available and intact, and that the data was not corrupted during the migration.

How To Transfer A Server To A New Server?

The difficulty of migrating servers is that they are all unique and have their own specifications that need to be handled properly. It is best to start a new migration by identifying the main goal you are going to achieve.

Most businesses are looking to upgrade their server for better performance, better control, virtualization, more web traffic, and more customization options. While most are looking to upgrade, others are looking to upgrade to less expensive servers to cut costs.

There are two main scenarios for migration:

  1. Partial (staged) migration: recommended for large companies with a complex branched infrastructure. As part of this scenario, a roadmap is created, and then servers are transferred sequentially and gradually along it. This migration can take a long time, depending on the complexity of the project.
  1. Full migration: recommended for SMBs with simple infrastructure. As part of this scenario, a work plan is drawn up, the most critical areas for migration are selected, and servers are transferred within a few days.

With all of this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of server migration steps to provide more context.

Set Migration Target

Determine the primary purpose of the migration and decide whether you want to downgrade to reduce costs or upgrade to improve performance and expand initiatives.

Find A Server That Suits Your Needs

With an upgrade in mind, reach out to technology experts to make sure the server is up to your long-term goals. The most expensive server is not necessarily suitable for your purposes. Find a hosting plan that’s right for you, consider virtualization options, and cloud rentals.

Create Your Migration Plan

Your IT team should meet to discuss all the specific steps that will be taken during the migration. It is important to determine all the data that will need to be transferred, whether it needs to be reformatted, and whether any information can be transferred at all. Always have a backup of the original server.

After determining this information, it is also important to note that your data and applications may not be available during the migration. Downtime can result in loss of business, which can be critical to the success of your business. To help weather this storm, migrate at times when your servers are seeing the least amount of traffic.

Test Your Server Migration Plan

Be sure to test the server migration after you plan. Some data will be important to the success of your process, while others will have little effect on the performance of your server. Understanding the barriers to live migration will help you make the appropriate changes to achieve the greatest success.

Map Domain To New IP

Once you’ve determined your server migration plan and sorted out the kinks, you can start mapping your processes to the new IP address.

Host Migration

The process of shifting data from one host server to another is referred to as host migration. When you switch to a new server, you must also switch hosts. It is also possible for more than one host to be involved in a process.

You won’t have to bother about moving hosts if you’re migrating to a new server but using the same host. If you are migrating files to a new server with a new host, you must plan for host migration.

Also Read: How to Detect Malware Before It Impacts Your ICS?

Different Types of Server Migration

From physical to physical server (P2P)

It is necessary when it is necessary to increase the computing power of the equipment due to an increase in load or when replacing an outdated server with a new one.

With the development of virtualization, almost all services and applications are installed not on physical, but on virtual servers.

From physical to virtual server (P2V)

A virtual server is a software and hardware complex that consists of a physical server and several virtual environments. This migration is necessary when an organization needs to increase the availability and performance of computing resources, reduce operational costs, and accelerate the deployment of workloads. Learn more about server virtualization.

From virtual to virtual server (V2V)

It is necessary when it is required to transfer the existing virtual servers to another site. Sometimes the task arises: to migrate from one virtualization solution to another.

Migration examples:

  • transfer of 1C and SQL databases from the old server to the new one;
  • migrating from Microsoft Hyper-V to VMware ESXi.

Physical servers can be made virtual and migration can occur between different hypervisor-governed systems using tools such as VMware Converter Standalone or the free and trusted StarWind V2V Converter.

From physical server to the cloud (P2C)

Migration to the cloud is used to reduce the cost of maintaining the physical infrastructure, as well as increase the availability of applications.

Usually it means switching to virtual servers rented in a data center, or switching to similar cloud services provided as a service.

Migration examples:

  • transfer of 1C, terminal server and Active Directory from a physical server to virtual servers in the cloud;
  • migrating 30 VMware virtual servers to a service provider’s public or private cloud;
  • from Active Directory to Azure Active Directory;
  • from Exchange 2010 to Exchange Online.

From one version to another

Applied when support for an old version ends or to use all the features of a new version.

Migration examples:

  • from an Exchange 2010 mail server to Exchange 2019;
  • from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2019;
  • from VMware ESXi 5.5 to ESXi 6.7.

From one solution to another

It is necessary when switching to solutions of another manufacturer that are similar in functionality, as well as to reduce costs or obtain new features.

Migration examples:

  • from Acronis Backup to Veeam Backup & Replication;
  • from MS SQL to PostgreSQL;
  • from Yahoo Mail to Exchange Online.


Ensuring that all data is migrated correctly is the number one priority when migrating servers. If you have any questions or concerns about starting a server migration project, it’s best to contact third-party professionals.

Leave a Comment