Transfer/Migrate a Server with No Downtime (or Database Lag)

How can I transfer servers with no downtime?

 

If you’re using a Cloud or Dedicated server and want to change servers, you can do the following to ensure there’s no downtime:

 

Note: This guide is written with both servers using WHM/cPanel, however the general principles should be applicable to most transfers.

 

Note: These steps are ONLY to be utilized once the content from the original server has been restored to the new server and confirmed working. These steps should be performed just before updating the nameservers for the transferred domain(s). If you have not transferred the content to the new server and you have WHM access on both, please refer to the following guide How to transfer/migrate an entire server to a new server guide.

  1. Log in to WHM on the original server
  2. Go to DNS Functions
    1. You can locate this quickly by searching for “DNS” in the search bar
  3. Go to Edit DNS Zone

 

Show the Edit DNS Zone location in WHM

 

  1. Choose the right server/domain
  2. Click the Edit button

 

Showing the first page of the DNS Zone Editor in WHM

 

  1. Change the number in second column (probably currently 86400 or 14400) to 300
  2. Change the A Record IP to the new server IP
    1. You can also change the other A records for services such as FTP

 

Showing the Edit DNS Zone form in WHM

 

  1. Change your nameservers with your domain registrar
  2. Repeat steps 1-7 for any additional domains that were transferred

 

Note: The number in second column you changed to 300 is the Time to Live amount, meaning how long the site’s content is cached and when it will be checked again. It’s normally set to 24 hours or 4 hours. Changing it to 300 will change it to five minutes.

 

Note: DNS nameserver changes can take 24-48 hours to fully change over. Do not close or cancel the old server until then. To be safe, wait 48 hours.


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