Built-in support for load balancing and clustering make InterWorx a popular cPanel alternative.
And, control panel switch involves cPanel to InterWorx migration. However, any mistake in server migration can result in data loss.
As part of our Server Migration Services, we frequently do server migrations without causing website downtime.
Today, we’ll see how our Migration Engineers properly plan and execute cPanel to InterWorx migration in just 7 steps.
Why choose InterWorx panel?
Before we proceed further, it worth taking a look on why many users choose InterWorx for their servers. The top reasons include:
- Fully featured control panel
- Interface for site users as SiteWorx and for root user as NodeWorx
- Similar to cPanel and WHM setup
- Built-in support for popular web platforms including WordPress and Magento
- Load balancing feature for high traffic websites
That’s why, many server owners prefer to use InterWorx.
How we migrate accounts from cPanel to InterWorx?
Migrating to a new platform always come with a set of tasks. This include preparing the accounts for migration, DNS changes, backup, restore and so on.
Let’s now take a look on how our Migration Engineers transfer accounts in 5 steps.
1. Preparing server for migration
From our experience in server migration, the success rate largely depends on how much we make the old and new server identical. That is, the versions of programs running on the old cPanel server need to be replicated in the InterWorx server. Again, this include the versions of PHP, Apache, MySQL and many more.
Therefore, our Migration Specialists note down the versions in the cPanel server and recreate it on the new InterWorx server. Additionally, we modify server firewall and make sure that the old and new servers can communicate each other.
2. DNS TTL lowering
As the second step, we lower the DNS TTL value of the migrating domains.
Server migration always involve IP address changes. DNS Time to Live (TTL) value decides on how quickly the changes in IP address propagates in the internet.
Prior to the actual migration, we set the TTL value to 15 minutes or lower in the DNS records of the domain. This helps to avoid downtime due to dns propagation delay.
3. Backup cPanel accounts
At this point we take the backup of the cPanel accounts. When there are multiple accounts to migrate, user can make use ofthe Backup Wizard at WHM. However, our Migration Engineers prefer using command line options to generate backup files.
We execute the following script from command-line to take the backup of cPanel account to the folder /bkptransfer.
/scripts/pkgacct username /bkptransfer
Again, we maintain a list of accounts and repeat this on every account using bash scripts. This would generate the backups of accounts available on the server.
For migrating single account with user cPanel login, we do it from the control panel. Here, we go to Files > Backups > Download a Full Website Backup option.
4. Copy backup to InterWorx server
The next step is to copy the backups to the new InterWorx server.
Here, we use the scp command that copies the backup files on the new server. And, we always make sure to run the copying command in ‘screen‘. This way, the task will continue in the background. Or, the entire process fails when there is an power or network interruption to the computer from which you are trying the file copy.
The exact commands to copy the backup files to the folder /migration/backups on the new InterWorx server will be :
screen cd /bkptransfer scp backup.tar.gz remote_username@Interworx_server_IP:/migration/backups
Here also, we process the backups in batches. This would avoid connection dropping problems in between.
When migrating a single account, we copy the account backup in the public_html directory. And, we make use of wget command to fetch the contents to the new server.
5. Restore accounts in InterWorx server
Finally, we need to restore the accounts from the backups. cPanel to InterWorx migration can be done from command line or from InterWorx panel.
InterWorx comes with a utility called import.pex for handling migration from the command prompt. It allows several command line parameters like Path and filename of backup file to import, IP address, remote control panel type, etc.
Therefore, to do the restore, we SSH into the InterWorx server as the root user first and then switch to the iworx user. Then our Migration Engineers run the following command:
[root@iworx ~]$ /home/interworx/bin/import.pex --archive=/migration/backups/user_backup.tar.gz --control-panel=cpanel --ip-address=NEW_IP_address
We create scripts to automate the restore of each account.
Migrate from panel
InterWorx also allows to migrate multiple accounts from remote server using Import Mass Transfer tool.
To import Multiple Accounts From a remote cPanel Server we follow the steps as:
- Go to SiteWorx > Import menu item.
- Click the Import Mass Transfer button.
- In the Hostname: field, enter the hostname of the remote cPanel server from which you want to migrate.
- At the Root User field, add the root login of cPanel server.
- Fill in the Password field with the password for the root user of cPanel server.
- Click the Query Accounts button. It shows the list of accounts and we select the particular accounts.
- Next, we select the destination reseller for the account under which account will be restored
- We complete the details like IP address and advanced options like “Full Import” or “Structure-Only Import”. Importing only the structure comes handy during migrating large accounts.
- We click on Import button. It shows the list of the accounts you chose to mass transfer, along with a status for each account under the Import Status column.
Migration proceeds and the the page reloads automatically giving us a real time status on how things are progressing.
6. Temporary link check
Further, we verify the contents on the new server. This include comparing the size of contents of new and old server, emails and databases. Then, we make use of the IP address of the new server and check the preview of the website. We correct the website permission errors if any.
7. Home directory and database sync
When things work properly from the new server, we switch over the DNS of the domain to point to new server. However, if the initial migration was done long before, there will be new content changes in the old server. To accommodate these changes, our Migration Engineers do final sync of the website document root and database sql file.
Then we do the DNS cut over. This will load the websites from the new InterWorx server.
Typical errors with migration and fixes
Although, the steps look pretty simple, cPanel to InterWorx migration often ends up in errors. Let’s check on how our Migration Specialists tackle and fix them.
1. Incorrect settings
Incorrect settings often contribute to errors while migrating accounts from cPanel to InterWorx.
Recently, a customer reported problems with cPanel to InterWorx migration. He had error with one domain, while the other two accounts migrated successfully. The error in the Import Mass Transfer said:
From the error, it was clear that there was problem in fetching the IP address. The customer had specified an incorrect IP address in the tool. Therefore, to fix the error, we had to set the correct IP address and then migrate the account once again.
2. Permission Denied
Similarly, Permission Denied error often appears after clicking the Query Accounts button on the first Mass Account Transfer page. This happens due to incorrect root login/password or due to incorrect SSH settings.
Again, server firewall restrictions also create problems with migration. For migration to work, we specifically allow the old server IP address in the firewall.
When getting access errors, our Migration Engineers start debugging by trying to SSH into the remote server as the root user. If that is successful, it should be the problem with settings in the migration tool. Or, when SSH itself fails, we double check that the remote server firewall allows the root user to SSH in.
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In short, any mistake in cPanel to InterWorx migration can bring in site downtime. Today, we saw how our Migration Specialists properly plan and migrate accounts from cPanel to InterWorx.