What is a Server Migration?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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Server migration is a process in which data is moved from one server to another. Data may be moved between servers for security reasons, because equipment is being replaced, and for any number of other reasons. This process is often performed by a team of specialists who work specifically with servers, although it is also possible for people with some computer skills to migrate their own data between servers. During the migration process, data may be temporarily inaccessible.

Before a server migration takes place, a plan is mapped out. The people performing the migration may need to reformat the data so that it will be accessible in the new server or to take other steps to make the migration go smoothly. Data must be backed up in case something goes wrong with the server migration, and plans must be made to keep the data secure during the transition process.

When data is migrated between servers running the same server management system, the process is usually straightforward, with no adjustments needed. In cases where data is being migrated between different types of servers, however, it is necessary to reformat data. Once all of the data has been moved, it is subjected to verification to confirm that it is intact and that no parts have become corrupted by the move. At this point, the migration is complete and the new server is active.


The new server may be located in the same building as the old one, or it may be in a different location. One reason people can opt to use server migration can be to allow data to load faster by moving to a server in a new location. Data may also be moved via server migration because a company is changing hosts and can no longer store material on the old host's servers. Another reason may be an upgrade, with a company wanting to access a more stable or secure server.

With content being served on the Internet, a server migration can take time to populate as the address for reaching the information is different. While Internet users are familiar with typing in alphanumeric addresses to reach websites, each of these addresses maps to a numeric address. When a server migration occurs, the records must be changed so that people are taken to the right server when they type in a web address, with the alphanumeric address linked to the new numeric one. This can take 24 hours or more as these records are not updated continuously.


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Post 3

I had to migrate our file servers recently to upgrade to Windows 2008 R2 and I ended up using Sys-Manage CopyRight2 to do the job. With CopyRight2 I could move all the data residing in the file system to the new servers. It adjusted all file and file share permissions automatically and transferred the user and group accounts including passwords.

Post 1

Thanks for the basic overview of server migration.

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