By paul | October 29, 2006
In Part I of this story, I mentioned that I recently completed the migration from Media Temple’s Shared-Server (ss) to their new Grid-Server (gs). The process went very smoothly… much more so than I was anticipating. But, as smoothly as it went, you may want to wait a while longer before you do this. I think they still have some bugs in their Grid-Server system.
I completed the process late Friday night. Most of Saturday the site was down. But, it wasn’t from the migration process itself. Apparently, on Saturday, Media Temple discovered a bug in some of their new Grid hardware. Under certain conditions, the hardware is forced into a diagnostic cycle. It’s a built in “feature” that is designed to protect the system. Unfortunately, it was falsely going into that cycle all-day Saturday. Media Temple was working with the hardware vendor to apply firmware updates to correct the problem. Also, I have noticed that my sites seem a little slower than they did under the Shared-Server package. So, I would say unless you really want the new features, you may want to stay where you are for at least a little while longer.
Before I talk about the process, it may be helpful to know what I was hosting on the Shared-Server package:
- This site – onedigitallife.com (WordPress 2.0.4, Mint 1.29)
- Alternate domain for this site (pointer) – 1digitallife.com
- My other blog – AGreenIdea.com (WordPress 2.0.4)
- My girlfriends portfolio site (Static HTML / Flash)
The process for migrating is very straight forward. Simply login to your Media Temple Control Panel (it’s been recently updated), and select “Migrate to the Grid!”. You’ll then be presented with 3 steps. Instead of retyping everything, here’s a screen-shot…
As the first step mentions, it does take about 12 hours for their DNS changes to kick in, so plan ahead if you are going to be doing this. You don’t really need to do anything for step #1, other than click “go”. 12 hours later you’ll be able to move on to step #2.
Step #2 is primarily a billing step. You need to specify which plan you want to migrate / upgrade to. As an existing customer of mt, you can opt for the Grid-Server Lite package. They don’t really give you any information about this until you are actually in the process of doing it, so here’s the breakdown:
The Lite package is only available to current Shared-Server customers. New MT Customers are only able to do the full package. The Lite package is designed to be similar in features to the old Shared-Server package.
Step #3 is just like it sounds. It packs up all you data, databases, email accounts, etc…, moves them over to your new account, and then deletes your old SS account. This step takes 5-25 minutes, depending on the size of your media. I have a lot of media, so mine took the full 25 minutes.
That’s it! The process is remarkably simple. I would say that Media Temple did a good job building this migration tool. My sites stayed up through most of this process. They went down during the last 3-5 minutes, so it wasn’t a big deal at all.
How did it all work out you ask? Well, here’s the breakdown, starting with the least complicated site…
My girlfriend’s portfolio site… no problem at all. Since it was just static HTML, the migration tool moved it and set everything up like it should.
AGreenIdea.com and onedigitallife.com… Almost no problems at all. I was worried about my WordPress sites, as one of the biggest changes in the configuration differences between Shared-Server and Grid-Server is the location of the MySQL databases. You can no longer use ‘LocalHost’ in the WP-config file, you need to actually specify a path to the database. I thought I was going to have to do this manually after the migration, but the migration tool re-wrote my wp-config file for me, changing the path (that’s awesome!). It did the same thing for my Mint installation. I was actually surprised about Mint, because I named my folder something other than “Mint”. But, it found it anyway and changed the path. Currently, Media Temple says they can auto-update these apps: WordPress, Movabletype, Mint, PHPBB, and PHPNuke. The one problem I had after the move was with one of my plugins, Google Sitemap Generator. It didn’t want to function after the move, and was causing errors in the sites. I’ve deactivated it for now, but as a precaution, you may want to turn off all non-essential plugins before doing the migration. And, as always, you may want to do a full backup of your files and databases before doing the migration. Once you finish the migration, you’ll want to do another backup… remember, the migration tool auto-changed some of your wp configuration files.
Strangely, my domain pointer, 1digitallife.com, did not function after the move. I wasn’t able to fix this through the control panel, as it said it was working properly. I had to call tech support and have them finish it.
One other thing to note, is I did receive a strange Error message at the end of the migration process:
“You do not have access to this portion of the site.
For your safety, this action has been logged. Numerous deliberate offenses could result in the suspension of you accout or the permanent denial of your IP address to the Media Temple netwrork.”
I never did figure out why I got this error, and MT tech support didn’t know either.
So, as of now, the sites are moved, and things are working reasonably well. Hopefully, MT has flushed out most of the bugs in the new system.
As this post has now ballooned into a long read, I’ll save the other items I wanted to mention for a part III post. It will go over a few more things that may be helpful if you are planning to do the migration.