Changing server and migrating - How to?

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by DrMartinus, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. DrMartinus

    DrMartinus Member HowtoForge Supporter

    my virtual server runs CentOS 7, and as far as I know there is an EOL date somewhere in 2024. So there is still some time to go. However, since CentOS 8 saw a sudden, unexpected end, I am looking at a migration sometime in the future. I have a few questions regarding this:
    1. I understand that it is not a good idea to just "upgrade" the server or to "migrate" the software on the server, but it should rather be a fresh installation. This means I have to get a second server in order to put up a new server and then migrate the data. I need to know what is the best way to transfer the data without changing access rights etc. There are mailboxes and websites of my clients which shall not be destroyed or in any way manipulated.
    2. Is there an easy way to transfer ISPConfig and the data on to the new server (with a different OS), or does it require a fresh install? In other words: is there a HOWTO somewhere which would guide one through the process? I don't want to miss any important step...
    3. I do not yet know which OS will be on the new server (I haven't decided yet for a provider, but it may be the current one), I only know that the choices on VServers are in most cases limited. What would be a good choice for ISPConfig (I remember some issues with CentOS, which all could be resolved, but maybe there is an OS that doesn't cause any issues... :) )?
    4. My main requirement for the OS would be that it has support for a current PHP version (which was not the case with CentOS, but that I didn't know when I decided to use CentOS)
    I think that's about it, maybe some other questions pop up later...
  2. Th0m

    Th0m ISPConfig Developer Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    Use the migration tool:

    We recommend either Debian or Ubuntu.

    Both have PHP 7.X as default version, and on any OS you can use additional PHP versions.

    You can install your new system with
  3. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    At first I thought almost the same as you i.e. that CentOS end-of-life means you have to migrate to totally different OS but actually reading about it, you actually do not have to, and it is merely optional. You can use Alma or Rocky linux in its place which are not totally different. Of course you can also choose to use the recommended Debian or Ubuntu as its replacement, which has totally different ways of doing things. All of which is up to you but the migration tool will be very handy in any of the cases.
  4. michelangelo

    michelangelo Member

    Straight upgrades were never officially supported by the CentOS team, eventhough Redhat had since years a tool to achieve an upgrade to a newer version. However, since CentOS is basically RHEL without the enterprise support SLAs you were on your very own if the upgrade would not end well. So, if you want to follow the official CentOS way then your only option will be to set up a new server and migrate the data with the ISPConfig migration tool to the new box.

    Since CentOS 7 will reach EOL at the end of 2024 you still have plenty of time to migrate or upgrade. I've mentioned the latter because CloudLinux/AlmaLinux forked the migration tool "leapp" from Redhat that should allow you to upgrade from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8.

    If you should decide to go with this method then you must have a working and reliable backup/snapshot of your server that you can restore if the in-place migration does not end well. Otherwise take the traditional CentOS 6/7 approach and set up a new server. You can follow the Perfect Server guides for CentOS for the setup. The CentOS 8 guide is also valid for AlmaLinux 8 and Rocky Linux 8 and both will be supported with security updates until 2029.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  5. DrMartinus

    DrMartinus Member HowtoForge Supporter

    I didn't find such a tool with Almalinux, but I found one with VZLinux, which exists longer than Cloudlinux or Almalinux and claims to be a clone of CentOS. It can do a dry run, and I did that, finding that some things in the kernel seem to be non-standard (maybe some modules loaded or modified by the provider), and with that the migration tool wouldn't work. I guess that the same would be the case with leapp, but if it allows a dry run, I would at least try it out.
    I made my peace with setting up a new server, even though I am not sure what is the best way to get all the data across (using tar or rather rcopy, but I am afraid to mess up the access rights in this process). Or will the ISP migration tool take care of that?
    Well, I have enough time to prepare myself for this.
  6. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

  7. michelangelo

    michelangelo Member

    There you go:
    Regarding the inplace migration tools: Most oft these were developed by RHEL directly. There are different iterations of them available for example from EL6 to EL7 or the new leapp/ELevate migration tool from EL7 to EL8.

    Yes, ISP migration tool will take care of these things.

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