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Onboard to Liquid Web: A Step-By-Step Guide to Migrating Your Data to a Virtual Server

Posted on by Ronald Caldwell | Updated:
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You need to move your data over to enjoy the benefits of an externally hosted VMware virtual cloud server at Liquid Web. This step-by-step guide helps you prepare to move your data to a virtual machine (VM) hosted with Liquid Web. It provides an overview of the process, so you know what to expect. Our technicians are available every step to help.

Before you start, it is best to have a migration strategy session between Liquid Web and your team to ensure the most effective migration for you. It helps to review the amount of data you need to move, the nature of the data, its current role, age, and cleanliness. By doing this at the start, you can determine the ideal method of moving your data along with any migration tools you might need to make the process as painless and efficient as possible.

The migration strategy session establishes a team comprised of representatives from your organization and Liquid Web. At least one person from your organization must have administrator credentials for your server.

While this article focuses on moving data across the internet, it is possible to move data via other methods. For example, for some of our clients, it is easier and faster to transfer their data to a mobile storage device such as a thumb drive or portable hard drive and ship the storage device to us to upload.

You also do not need to move your data from its current site on your server. Transferring your data directly from hard drives that are not attached to a  server is possible. Both are great options if your data impacts mission-critical functions in your business and you cannot risk any interruption in everyday business operations. 

Migrating Your Data to a Virtual Server

Step 1: Install Migration Software

Many software options in the market help you move large amounts of data from server to server smoothly and efficiently. However, you should select a converter software when performing physical to virtual (P2V) and virtual to virtual (V2V) migrations. While third-party website movers are an option, they tend to be expensive to move large amounts of data.

Here are some available options for converting your physical or virtual machine to an acceptable VMware virtual machine:

  • VM Cloud Converter
  • VCDA
  • VHD
  • HCI
  • vMotion
  • Hyper-V
  • KVM
  • Workstation
  • Virtual Box

Step 2: Determine if Your Migration is HOT or COLD

A hot migration is live migration where one VM is moved to another without powering the main virtual machine down. Cold migrations are not performed live but when virtual machines are powered down. They are optimal when moving virtual machines between host servers with differing CPUs.

Cold migrations are always the preferred choice as they are safer and faster. However, mission-critical workloads requiring the VM not to be powered down for the migration demand it to be live. Still, it is strongly suggested you stop all write applications so that the data on the disks remains static.

Cold migrations are absolutely required if you are converting a server running applications that dynamically change data, such as MS Exchange servers or database servers (e.g., Oracle or MS SQL).

Ensure your users know you will be moving servers and manage their expectations for uptime/downtime. Notify users at least five business days in advance of the migration.

Step 3: Prepare Your System

Before you begin, here is a list of services to turn off:

  • File sharing.
  • Firewalls (do not block file/printer sharing and required ports).
  • Antivirus software.
  • User access control.
  • All applications and services that read/write data.

Step 4: Start the Migration Software and Designate the System to be Moved

In order to move your data from your current server to a Liquid Web virtual server, you will need to have administrative control over your current server.

Once you’ve logged into the server holding the data to be moved, you must select the source machine and IP address or DNS name.

Step 5: Designate the Destination System

You will be provided with the details to select the destination system, including the destination type, IP address, or DNS name of our virtual server for you.

Step 6: Select the Data you Want to Move

Be mindful of the data you move to the Liquid Web server. It's a great time to clean up your data, so you are moving only current and useful data. This will make your virtual server run faster and reduce your operating costs.

Now is also an excellent time to organize your data. Create logical data volumes based on data usage and users. Resize volumes if needed.

Step 7: Assess Throttling Requirements

Determine if you need to control the CPU and network bandwidth used in the move. Consider the timing of your migration and other demands on your internet service, including mission-critical functions.

Step 8: Run the Migration

When running the migration, schedule time with someone from your team and from Liquid Web’s team to oversee the conversion. This means your personnel is available to reply to tickets and log into the environment if needed. While data transfer may take some time, it is critical to work as one team to ensure the conversion is successful and troubleshoot any issues in real time.

Once the migration is complete, Liquid Web will give you access to your data to ensure it has transferred successfully. If you have provided Liquid Web with your data via a physical storage device, the data is uploaded for you. Access to your data is provided to ensure it has been uploaded in its entirety and is completely accessible to you. Do not delete any files on your side until this final check is complete.

Wrapping Up

A smooth data migration is the first step of a long and helpful relationship with Liquid Web. Use this guide to aid in converting your VMs for a successful P2V and V2V migration.

Now is the time if you have not set up your VMware Private Cloud with Liquid Web. Contact our sales team to set up a consultation to get the right environment for your needs.

About the Author: Ronald Caldwell

Ron is a Technical Writer at Liquid Web working with the Marketing team. He has 9+ years of experience in Technology. He obtained an Associate of Science in Computer Science from Prairie State College in 2015. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Michigan with her and their children.

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