Moving 50 sites pointing to dedicated IP in a Multisite network

I have a Multisite network with around 300 sites that I want to migrate to an upgraded server. Out of those 300 sites, I have around 50 sites that are pointed to a dedicated IP.

Can you help me redirect the current dedicated IP seamlessly so that I have time on hand to map all the sites with dedicated IP over a bit of time? Or is there any other way to handle this without taking the sites offline.

  • mbitcon
    • Problem solver

    Hi Greg

    Not sure whether I understand this correctly. Your 300 sites are on one multisite install, so I assume they currently all share the same IP, don't they? So what is your goal? If your hosting company supports this, you could get a server with multiple IP dresses and can set up the web server to listen on all those IP dresses for the the sites with dedicated IP adresses. but I am not sure this is what you want.
    Can you explain your current setup and your goal scenario in a bit more detail?
    In any case the new shipper plugin from WPMUDEV might make your task a lot easier...

    Mike

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Greg

    There's no any "special way" to do this and no "IP redirection". The simplest and safest way is to set the new site without taking down the "old one" and withdraw from making any changes (configuration changes, editing or adding new content - literally everything) on both (old and new site) for a while.

    Then you'd need to actually change DNS settings (an A record) for all the domains that need to be moved to the new IP and wait until the DNS propagates. This might take anything from 5 minutes to 72 hours and can be different for each domain. However, if the old site is not taken down and the new one is already set - the end user shouldn't notice any "break" or changes.

    Once you're sure that DNS settings got fully propagated across the web, that's all - migration is done.

    That's how I'd do it but to be honest, like mbitcon I'm also not quite sure if I did actually understood the case right...

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Greg
    • The Exporter

    @mbitcon

    Thanks. A live chat rep added the original message.

    So, yea, say 300 sites all on one multisite install. And say 50 are domain mapped with the wpmudev mapping plugin. These 50 are using the dedicated ip to point there domain mapped domain names in their DNS at their respective registrars.

    So, I don't think I can port the dedicated IP used for the mapping plugin to the new server. So, therein lies the heart of the question. One IP is fine as is. It is just if I move to another company or host server, is it possible to port the dedicated IP to the new server first of all? I don't think so but you may know how. Is it possible to do some kind of temporary dedicated IP forward to the new server dedicated IP? Or, another more smart way to do this? I want to avoid having to change all domain name DNS to another server IP to avoid downtime basically or not have to change them all together actually. So, dealing with even larger multisites (you being wpmudev and all) I would imagine this has come up a lot when upgrading servers on the same or different hosts and you thus would have some pretty sweet tricks up your sleeve in this regard?

    I am mobile...

    :slight_smile:

    Greg

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Greg

    Thanks for explanation, it's more clear now.

    I'd say that "bringing an IP with you" is out of the question. "Technically speaking" that could be possible though 1) it would usually mean transferring not only one IP but entire block from one host to another 2) it's strictly a host thing 3) it involves much more than only a host infrastructure - so unless you're moving within the very same hosting provider offer (often within the same data center), it wouldn't be an option.

    The "forwarding" (a proper term here would be "routing") would be more "down to earth" though and it's not that unusual. It's doable but there's a certain requirement: you need to keep the original server and you need to have access to server configuration. If your previous server was a dedicated server or a VPS with a FULL shell (root) access where you are allowed to change all the aspects of configuration (just like it was your own setup) you should be able to set routing table (in case of linux you'd use "iptables") to actually redirect all traffic on selected or all ports from one IP to another - that would be transparent. That's actually pretty much the same principle as many server-side firewalls use :slight_smile:

    But if original server was either a shared hosting account or a VPS but with limited configuration access, it might be difficult to achieve as well. In such case you'd need to get in touch with the host and ask them if they could set that up for you or not - they might or might not agree to help (not necessarily because they don't want to but rather because they might have a specific, strict setup that they can't quite change at some aspects).

    So, if that's not an option, that would get you back to what I suggested in my previous answer, I'm afraid.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Greg
    • The Exporter

    mbitcon & Adam Czajczyk

    I did not see Adam's reply before. Did you both see this https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/moving-50-sites-pointing-to-dedicated-ip-in-a-multisite-network#post-1361144 ?

    I will be using a full CPanel import for everything so just need to figure out the best way to handle the dedicated IP issues. Having all people on the network stop adding or editiong to the site would not really work in practicality would it (sounds good in theory). Also, having visitors stop making comments, making purchases, signing up, etc would be impossible too.

    Or, do you just do it any any collateral dammage is just chalked up to the cost of doing business?

    Also, do you tell users about this move or do it in the background?

    I would rather do it seamlessly withoout too much fanfare or worry to clients.

    How did edublogs.com do successive upgrades to more powerful servers as it grew?

    Anyhow, any additional comments, insights, info, etc would be great.

    :slight_smile:

    Greg

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Greg

    Yes, I read your reply and already responded to it. I'm a bit confused now about which of my responses did you see and which not :wink:

    Here I addressed the case after your explanation:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/moving-50-sites-pointing-to-dedicated-ip-in-a-multisite-network#post-1361153

    As for telling members: well, if you will, indeed, be able to go for that IP routing way, there's absolutely no need to tell them as it should all work seamlessly. But if you'll need to actually change DNS configuration, I'd rather inform them.

    Edublogs is "not moving to more powerful servers". It's using a dedicated, very advanced infrastructure that also is fully scalable. That means that instead of "moving site to more powerful server" you kind of "add up power to the server" without interrupting anything. Just like cloud-based host (though in this case it's much more complex and specific, but the principle is the same) where when you need more storage space or more computing power or memory, you just increase some options and that's all.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • splaquet
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    It sounds as though all options have been pretty discussed. My apologies if I overlooked the items while skimming through.

    I didn't catch of you had access to edit/update the DNS on all of these domains or not. If you do, I'd highly suggest updating the DNS to use nameservers, instead of a dedicated www/@ A record pointer. This method would have the most efficient swapover, IMO.

    I also didn't notice if the new server was dedicated to *ONLY* the new multisite or not. If it was, you could transfer over the entire account in one swoop.

    - You could transfer over your static files
    - take the site down for a few minutes, "Undergoing Maintenance", and make the DB migration.
    - if it was within the same datacenter, this could potentially be super fast (few minutes?)

    ###

    As Adam Czajczyk mentioned, porting your IP would be a good option... but that only works internally, within same data center typically.

    - If you're moving to a new server, is it with the same company/datacenter?
    - if so, have you asked your host if the could reroute the IP internally, to point to a different server?

    ###

    One more option might be to cluster your database, where it's evenly distributed on both servers. Then, when everything is good, kill off the old one.

    ###

    And, I just thought about this while writing that last one... you could also migrate your database first. I'm not sure how those multisite, multi-database plugins work... but maybe you can slice them off one at a time?

    ###

    Hah... either way, I hope that I didn't just create more chaos & confusion. I realize how sensitive this can be.

  • Greg
    • The Exporter

    Adam Czajczyk mbitcon splaquet

    Adam, yea, I missed one of your replies but have reviewed all now. All collective info is good and I have some ideas now to run on. There is some good info now I can followup on with my current and future host etc.Thanks a lot. Other ideas are welcome. I will be working on this and will report back what I do moving forward not only to document for myself but for others down the road.

    :slight_smile:

  • mbitcon
    • Problem solver

    One more thing to make the transition smooth:
    If you have access to the DNS settings, set the TTL to something like 120. This is the time in seconds that DNS servers are allowed to cache the answer to a DNS request for that domain.
    You have to do that well in advance (longer in advance than the current TTL)
    When you do that you can switch within two minutes when you change your DNS settings instead of having to wait for DNS propagation for a whole day (which is the standard setting for most...)
    Just don't forget to set the TTL back to something sensible after the switch has been done...

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