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Migrating an Onsite Server to the Cloud

In this article, we’re going to describe the process of migrating an onsite server to a hosted (or cloud-based) server.

We’ve described the advantages of hosted servers over onsite servers in a past article, “Hosted Servers: Fast and Secure as Physical Servers with Less Costs and Hassles.” These advantages include:

Increased accessibility. Hosted servers can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet.

Lower costs. With hosted servers, you don’t have to buy a full physical server. In addition, the hosting company is able to purchase its physical servers at below-market prices due to its bulk purchasing power, and it has a much lower human-administrator-to-server ratio.

Increased security and reliability. Hosted servers are protected and maintained 24x7x365 by the hosting provider.

Increased scalability. You can deploy a hosted server in just a few minutes, and you can add any amount of vCPUs, RAM, and storage space to them at any time.

So now we’ve reminded you why you should switch from an onsite server to a hosted server, let’s talk about the process of migrating from one to the other.

One of the first steps in most onsite-to-cloud server migrations is to select a type of hosted server. There are two primary types of hosted servers: virtual and dedicated.

With a hosted virtual server, your virtual server will share a single physical server with at least one virtual server of one of the hosting company’s other clients. With a hosted dedicated server, on the other hand, the hosting company will provide you with your own private physical server.

Hosted virtual servers tend to be cheaper and more scalable than hosted dedicated servers, while hosted dedicated servers tend to deliver better performance and be more reliable and compliant than hosted virtual servers.

Not all hosting companies offer both types of hosted servers.

Next, after you’ve selected the type of hosted server that you want, the hosting company may allow you to choose some of the higher-level features and settings of your server, such as the amount of CPUs or vCPUs, GPUs or vGPUs, RAM, and HDD or SSD storage space.

Now that you’ve set up and deployed your hosted server, you’re ready to start the process of transferring everything (including all of your files, settings, and software licenses) from the old onsite server to the new hosted server. This may involve generating an image of the onsite server with server imaging software and then transferring that image to the hosted server via the Internet.

To finalize the migration process, you’ll need to integrate the hosted server with all of the hardware and software that the onsite server was integrated with, and then make the hosted server “live” and decommission or repurpose the old onsite server.

Alternatively, many IT hosting companies can perform the migration process for you for a fee. This is often preferable to performing the migration process yourself, since the IT hosting companies have a lot of experience with these kinds of migrations and are more familiar with their own hosting platform, so they’re better at ensuring that the migration is completed successfully and without any disruptions to your business.