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Migration Steps to Peak Hosting’s AlwaysUp Architecture

When your business has outgrown your current managed hosting provider, the logical thing is to search for something better. Change can be difficult and chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be.

Let us take care of the process for you.

Working with Peak Hosting is like having your very own butler, valet service, maid, personal chef, and landscaper, but at a fraction of what you’d expect to pay for all that attention.

As one of the industry’s most trusted Operations-as-a-Service providers, Peak Hosting delivers complete operations expertise to manage everything but your code® before, during, and after the migration process. We go beyond hardware and deliver the engineering experience needed to reduce or remove the burden from your internal operations team.

Peak Hosting has helped build some of the largest web properties on the Internet. Our engineers have created a proprietary, step-by-step migration process to move your current infrastructure to our cost-effective, reliable and robust solution. Their average of 15 years of experience means they thoroughly understand your industry’s vertical and its unique technical requirements, even before they walk in the door. They know where the limitations and scaling pain points are today, plus what your system will need in the future.

What’s the secret to our success? Peak Hosting has worked with so many customers to successfully live-migrate their environments that your migration to our AlwaysUp Architecture® can be implemented within days instead of weeks or months. And we do it for free.

The best news? Your end-users will be unaware the transfer even occurred, unless you count the improved speed and uptime they experience when visiting your site; the transition to our AlwaysUp Architecture® is invisible unless you don’t want it to be.

Your end-users will be unaware the transfer even occurred, unless you count the improved speed and uptime.

With Peak Hosting supporting everything but your code,® your company’s operations infrastructure will be in the hands of the industry’s best engineers, architects, and support staff. What does this mean to you? It means you don’t have to focus on “internet plumbing” and can concentrate your efforts on running your business, not a technical operations department.

Peak Hosting makes the process as seamless as possible. The following steps provide an overview of our field-tested procedure to migrate a relatively sophisticated customer environment to Peak Hosting, without any downtime. Our top-shelf team can deploy a new system more quickly than any of our competitors. Nevertheless, the process isn’t a “drop it off on Friday and it’ll be ready Monday” solution.

Peak Hosting’s engineering experts get to know the ins and outs and intricacies of your system, including applications, data repositories, permissions and dependencies. We then customize a design for your migration, as well as guide and assist your staff by mentoring, sharing best practices, or doing whatever your staff needs so we can all get the job done correctly and on time.

Think of it as the arm of your company swinging the Peak Hosting hammer against the nail of your migration problem.

Think of it as the arm of your company swinging the Peak Hosting hammer against the nail of your migration problem.

Think operations headaches are inevitable?

Think again.

Step 1: Architect Custom Solution

The foundation of our rock-solid system is to custom design each solution at the outset of the project. A high-rise building needs a quality set of professionally created blueprints and your new network deserves no less. Building architects spend hours pouring over site plans, determining things such as how the building will be used, optimizing usable space, in order to create a robust building that will serve its owners for many years to come.

Peak Hosting’s Solution Architects do the same for you, going beyond the basic questions of “how much storage and bandwidth do you need?” We consult with your operations staff and developers to identify and discuss your current structure and technology goals, current applications, operating system requirements, and other elements of your infrastructure. We want to design a system so it not only supports your objectives, but also scales seamlessly to achieve them. This preplanning eliminates scaling and redundancy issues, so your new infrastructure runs at peak performance from the moment it goes live. Some of the items our Solution Architects examine are:

  • Applications in use today and their appropriateness for your business goals
  • Pros and cons of alternatives
  • Scaling concerns and limitations
  • Operating System requirements, including patches, upgrades, packages, and customization
  • Database memory, CPU and IOPS requirements, plus sharding options for scaling
  • Current server topology audits, at every tier, including CPU, memory, and disk (including speed, type, and RAID level)
  • Network latency, throughput, jitter and topology considerations, requirements, and limitations
  • Global and local load balancing needs
  • Security requirements for Network Address Translation (NAT), stateful firewalling, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDS/IDP), and SSL, IP-SEC, GRE, or point-to-point VPN
  • Redundancy audit for data center, hard drives, applications, system, and site
  • Virtualization options at each tier
  • Appropriateness of dedicated individual servers, private enterprise cloud, or a hybrid approach
  • Custom monitoring, alerting, or performance trending analysis
  • Disk storage, scaling, volume, RAID, and performance requirements, including SAN, DAS, or NAS needs and solution options
  • Support escalation, troubleshooting, and expertise consultation
  • Business requirements regarding uptime, maintenance, disaster recovery, and business continuity

[Timeframe – 1 to 2 hours of Q&A]

Step 2: Architecture Build and Burn-in

Peak Hosting’s engineers and solution architects implement your customized design then test the environment to ensure your new system is correct and meets or exceeds your standards. This “burn-in” evaluates performance, redundancy, failover, library and application installation, monitoring, alerting, SNMP performance trend analysis, and operating systems specifications.

[Timeframe – less than one hour to a few days, depending on the complexity of the solution]

Step 3: Data Migration

Peak Hosting teams with your staff to access your existing infrastructure to work hand-in-glove to migrate your data as instructed and directed by your staff.

Once your new architecture is built, tested and approved, Peak Hosting teams with your staff to access your existing infrastructure, to work hand-in-glove to migrate your data as instructed and directed by your staff. After we help you identify any data needing to be synchronized, we help you in both the copying process as well as capturing all needed updates to the data during the migration process.

We work with you to bring your data and applications over to the new system; you’re in control the entire way.

Your data is critical to your business, and while we know your new system inside-and-out, we don’t know your data. We work with you to bring your data and applications over to the new system; you’re in control the entire way. The migration of your actual data and database is completed by your people and done exactly the way you need it to be done, thereby ensuring the correct data is identified, captured, migrated and updated.

[Timeframe – Concurrent with steps 1 through 5 and depends on data size, and continues through step 8]

Step 4: Database Synchronization

Once you have successfully moved the data to the new system, Peak Hosting engineers assist your personnel with the configuration of your database. Under the direction of your operations team and developers, our people enable Master/Slave replication, clustering or log-shipping (Microsoft SQL). Our DBA experts then ensure all appropriate database information (including, but not limited to, permissions, users, tables and data) is securely and reliably updated to the new Peak Hosting environment. All structured data stored in your existing location is automatically and immediately replicated to Peak Hosting and available for your customers during the cutover process.

[Timeframe – Concurrent with steps 1 through 5 and depends on data size and continues through step 8]

Step 5: DNS Migration

One of the little-known secrets in Internet hosting is the time it can take for DNS records to propagate across the Internet after a change. Even if your “time-to-live” (TTL) is only one minute, the old information is often cached, leaving companies wondering why updates are not showing up as they should.

To prevent this, Peak Hosting updates your public site’s DNS records to point to our high availability bi-costal load balancers, then immediately redirects the connection back to your existing infrastructure.

This redirection is completely transparent to both customers and applications, and has been used successfully for over a decade by multitudes of Peak Hosting customers and consulting clients. There is no perceptible change in latency or interference with your customer traffic during this process. Allowing one week for the new DNS information to spread assures DNS propagation latency will not affect your customer’s experience.

[Timeframe – Concurrent with steps 6 and 7, but usually lasts at least a full week]

Step 6: Customer Implements Code

In this step, the customer implements and tests their customized code on the new Peak Hosting platform. Peak Hosting engineers work with you to ensure all necessary libraries, packages, and supporting software are installed, so you can be certain you successfully executed everything. Our team works with yours in whatever capacity we can to be certain this stage is successfully implemented.

[Timeframe – TBD based on customer needs]

Step 7: Customer Tests Live Code with Live Data

At this stage, the database has live information and the local data volumes have received both the replication and incremental updates for existing data with the live site. Testing can begin on real code, with real data, to ensure accuracy and completeness of the application. Given your intimate knowledge of your applications, their functionality and their features, we rely on you to test the completeness for both the data synchronization and database replication.

[Timeframe – TBD based on customer needs]

Step 8: Zero Downtime Cutover

During a customer determined maintenance window, Peak Hosting engineers “flip the switch” on our high-availability load balancers to direct customer traffic away from the old data center to the tested-and-ready local Peak Hosting servers. Because the database and data volumes have been continuously migrating updates, all data is in real time and ready to support customers, with zero interruption in properly architected applications.

[Timeframe – About 1 second]

What’s next?

So, is it really that easy? No, of course not; while these steps might make it seem that way, it’s anything but. A properly designed, no-downtime migration between data centers requires detailed planning and a close working relationship with your outsourced provider. With our decades of experience, however, Peak Hosting’s team provides as seamless an approach as possible to the migration process. Other companies make it harder, though nobody but Peak Hosting makes it easier.

To speak with one of our Solution Architects, call (888) 476-7325 (PEAK) or email, and let us handle everything but your code®!

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