How does the switch over to a VPS from shared hosting take place?


I want to switch from my shared hosting to a VPS. How can this be done so that I have no downtime? What is the normal process?


Normally we do this:

1. Set your DNS TTL to a short value. Normally 3 minutes.

2. Clone your site (files and databases) to the VPS.

3. Send you the raw IP of the VPS to check things out on. Depending on the way your site is coded this may not work perfect (ie. your code keeps trying to redirect you to the proper domain name).

4. If all is well, you contact us and tell us to switch it over

5. We do one final sync of your db and files (in case anything changed from the time we first cloned your site). This step is optional. Let us know if you want a final sync done. If you’ve made tweaks to the VPS copy of the site you will NOT want this done as it will overwrite your changes.

6. The site goes live. If anything is wrong, you let us know and we switch it back

We keep your DNS TTL to about 3 minutes so if something is wrong, your users will pretty quickly (in theory no longer than 3 minutes) start hitting the “old” server again.

Shared hosting versus VPS downtimes


How often should I expect downtime on a shared account versus a VPS?


If you picked a random shared server, you could expect about one five minute outage every 5 months due to kernel upgrades. This is an average because there is no way to tell for certain when new (required – security related) kernels will be released. Think of a kernel update as a required security upgrade that needs a reboot to be installed.

On a shared server other outages are totally dependent on the machine itself and the hard to foresee mix of user websites loaded onto it. On a shared machine it is very hard to 100% stop a user with problems from affecting everyone else.

On a VPS you are in a much better position. You still have occasional reboots for kernel upgrades (we handle these automatically for you). All other parts of your server are totally private so you do not need to worry about other users causing downtime. As long as your own scripts do not cause out of memory and and other problems your VPS should run without issue.