Hello there folks (2nd topic in 1 day, need to get out more)
- I need some advice from people with more experience than myself...
I currently have a Windows Server with Plesk which all in all is costing me $100 per month. A rough break down is
$40 - Server
$60 - Windows and Plesk
I first took out this server with the intention of offering webhosting but since then my plans have changed. I realise I dont have enough techincal knowledge to offer hosting as a service and wouldnt feel comfortable taking peoples money when others will offer a better service (like you guys ) At the moment I use the server for my own sites and a couple of small ones owned by friends of mine.
The server Im on is a decent one, very good for the price basically because I paid a very high setup fee and so the monthly costs are alot less. As you can see from the costs over half is from Windows and Plesk, so I plan on changing the OS to a free Linux based OS (Cent OS 4.0) and a cheap or budget control panel (when I find one)
- What I need to know is what is the best way to change OS with the minimum amount of downtime for the sites I host. From my own sites I have 2 in particular that are very important to me and have a very very high amount of daily traffic and use very high amounts of bandwidth.
If anyone could offer any realistic and sensible suggestions I would really appreciate it.
Changing from Windows to CentOS would definitely require your existing harddisk to be reformatted and that means the sites on your server would probably be deleted too.
What is important now is to make backup of the sites prior to changing OS. Then restore the backups when the new OS is installed. You cannot do any Windows style backups as the best method would be to ftp in and transfer file by file.
There would definitely be some downtime during the switch over and it is inevitable.
I am not sure if this is realistic in your case but the one which would give the least downtime would be to get a new server then transfer the files over then have everything set up on the CentOS server, DNS , HTTP and all. Once everything is done, repoint the DNS over and when everything is done, surrender the current machine or sell/transfer it to someone else.