Server migration hell

I switched hosting companies earlier this year from Bluehost to Media Temple. When I moved my wine blog, I downloaded the entire site, then uploaded to Media Temple’s server. Since I have a few gigs of mp3 files, this took quite a bit of time.

Sunday afternoon I started another migration of my wine blog to another server at Media Temple. Not much of a problem, I thought, since I could just SSH in and either FTP or rsync the files between servers. That’s when my troubles began as such migrations are not supported documented by Media Temple. A dozen frustrating calls to the tech support line only made me feel like a complete idiot but all ended well.

So here’s the secret… you need to include the cryptic path found in the “Server Guide>System Paths” section of the Account Center. I ended up using SCP to copy between servers but the same technique should also work with rsync. Here’s what the command looks like:


I was logged onto the old grid server when I ran this command (with my details inserted; your username also has your hostname so there are two @’s in the command) pointed at my new grid server. As you can see, I copied to and from the same domain path here but you could do this with any domain you like. Now a ton of data was copied over in a short period of time and I’ve found where all those daily SQL database backups have been going watching the log.

Hope this helps someone in the same boat and next time I do this I’ll just revisit this post. Media Temple should post something about this in their knowledge base as others probably have similar problems doing this type of thing.

One last note is to call tech support on weekdays after the day shift is over. The after hours guys are more willing to help you get your commands right and might even do a migration for you if you ask nicely 😉

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