A view on Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand, by lightbox on Morguefile.com

Server Migration: WordPress, LAMP, Axigen

A hardware failure necessitated a migration of my applications to a new server.  It was a good opportunity to start clean, which in this case meant installing a new LAMP server.  I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS now, leaping from 10.04 on the previous server.  The rest is standard – MySQL 5, PHP 5, and Apache 2.  I had tested a number of other servers, including e-mail and integrated library systems, so this was a good opportunity to leave the unknown packages and tweaks behind.


The biggest chunk of content to move was WordPress.  This was phenomenally simple.  I copied:

  • the folder that contained the WordPress sites in it;
  • the /var/lib/mysql folder;
  • a number of configuration files for Apache, including my /etc/apache2/sites-enabled files

I moved them into their own folder and zipped them up.  The zip file went on to a USB drive, which I then unzipped on the new server.  I placed each of the elements back in the place they’d been before on the old server, chown’d and chmod’d them to reassign and resecure them, and I was finished!

The only thing I hadn’t quite sussed out was the database permissions.  I installed PHPMyAdmin again and – after reviewing the wp-config.php file in each of my WordPress sites – recreated the usernames and passwords that authorized access to the database.

Axigen and E-mail

This went smoothly as well.  I kept my old server running and installed the Axigen software on the new server, copying over the .bin licensing file that is in the /opt/axigen folder.  Then I used Axigen’s automatic migration feature.  I wasn’t sure how this would work – I was going to flip the DNS to point my mail server back to the old, if I needed to.  But the migration worked like a charm.

It’s really two steps.  First, create your mail domains (ofaolain.com, for example).  Then, when you click on Automatic Migration, it prompts you to select your domain name.  The second step is to go into that domain’s properties (back up under Domains and Accounts) and turn on automatic migration under the Account Defaults tab for each domain.

When the user logs into their account, the new server queries the old and, if the authentication matches, pulls forward all of their e-mails, folders, etc.  Couldn’t have gone more smoothly and saved me the jiggery pokery for having to download files using IMAP and then uploading them again.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.