I have an old dedicated server running an out of date version of Fedora Core. As a result of the age of the distro, its repositories are no longer maintained, so the software on the server is getting badly out of date, and I would like to bring things current to avoid security risks.
Since this is the only server of a small public-facing ecommerce website, I'm trying to minimize downtime - an hour or two I can tolerate if it's during a low access period, but I don't have hardware access to the machine, so wiping it and installing a new distro would likely result in extended downtime during a peak time while the non-emergency support people are in.
What are my options here to get it up to date?
Things I've looked at so far:
- In-place distro upgrade by pointing yum to newer servers.
- Set up a short term VPS, and bring the site online there as a temporary host while the main server is down, using DNS with a short TTL to cut over from one server to the other.
First option just seems messy, and like it's a failure waiting to happen. I like the sound of the second option in that it seems to be a clean way to do it, plus it means I can ditch Fedora and go to CentOS. However, it will be a lot of work cleaning up the site code to make it portable. This needs done anyway and will be my long term solution, but it will take time, during which the main server is vulnerable. Is there anything I can do in the short term to mitigate the threat to the server until I have the time to arrange a proper switchover?