so the situation is like this:

Client is upgrading their small server from Rackspace to a bigger server on Rackspace.
Client has a large number of websites developed by me. But by no way am I a server administrator or very knowledgeable with a server.

Their plan is to clone the small server over to the large upgrade server Have me test all of the websites on the new server while keeping the old server until everything checks out fine on new server Note: client uses Plesk panel to manage the server

So my questions are:

How does one start/access these websites on the new server from a browser? Especially when there are so many of them to test/check? I know cPanel would be something like http://ipaddress.com/~username.

Any tips while checking would be highly appreciated.

  • Another thing is, if they clone the server, do I need to worry about PHP versions or MySQL versions, etc? What I find different is that the old server uses: Red Hat Enterprise 6 Base and the new one uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
    – Kakenx
    Aug 25 '17 at 6:20

You can use the host file of your computer. The file location depends on your oparating system.

Windows (8, 7, XP, etc.): c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Macintosh OS X: /private/etc/hosts

Linux: /etc/hosts

At the end of this file add the following two lines for each site you want to preview:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx yourdomain.tld
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx www.yourdomain.tld

where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP of the new server.

  • Thanks! Would you happen to know if I should worry about different OS on server? Seems to have been updated.
    – Kakenx
    Aug 25 '17 at 6:27

Typically you edit the hosts file on your work station to override the current dns records (that at this time still point to the old server) so you can access the sites on the new server by their actual URLs i.e. www.example.com rather than by using <IP-address>/~example.com  localhost loopback
::1        localhost
<new ip-address>  www.example.com example.com
  • Hi, added a comment on my post. Just wanted to know if I should worry about different OS that the server will be using. Also, do I just go into the old server and update the DNS to point to the new server IP address when I’m ready to go live with new server websites?
    – Kakenx
    Aug 25 '17 at 6:26
  • @Kakenx please don't use comments to ask completely new questions. - But IMHO a cloned server would be identical and run the same OS as the old one.
    – HBruijn
    Aug 25 '17 at 6:31
  • I see. Thanks. I am not sure how is Rackspace doing it. But it seems like the OS has been updated to Red Hat 7. I will post a new question.
    – Kakenx
    Aug 25 '17 at 6:39
  • Hi, for the most part the migration seems to have moved all files and DBs successfully. But when I try to view the site, it just displays "The site can't be reached" after updating the host file. Also pinged it, but timed out. Any ideas?
    – Kakenx
    Sep 4 '17 at 3:54

Hi Kakenx,

due to the fact that you stated:

Note: client uses Plesk panel to manage the server

you might be interested in the PREVIEW options, which Plesk offers:

=> Previewing Websites ( Official Plesk Onyx documentation - Customer's Guide )

which is very easy to use and fulfills exactly what you require, without editing system configuration files or whatever.

In addition, you don't have to worry about the upgraded operating system and the usage of different PHP handlers is as well very easy with the help of service and subscription plans ( as well very well documented at the official Plesk documentation. ;-)

  • For the most part, everything seems to have migrated. Files and DBs are all on the new server. But when I use preview, it display "The site can't be reached". Also tried adding the IP in the host file, but no luck.
    – Kakenx
    Sep 4 '17 at 3:51

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