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Upgrade CentOS 5 in your servers with Zero downtime

Upgrade CentOS 5 in your servers with Zero downtime

OS upgrades can get cumbersome at times, causing server down time or improper web site functioning. That is often the reason why some hosting providers shy away from upgrading their server OS in a timely manner.

But updating the server OS to the latest stable version is vital to protect it from hacks and vulnerabilities. That’s why, at Bobcares, our security experts stay alert to vulnerability updates and latest versions of all server software and applications.

When new versions are released, we configure our customers’ servers with these software, after an in-depth testing. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution for server updates, as each server varies in its contents and requirements.

A commonly used configuration in the hosting servers is CentOS with cPanel. As with most software, new versions of CentOS keep releasing and the old ones get outdated and reach their EOL (End of Life).

Why should you upgrade CentOS 5 OS in your servers?

With CentOS 7 being the latest software version, the earlier releases such as CentOS 4 and 5 have already reached their EOL and CentOS 6 would be soon nearing its EOL.

Running an EOL OS poses many aftermaths, the major ones we’ll see here:

1. Lack of product support – Vendors usually do not support their legacy products or the ones that have reached their EOL. As a result, the outdated OS turns out to be no longer reliable to run on a production server.

2. Security threats – Since the security updates and vulnerability patches in outdated OSes are no longer available, these servers are prone to hack any instant by attackers who are on the prowl for outdated server software.

3. Functionality issues – When new features and functionalities are launched, they would be available and compatible only with the latest software versions. Running outdated OS can affect these functionalities adversely.

4. Maintenance costs – Due to lack of vendor support, maintaining the outdated OS is practically impossible and an expensive deal. A crash or server failure due to a legacy OS can also turn highly expensive for a hosting provider.

5. Performance pitfalls – Running OS that has reached its EOL would also add to the risk of poor performance of your servers. They can also lead to recurrent break downs or unexpected errors in web sites.

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How to upgrade CentOS 5 OS in servers?

CentOS 5 reached its EOL on March 31st, 2017. So, all servers that are running this outdated version, should be updated to the higher versions – 6 or 7, without any delay.

But upgrading CentOS 5 to higher versions is not possible in the same server. The only possible workaround is to configure a new server with the latest CentOS version (ideally CentOS 7) and migrate the contents to that server.

Migrations that are not properly planned or tested, can fail and lead to business downtime. At Bobcares, we perform a pre-migration assessment of the servers and perform migration only after adequate checks.

The pre-migration assessment and critical tasks that are performed by our server experts for efficient server functioning, include:

1. New server and control panel setup

This is a very vital activity we perform before migrating the data. We configure the latest versions of OS and control panel, say CentOS 7 and cPanel for instance, in the new server and configure the network for seamless migration.

2. Configuring custom modules and applications 

In addition to OS and control panel, there can be other custom settings in each server. We inspect these custom settings and configure them in the new one too – say PHP/MySQL modules, Apache modules, other 3rd party software, etc.

3. Resource allotment in the new server

The number of partitions and disk space in the new server are allocated after checking the original server setup, possible future expansions and backup requirements.

4. Ensuring minimal downtime

Some domains would require dedicated IP and some others maybe on shared IP. We perform IP mapping and allocation for domains in the new server after preparing them for minimal DNS propagation delays.

5. Account-specific functionalities

Other domain-specific requirements such as SSL certificates, reseller accounts, parked domains and other custom applications are also assessed and ensured while migrating the data.

[ You don’t have to lose your sleep over legacy server software. Our server specialists are here 24/7 to update your servers. ]

How we ensure zero data-loss and zero-downtime migrations

Many often, unplanned data migrations leads to split-data and data loss. Due to delayed DNS propagation, some data may still be left in the old server.

At Bobcares, we carefully synchronize the data copy, avoid conflict of services and timely perform DNS switching to reduce the data loss and down time to zero.

By creating a detailed list of failure points, carefully monitoring the migration for service continuity, and performing diligent testing ahead of the migration, we are able to achieve zero downtime for the domains.

We’ve seen that data corruption can occur while migrating data between different versions of software or entirely different server software. By converting data into an interchangeable format and systematically resolving the constraints, we ensure a smooth switch-over.

Bobcares has an expert server management team that performs fool-proof data migration for server owners with varied server configuration and settings, ranging from SMBs to data centers.

If you’d like to know how we handle server migrations seamlessly without incurring a downtime, feel free to contact us.



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Bobcares provides Outsourced Web Hosting Support and Outsourced Server Management for online businesses. Our services include 24/7 server support, help desk support, live chat support and phone support.

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Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.