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Moving IIS to another server

Posted on 2003-11-04
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Is there any way in which we can duplicate an IIS server which is currently hosting about 20 websites? The present server is old and we have a brand new server ready to replace it. I however do not want to install everything for IIS from scratch and configure the websites all over again as this would entail a longer down time. Is there a way in which we can duplicate the present server onto a new one and remove the old one away? Any tips/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Regards
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Question by:ravichetal
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by:daniel_c
ID: 9680507
1. Using IIS Backup-Restore
- Open your IIS, right click your machine name, select Backup/Restore configuration. Select backup and put the name of your backup there.
- Now, before you do reinstallation, go to <Windows_Path>\System32\Inetsrv\Metaback
- Copy all files you find there, because IIS saves the backup file in that folder.
- After you save those files in the safe place, you may continue with server reinstallation.
- When you're done with reinstallation, copy those IIS backup files into the same folder:<Windows_Path>\System32\Inetsrv\Metaback
- Now you can open your IIS, right click your machine name, select Backup/Restore Configuration, and  restore your backup file.

2. Using Imaging Software
- Create an image of your old server
- Restore it into your new server
Among many imaging software outside there, I recommend Acronis True Image (http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/). It works very well for me.

HTH.
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Author Comment

by:ravichetal
ID: 9680773
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your quick reply.
I tried the first of the 2 suggestions. However that does not work. There is only one MD0 file that gets created in the Metaback folder. When I move this to the new server, the software sees the file but cannot restore it. This I believe is due to the limitations of the Backup/Restore functionality of the IIS itself as MS has mentioned that we cannot use this file to export the websites.

Ghosting in unfortunately not a viable option because of 2 reasons. First the hardware in question is totally different and secondly the websites are live 24/7. To do a ghost image, I will have to shutdown the server. Something that is not paossilbe.
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Tacobell777 earned 1000 total points
ID: 9685626
You don't need any down time!

You can start to transfer all websites to the new server while everything is still running on the old server, Close FTP or in other words do not allow anymore changes to the files you copied. Start setting up the new websites on IIS on the new server, just do it manually it's not that much for 20 websites, its more reliable too... And you'll learn from it to (trust me)..

Take the machine offline, i.e. pull the network cable out, give it all the network settings the old machine had.

When your ready all you have to do is switch the network cable over and voila...

If you managed your own DNS etc. there would be some fancier stuff you could do which would be a bit safer.

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Expert Comment

by:heskyttberg
ID: 9693247
Hi!

You should check this little utility out:
http://www.iisfaq.com/ExternalLink.aspx?L=67&P=23

This is also quite useful:
www.iisfaq.com

Regards
/Hasse
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Assisted Solution

by:Dave_Dietz
Dave_Dietz earned 1000 total points
ID: 11488103
Probably a bit late for your needs, but for future use:

IISExport (www.iisexport.com) is a wonderful utility for migrating websites from one server to another.

Copying a metabase file (or backup) to another server won't work for IIS versions less than 6 due to the encryption routines used and in 6 there are some specific steps to follow to get it to work.

If you want to go manual you could use MetaEdit (downloadable for free from Microsoft) to export a text version of the Metabase, install IIS onthe target machine, use Robocopy (or a similar file copy utility that maintains ACLs) to move your content and then use Metaedit (on the target this time) to import the Metabase from the text file.  Still will have some minro configuration to do but still easier than rebuilding entirely by hand....

Hope this helps.

Dave Dietz
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