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May 09, 2006

Transfering huge cPanel account to new server

The cPanel transfer tool in WHM may fail in transfering large accounts (over 2GB). This is a small article explaining how to transfer a large cPanel account from one server to another. We assume the new server also has cPanel control panel installed and that you have root access on both servers.

1. Login into the old server via Shell as root.

2. Backup the account using the following command

/scripts/pkgacct cPanelUserName

Replace cPanelUserName with actual cPanel username of the account.

3. The script will create cPanelUserName.tar.gz file in the /home directory of the old server.

4. Login into the new server via Shell as root

5. Transfer the cPanelUserName.tar.gz file from old server to the new server using rsync.

rsync -ave ssh old-server-hostname:/home/cPanelUserName.tar.gz /home

Replace old-server-hostname with either the old server Main Ip or the hostname. In the above command we are assuming the tar file to be present under /home directory of the old server.

6. Once the transfer is done, we must unpack and install the file as a new account in the new cPanel server. For this type the following command

/scripts/restorepkg cPanelUserName

Verify that the site is working correctly on the new server.

Posted by manish at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2006

Downgrading MySQL from 4.1.X to 4.0.X

Assuming that you are using cPanel/WHM as a control panel to manage your web hosting server and have kept updates to automatic, cPanel will automatically upgrade you to MySQL 4.1. Many of the applications may not run properly in MySQL 4.1 unless they are modified and made compatible with MySQL 4.1. If you choose to downgrade back to MySQL 4.0.xx you should do the following.

MySQL 4.0 option is only available with cPanel stable build 114 or earlier, so make sure you downgrade to cPanel S114. Make backup of all accounts via WHM backup script.

Following are the steps

1. Login into shell and type /scripts/pkgacct cPanelUserName. Replace cPanelUserName with the actual username. Do this for all the accounts to take a backup. Keep the backups in safe place like a secondary drive or remote FTP. You can automate this process by configuring WHM backup option and then typing /scripts/cpbackup from SHELL.

2. Now we have to export all the databases in MySQL 4.0 format before we can actually start the process of downgrading. Use the following command to export the database.

mysqldump -u root -p --create-options --compatible=mysql40 db_name > db_name.sql

It will prompt you for a password. Enter the MySQL root password. Please note, MySQL root password is different from server root password. If you are unsure of its value, you can reset it from WHM. Do the above command for each database in your system.

3. Now that we have exported all databases in MySQL 4.0 compatible mode, its time to downgrade the server to MySQL 4.0.xx. Login into WHM as root and goto Tweak Settings. Select MySQL 4.0 option and click save. It will prompt you to click on a link after 30 seconds. So we wait for 30 seconds and click on the link.

4. WHM will downgrade MySQL to version 4.0. Once that is done, run /scripts/easyapache from SHELL prompt.

5. Now its time to import all database files back into the system. Use the command below to do so. Make sure you are in the same directory where the database sql files have been exported to.

mysql -u root -p db_name < db_name.sql

It will prompt you for a password, enter the MySQL root password. Repeat the command for all the databases in the system.

6. Restart MySQL and Apache servers. We have successfully downgraded to MySQL 4.0 from MySQL 4.1

If for some reasons the downgrade does not work, you can again upgrade back to MySQL 4.1 and restore the accounts from the backup. Hence it is very important to take a backup of the database both in MySQL 4.1 and MySQL 4.0 format.

Posted by manish at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2006

Free web hosting will be stopped

As you may be aware that Josue and I run a web hosting company "SonneX Hosting". Josue started this company with some of his friends back in 2003 to provide free web hosting to friends and other people who couldn't afford to pay for web hosting.

The idea was simple, in order to earn your free web hosting account, visitors had to register at our forums and make 50 good posts. After this they could request their hosting account. In order to maintain the hosting account, they had to make 50 posts in the sonnex hosting forums every year. Well not a bad deal if you ask me.

However as popularity of the website increased we had to move from a reseller account to a dedicated server. This naturally meant increase in the running cost. Where was the money coming from? Honestly there was no revenue source so most of the money was coming from our pockets.

Soon many people wanted more features, reliability and better support and they were ready to pay for it. As the demand for support and uptime increased, we launched few paid plans along with our free hosting plans. Things were working great for few months until a spammer hosted in one of our free accounts got our server down. Many paid/free hosting members left.

The year ahead was equally challenging. Web hosting prices dropped and dropped to rock bottom. Any and every kid in the next door who had a reseller account or a VPS started his hosting company. Many of those fly by night hosting shops ran away with people's money and data.

Since hosting had become to cheap, many who couldn't afford it earlier, opted for paid plans in the hope of better support and uptime. This meant, we had to concentrate more on our paid plans, clients and in promoting our company. Since resource were bare minimum we decided to close the free web hosting section of our company.

This move will allow us to concentrate on our core market and improve our service better. The resources which were being directed to maintaining free hosting accounts will be now diverted to our paid section.

Posted by manish at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2006

Running a web hosting company

Its been approximately 3 years since SonneX Hosting was started. I was no where remotely linked to the founders of the company. It was only last year when SonneX was going through difficult times that I took over the management of the company. Its been around one year and we have come a long way. There has been no noticable downtime in the past one year, we have overhauled the entire website, started offering new plans.

You can check out the website at SonneX Hosting

Posted by manish at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)