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Today, we were to get started on a Plesk migration, but there’s a problem. The new server lacks enough IPs to migrate the sites; this fact was unfortunately missed in my pre-migration screen. I don’t want to delay migrating while we wait on the server provider to get us additional IP addresses, so what do we do?

Not Enough IP Addresses
I hit this road block when trying to migrate about 15 sites from a Plesk 8 server. When I arrived at the IP mapping page I did not have enough IP addresses. As a result, the migration stopped dead in its tracks. If these sites were on shared IPs, it would not be a problem, but all of these sites use SSL. I really don’t want to wait around for the server provider to get me the IP addresses. I would rather get the migration going and we can add them later.

Unfortunately, the Plesk Migration manager will not let me continue with the migration until IPs are assigned. Sure, I could move some sites to a shared IP on the old server, but then that would require a DNS change to the live sites.

Use Temporary IPs
Here’s the quick fix I came up with. It’s nothing brilliant but something you might not consider:

Add Temporary IPs to the new server.

I added some 192.168.1.0 IP addresses to the new system. Sure these are not routed and will not respond, but I don’t need them to. I simply need to get the Plesk Migration Manager to the next step. After adding the temporary IPs, I could proceed with the migration.

The Big Picture
In January, Racker Hacker penned a post on ““how to become a better system administrator”:http://rackerhacker.com/2010/01/03/a-new-year-system-administrator-inspiration/.” Major’s take:

The best way to become a better systems administrator is to fully understand the theory of what’s happening in your server’s environment.

When talking to an entry level tech here, he said, “That’s clever, I would not have thought of that.” Sure it is good for my ego, but more importantly, it demonstrates the need to understand your environment and
focus on the big picture.

For this project, the “Big Picture” was getting the migration done as quickly as possible. Having to wait around for the server provider to get us the IPs meant waiting on the client, who’s in another time zone and likely will not get to our request for a few hours, wait on the provider to assign the IPs, and then re-schedule the migration into our busy schedule. This false start by us would have wasted our time, our clients and delayed the project.

By focusing on the end goal, we were able to avoid a temporary set back and keep this project running on schedule and on budget. This is why I see value in formalized training. All of our staff go through Red Hat training, providing a good jump start on theory. Having this foundation, you can build on your experience and not let simple oversights and snafus delay projects.

Share Your Cleverness
One of the things I like most about systems management is the openness of the Linux sysadmin community. If you come up with something you think is clever or useful, write about it. Pat yourself on the back. There are enough egos in this business, mine included, to keep you in check.

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