How to migrate your services to a server managed by Plesk Panel

How to migrate your services to a server managed by Plesk Panel - Plesk

First published on Nov 13, 2017 – Updated on Feb 4, 2019

Nowadays, a server operating system might host some of the following services:

  • Web service and associated applications used by websites
  • Mail service
  • Database services
  • DNS service

Often there’s also an installed control panel software that helps to facilitate the deployment and management of these services. So migration of the data and services from one server to another one is, in this case, the process of transfer of the control panel data and content (such as websites, mail, databases, DNS zones) to the new server.

Disadvantages of manual backup/restore

Disadvantages of manual backup / restore - server migration to Plesk

Generally, the migration procedure backs up some data on the old server. Then, transfers the backup file to the new server and restores it there. For such a complex environment, the transfer of data to another server isn’t the easiest option. You can, of course, move all the data piece by piece using the native backup/restore tools for each server component and file copy. However, it often takes an unreasonable amount of work-time and manual operations.

The other disadvantage is that it’s not possible to make a seamless transition if the services on the old server are active. Some data will be lost in transfer staying on the old server or some services will be down during the transfer.

Migration to a server with Plesk

Let’s now suppose you have Plesk Onyx on the new server. In this case, it will be easier to transfer all the data (web/mail/databases/DNS/Control Panel data). Because Plesk provides a special tool, the Plesk Migrator Extension, which automates the process.

This is the migration tool that Plesk provides for migration to the latest, recommended Plesk Onyx versions. You install it via Plesk Panel like any other Plesk Extension and it has a handy user interface too.

There can be different reasons for migrating services and/or data from one server to another. Let’s go through the typical server migration scenarios and see how Plesk makes the whole process simple.

Moving your services to the Cloud with Plesk and our hyperscaler partners

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk

Migration to the new Plesk and Operating System versions

Moving your services to the Cloud with Plesk

Moving your services to the Cloud - Server migration to Plesk

It’s become popular to move onto cloud services and scale your business. You can easily install Plesk on the most-loved cloud platforms, like:

And once you install Plesk, you can migrate to the cloud instance with Plesk from anywhere, in a standard way.

There will practically be no difference as it doesnt depend on where Plesk is installed (cloud instance, virtual container/ machine or a physical server). You always migrate to Plesk using the Plesk Migrator Extension (this is the number one tool for Plesk migration).

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk - server migration

If you have any control Panel you would like to leave for Plesk – check out our list of supported Panels. We might already have implemented the support of migration from it.

Your Panel not on the list yet? No problem. Plesk has a dedicated migration assistance team who can prepare the scripts for migration or do a full, paid migration service for you, if needed. Do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you implement the migration method from your server environment to Plesk.

You can even do this from your Panel (one that is not yet supported) on your own, using our custom migration framework.

Migration to the new Plesk and Operating System versions

Migration to the New Plesk and OS systems - Server Migration to Plesk

Another common reason to migrate to a server managed by Plesk is to update the old Plesk version and/or Operating System. Please check the Plesk EOL policy. We recommend that you migrate to the latest Plesk version (Plesk Onyx, since 2017) on a supported operating system.

You can check what upgrade/migration options are available for your OS/Plesk version in the Migration Process Guide.

More common migration scenarios

  • Joining and migrating services from several Plesk servers, one by one, to a new, bigger, more powerful server.
  • Migrate part of Plesk subscriptions to a new server.
  • Shift to the Plesk Multi-Server product.
  • Moving data to a server in another datacenter.
  • Switch to a server with upgraded hardware.
  • Transfer from a physical server to a VM/container.

In any case, the Plesk migration process is the same – you always migrate to Plesk using the Plesk Migrator Extension on the target Plesk server.

Common questions around migration to Plesk

Common questions around server migration to Plesk

Usually, when the migration planning has started, the following questions appear.

  1. Which tool should I use to migrate?
  2. What should I configure/check/install on both servers?
  3. Are there any ports that need to be opened on the servers?
  4. Will be there any services downtime during migration?
  5. How do you sync outdated data on the old server during migration?
  6. How much disc space do both servers need for migration?
  7. Is it possible to keep IP address of the old server instead of changing the domains’ DNS records?

You can find the answers and more details about the migration process in the Migration Process Guide document.

In most cases, Plesk migrator will warn you about the problems which need to be solved when it does automated pre-checks. Also, it will warn about problems when it does automated post-checks on migrated objects. Based on the warnings you can always do required corrections and repeat the migration of the problem customers/mailboxes/websites/databases any time.

Typical Plesk migration steps

Typical Plesk server migration steps

A short overview of the migration steps (more in detail in the Migration Process Guide)

For steps 1 and 2:

  • Install Plesk on the destination server.
  • Install all 3rd party components/software that your services use on the source server.
  • Make sure to install all products licenses.
  • If you plan to migrate databases, make sure that you install and register database servers on the Plesk Panel. Do this in the destination server of the same or higher version than the source server.
  • Install all available PHP versions via Plesk Panel installer on the destination server.
  • For Windows – Install the latest .NET framework version on the server.
  • Then, you can just install the Plesk Migrator Extension on Plesk Panel in the destination server.
  • Start the migration to Plesk from there.
  • Follow the hints of the automated pre-check/post-check procedures.

For step 3 and 4:

This will not interrupt your services on the source server. It will merely copy data from the source server and will validate them on the destination server. It will warn you if something is missing or if you need to configure something.

When you are satisfied with the migration result, you can sync data in step 6 from the source server to update it and switch domains’ DNS (or move IP addresses) to complete the migration in step 7.

Plesk Onyx – Designed for

Vultr Plesk - Deploy Plesk Onyx on Vultr

Innovative cloud companies like Vultr are revolutionizing how businesses reach their customers today, digitizing painful old processes to allow more time to focus on things that actually matter. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, when the global public cloud market is expected to top $146 billion in 2017, up from $87 billion in 2015, and is growing at a 22% compound annual growth rate, as noted by Clint Boulton (Senior Writer at CIO) in his article 6 trends that will shape cloud computing in 2017.

Clint observes that while the lion’s share of this growth will come from the “mega-cloud providers”, Microsoft, Google and IBM, these big players won’t be able to service every unique request, leaving the door open to companies like Vultr to capture their own unique slice of the pie.

Vultr was formed in 2014 and it is a child firm of Choopa, LLC. Like DigitalOcean, it uses KVM. It is relatively new to the VPS sector but its benchmarks are quite impressive and it offers certain functionalities that will prove handy to some users.

So, if you’re you looking for a global cloud hosting solution with warp-10 fast SSD VPS cloud servers with 100% KVM Virtualization?

Then check out

Vultr hostingImage: Vultr

What is Vultr?

Vultr is a VPS provider built on high-performance SSD cloud servers with 14 optimized locations worldwide. It aims to create the most reliable and efficient service for developers around the globe. They achieve this by offering a standardized platform for all customers. You get 100% SSD Storage, Ultra-fast Intel CPUs and 14 low latency locations.



North America: Seattle, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, Atlanta, Miami

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Vultr Geo LocationsImage: Vultr

User Plans

Vultr’s pricing plans are conducted on an hourly basis, meaning you’ll only pay for what you use. With a varied selection of eight plans available, the platform is ready to cater to all needs. The most popular plan offers 1 CPU, but users can have up to 24 CPUs.

Meanwhile, the 2000 GB bandwidth and 1024 MB memory is more than enough for most. However, the largest packages sees those rates raised to 15000 GB and 65536 MB respectively.

Vultr also offers storage (VLS) and dedicated cloud (VDS) services. Again, there is a high degree of flexibility making it possible to tailor a package to suit individual needs.


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And, Vultr provide all of our users with high-performance SSD Hard Drives, flexible API, and the ability to select to nearest data center location.


What is Plesk Onyx?

Plesk Onyx is the new benchmark in web-server management tools, used to simplify website management, application hosting, server management and much more. It includes intuitive web based interfaces for managing domain names, web apps, file management, email accounts, databases and infrastructure, to name a few, to build, secure and run websites and applications in the Cloud!

Plesk Onyx supports multiple Windows and Linux distributions, for example Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and many more – meaning you have even less to worry about if you have a customized network setup or if you are unsure about compatibility, and achieve continuous delivery and superior version control by deploying with Git.


Why choose Plesk Onyx?

Invest in apps, not ops. Plesk Onyx manage your infrastructure and security – patching and upgrading, 24/7 ops and security, failovers and more – so you stay focussed on bulding great apps!

  • Ready to Code

    Plesk helps in building web apps with its ready to use code environment. It supports a multitude of servers and accounts. Thus, helping resellers to easily distribute bandwidth, space, and file permissions using same login panel they use to manage their own website’s files and databases.

  • 24/7 Security

    Plesk provides complete security to your OS, network, website and applications, something that is always amiss. Plesk will handle all security protocols and take necessary measures for you, automatically.

  • Run -Focus on your business

    Focus on your business, not on infrastructure management. Save tremendous time by automating all server related tasks and components to run and scale your web applications and websites.


Mass Management

The new Plesk Onyx also includes a tightly integrated set of mass-management and security tools that can be used to protect and automate WordPress. All Plesk-powered systems come with built-in server-to-site security, promising more reliable infrastructure and reduced support costs.

Plesk Onyx - Featured ApplicationsImage: Plesk Onyx


Now that you’re familiar with Vultr and Plesk you’re ready to take the next steps. There’s no better way of finding out about the powerful capabilities of Vultr than by trying out the platform.


Getting started with Plesk and Vultr

Note: Review the Software Requirements for Plesk to find what Linux or Windows distributions are supported by Plesk Onyx.


Quick Start Guide: Create a new instance

After creating an account and navigating to Servers, click on Deploy new instance.

1. Leave the server type on Vultr Cloud Compute (VC2) and choose a location:

Vultr VPS - New Instance DeploymentImage: Vultr

2. Next select the Server Type (operating system) from the list available. I have selected Ubuntu 16.04 x64, because it’s a very popular, reliable, and well supported distribution.

Vultr hosting - server typeImage: Vultr
3.For the Server Size you can pick a size that is appropriate for you but Plesk Onyx will run great on any of them. In this tutorial, we’ll use the 1 CPU, 1GB memory option, 2000GB Bandwith, 20GB SSD that is currently priced at $10/month.


Select additional features

4. Each of the following features has to be turned on manually.

  • Enable IPv6: For no additional cost, Vultr will give your instance an IPv6 IP address. This means your instance can communicate via IPv6.
  • Enable Private Network: Add an internal IP to your VM
  • Enable Auto Backups: Vultr offers automatic backup as an option on compute instances. Backups are extremely important for mission critical systems and the Vultr backup system adds data-protection with one easy-to-manage feature.
  • Enable DDOS Protection: Add an additional layer of protection to keep your hosting infrastructure online and operating optimally even when they are the target of attacks. Currently available in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, NY/NJ, Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London.

5. The Startup Scripts feature allows you to configure your newly deployed server by running customizeable scripts on the very first boot of your virtual private server (no login required!). Add software, install SSH keys, and more – the possibilities are endless!

Vultr cloud hosting - additional featuresImage: Vultr

SSH Keys

6. Now that you’ve set your features, it’s come time to set up SSH access. If you already have your SSH key setup, great. Otherwise, the information about creation of SSH keys can be found here.

7. The last step in getting your instance create is to give them a simple Server Label to identify the server. We’ll use plesk. Then click Deploy Now to create and install the server.

Your new instance will deploy in a couple of minutes. Once your VPS instance is deployed, it will be automatically started. To find out the Public IP address of the instance, Username, and Password, click on Manage.

Vultr server informationImage: Vultr
Now it’s time to install Plesk and build something with your new server!

Connecting the instance via SSH

1. Open up your favorite SSH client application and connect to the instance utilizing the public IP address assigned to the instance.

  • Username: The default admin user is root
  • Password: The initial root password to your server can be found in your Server Information page.

Vultr server - ssh access

2. Install Plesk using One-Click installer or run through Plesk Installation and Upgrade Wizard to deploy custom installation:

One-Click installer

Run the following command:

# sh ‹(curl || wget -O -

Install Plesk Onyx on Vultr cloud server

3. Generate a one-time login for logging in to Plesk Onyx

Run the following command:

# sudo plesk login

Login into Plesk Onyx on Vultr server

4. Replace the hostname with your IP address to log in to Plesk.

Note: You cannot use the hostname based on the droplet name the first time you log in because Plesk has not passed the initial configuration and the full hostname has not been created yet.

Running the Installation/Configuration wizard

1. When you log into Plesk Onyx, you will see the View Selector page. On this page, you can choose the appearance of the panel as per your requirements.

Plesk Onyx - View Selector PageImage: Plesk Onyx

Once your purpose has been identified, a second drop-down menu will emerge asking you select your preferred layout. This can be changed later.

2. Then comes the Settings page. Here you need to fill in your hostname, IP configuration, and admin password.

  • New hostname: Fill in your primary domain (i.e.
  • Default IP Address: Leave the IP as default.
  • New password: Change the default administrator password.

Setting up Plesk Onyx on Vultr hosting Image: Plesk Onyx

3. Next is the Administrator information page. Just fill in the information asked and proceed to the next page.

4. After that comes the license key install page. You can order, retrieve and install a 14-day full-featured trial license from this page. Since you have already purchased a license key, proceed with installing the license key.

5. On the Create your Webspace page you can specify the domain name of your first subscription, and system user account username and password that you will use to manage it. This will create a subscription for hosting multiple sites.

6. Woohoo! Plesk is now configured!

Plesk Onyx on Vultr serverImage: Plesk Onyx

Vultr - Dave Aninowsky, CEO

Thank you to David Aninowsky, Founder and CEO of Vultr for co-authoring to this write-up and for providing feedback and technical insights on

Be well, do good, and stay Plesky!