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I recently acquired a client who is a photographer and was interested in moving web hosts since his current host had threatened to throw him off due to CPU spiking.

The migration went fairly easily, with about 350MBs of website and media files. Then I discovered about 60GBs of client galleries he had failed to mention.

I am unable to move this much data myself, since I'm capping out at about 20kb/s on the FTP connection. Has anyone encountered a situation where they needed to migrate this much data between cheap hosting? Should we contact the hosting companies about this (he is moving from Westhost to MediaTemple)?

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If you have shell access, you can just use your shell account to SFTP to the new server and upload it directly from one host to the other. It may still take a while, but it will be much faster and won't take up any of your bandwidth.

Also, any decent web host should be willing to perform this type of transfer for you for free. 60GB isn't a lot of data in the grand scheme of things, and at worst, they could just put it on 7 dual-layer DVDs and mail it to you.

This sort of thing is why it's better to pay an extra $5/month to get a service provider with good support and won't try to nickel and dime you to death for common tasks. Though you should let your client know that they need to keep their own backups of important files. All of those client galleries wouldn't even fill up a small 160GB laptop hard drive or 320GB external.

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If nothing else you're going to want to compress those files as much as you can, I suggest a tarball or something along those lines. Granted, if they're all images you're not going to save a whole lot. Additionally, this also assumes that you have some sort of shell access to the server and if they're cheap hosts, you probably don't have that access.

A lot of hosting companies do offer migration services but they won't be free. You'll have to inquire with them to find out if that's a possibility. That will probably be your best option.

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Are you migrating to the (gs) or (dv)? Here is some information about migrating to the (gs):


You can use the (mt) Wiki to find information about migrating to the (dv) Dedicated-Virtual Server, if that applies.

If you have any questions or need any help, you can contact us via support request, phones or Twitter (@mediatemple) for support 24/7.

edit: changed the link to correct (mt) Wiki article. Sorry about that!

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Since the question is about the problem of moving large quantities of data (not about migration in general), I would highlight the info (maybe include it in your answer) about using SCP to do a direct transfer. That's the part of the document most relevant to the question. – Lèse majesté Jan 20 '11 at 1:07

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