Migration of Domains within 1and1.com

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Domain Transferring without any Service Outage inside 1and1.com

Problem:

You have some domains registered under one account and you are moving to another 1and1 server.  In the process you will eventually decommission the server they are assigned to.  How would you do it?  Currently there is not a direct method that 1and1 has that would simply move and update these domains to that new server.  We are not talking about anything on the servers themselves but housekeeping information that is in their administrative control panel. When you move any domain internally  they will reset the DNS server delegation to their own  1and1 servers.  I have never used 1and1 servers for any of my name servers (dns) so this is especially annoying because I transferred them into 1and1 with the delegation intact. Why do they re-delegate my domains to their dns servers when doing intra server account moves?

Solution:

1and1 hosting is a reasonably reliable hosting service if you do the work yourself.  I buy the inexpensive VPS (Virtual Private Server) solutions to host some mail relays and some of my domain servers.  They stay up for 200-300 days at a time until someone reboots the physical machine.  I would say we are probably getting close to 99.999 from the VPS slices I have measured.  Recently I noticed that my VPS was outdated and I called up to see what my options were. They gave me 30 days to transfer my stuff to the new VPS which has 4 times more memory and twice the disk and 4 times more cpu at the same cost as my existing  VPS.

Here lies the problem.  They have no real way to make this happen transparently  and you need to move all the domains associated with the old account number..  A call to technical support reveals that you have to follow a procedure that transfers the domain and resets the DNS delegation to the 1and1 servers.  To make this a little less clear they have outdated screenshots of what the process is they point you to.  My first thought was about switching to another registrar because the DNS server settings are always preserved but then I found the following solution on my own.  Note there is a race here so it must happened within 1-2 minutes after you make the transfer for this to work without any outage during the transfer.

Step by Step Action Plan

Step 1:  From the account you wish to transfer to, go to your domain area and click add domains.

Step 2: They will prompt you for the domain

Step 3. Enter the domain and accept the option to transfer to the new account

Step 4: Immediately update the DNS settings for this domain.  Put back your dns settings to your own servers

The window appears to be about 5 minutes where you can edit the domain information for the new account and then it gets locked as they attempt to do the transfer.

Here is a screen from the first account that I am shuttding down and transfer domains away from:

Here is the screen from the account I am transferring to.

It is a little odd because the domains are in limbo at this point… belonging to both accounts:

Note: You have to login and logout to see the status change. Otherwise it will appear that nothing is happening. Takes about 1 hour is my experience. You will receive email confirming that a request has been made to make the transfer and a second email that the transfer has been authorized. Hope this helps someone else navigate moving domains and keeping the same delegation within a 1and1.com hosting account.



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