How to Clone Your Server

Want to clone a full server and replicate all operations and applications? Here’s how you can do this.

Emmad avatar
Written by Emmad
Updated over a week ago

Table of Contents

In this article, you will learn how does server cloning work, what does it cover, and how you can clone your server in just a few clicks using the Cloudways Platform.

What is Server Cloning and How Does it Work

Server cloning means creating creating a fully operational copy or replica of your current server, including all its applications and the selected configurations.

Why and When Should You Clone Your Server

You will find this feature very helpful if you want to:

  • Change your cloud provider.

  • Change the server region.

  • Move onto a new server or a different server type.

  • Swap your server with a smaller server size

  • Perform load testing.

What Does Cloning Server Include

When you clone your server, it creates an identical copy of your current server with all its applications. The cloned server is completely isolated from the current server as it is a new server because it has:

  • Different IP address

  • Applications with new staging domains, e.g., xyz.cloudwaysapps.com.

Your applications will still be live from your current server until you update your DNS records and point them to the new cloned server. Therefore, after cloning your server, you must update your domains (in case of Classic Interface) and DNS records.

Basic vs Advanced Clone

Cloudways currently offers two types of customizations when it comes to cloning your server.

  1. Basic Server Clone

  2. Advanced Server Clone

Basic Server Clone is offered to customers who are still using Classic Interface so when you clone your server, only the applications are copied to your cloned server. It does not copy any other settings and configurations of the current server.

However, the Advanced Server Clone is exclusively available for customers who are using the New Interface so when you clone your server, it copies all your applications on your cloned server but also provide you several settings and configurations of the current server that you can also copy to the cloned server, such as:

  1. Server Configuration:

    1. Settings: Choose this option to copy your server settings and packages. The server settings include basic settings, advanced settings, and disk optimization configurations. It also includes your SMTP add-on and security settings, such as whitelisted and blacklisted IP addresses for SSH/SFTP and database connections.

    Application Configuration:

    1. Domains: Choose this option if you want to copy all your domains for all your applications on the cloned server along with SSL certificates. Please note that this includes the primary domain and all the additional domains. Applications with the primary domain set as the default cloudwaysapps.com staging domain will be assigned a new staging domain.

    2. Cron Jobs: Select this option to copy all your cron jobs on the cloned server.

    3. Supervisord Jobs: Select this option if you want to copy all your supervisord jobs on the cloned server. This option will only be visible if you have supervisord installed on your server currently.

    4. Settings: Select this option to copy your application settings for all your applications on the cloned server. The application settings include general application, PHP-FPM, Varnish settings, and Git deployment configurations.

    5. Credentials: This option allows you to copy your application credentials for all your applications on the cloned server.

    Team Configuration:

    1. Team Access: By choosing this option, you can grant access to the cloned server to the same team members with access to the current server.

How to Clone Your Server

Here's how you can clone your server in just a few clicks using the Cloudways Platform.

Important

If you use a custom session path and encounter errors while cloning your application or creating a staging application. In that case, we recommend updating the session path to /home/hostname/application_name/public_html/var/sessions, as this directory "var/sessions" is excluded by default from cloning and staging creation processes to avoid any conflicts. Click here to learn more about updating the session path.

Step #1 — Navigate to Desired Server

Log in to your Cloudways Platform using your email address and password.

  1. From the top menu bar, open Servers.

  2. Then, select your desired server.

  3. Click ⋮ and click Clone Server.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

  4. If you use Classic Interface, you will be prompted for the cloning process immediately. On the other hand, if you use New Interface, you can customize which configurations you want to copy to your cloned server.

    Classic Interface

    New Interface

Step #2 — Initiate the Cloning Process

Now, you need to provide the following information to begin the server cloning process.

  1. Select your server size.

  2. Select your server location.

  3. Finally, click the Clone Server.

If you are going with AWS or GCP instances, you must select the storage size (for web application files and databases). You will also see monthly and hourly charges based on your selected instance.

Classic Interface

New Interface

Your new cloned instance should be deployed soon. The cloning process time depends on the size of the data to be copied. Once the cloning process is completed, you must map your domains and update DNS records to take your sites live. You can also deploy an SSL certificate.

That’s it! We hope this article was helpful. If you need any help, then feel free to search your query on Cloudways Support Center or contact us via chat (Need a Hand > Send us a Message). Alternatively, you can also create a support ticket.

FAQs

What is the difference between server cloning and application cloning?

Server cloning involves creating a fully operational copy or replica of your server, including all its applications; however, application cloning involves creating a copy of a specific application you wish to clone.

Will my server configurations be the same on the cloned server too?

If you use Classic Interface, the cloning process only creates an identical copy of your server with all its applications. It does not copy any other settings and configurations of the current server on the cloned server.

On the other hand, if you use New Interface, the cloning process creates an identical copy of your server with all its applications. It also copies the selected settings and configurations of the current server on the cloned server you chose while cloning.

Will my SSL Certificates be copied too during cloning?

If you use Classic Interface, the SSL certificates will not be copied from your current websites to the cloned websites. However, you can still install a Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on your new cloned applications to protect them.

On the contrary, if you use New Interface, you can copy the SSL certificates of your current applications to the cloned ones by selecting the Domain option (listed under Application Configuration) while cloning the server. If any application is unprotected, you can also install a Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate.

How can I scale down my DO/Vultr/Linode server?

You can easily scale down your server by cloning it, as shown in this article. Once the cloning process is completed, you must map your domains and update DNS records to take your sites live. Later, you can also deploy an SSL certificate.

How can I change my server region?

As shown in this article, you can easily clone your server to a smaller one (ensure your new server has enough disk space to host your application). Once the cloning process is completed, you must map your domains and update DNS records to take your sites live. Later, you can also deploy an SSL certificate. Finally, delete your old server; else, charges will incur for that server too.

Will Clone Server Charges be Included in the Invoice?

Whether created or cloned, each of your running servers will be charged on a pro-rata basis in your monthly invoice.

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