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Server Migration Center:Overview

Last Updated:Sep 27, 2023

This topic describes the best practices for using Server Migration Center (SMC) in different scenarios.

Background information

SMC is a migration platform developed by Alibaba Cloud. You can use SMC to migrate your servers to Alibaba Cloud. SMC provides multiple features and benefits to simplify data migration. For more information, see What is SMC?.


You can use SMC to migrate servers in the following scenarios.



Migrate servers to Alibaba Cloud

SMC allows you to migrate servers that run various versions of Windows or Linux operating systems to Alibaba Cloud from data centers, on-premises VMs, or other cloud platforms.

Migrate servers between ECS instances

To migrate between two Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, you can also copy a custom image from a region to another within an Alibaba Cloud account, or share a custom image to a different Alibaba Cloud account. However, if you want to shrink disks, you can use SMC to migrate between two ECS instances.

Use the SMC plug-in of Cloud Assistant to import the information of a source server

If you have installed a Cloud Assistant client on your server, you can use the built-in SMC plug-in to import the server information in a convenient and efficient manner.

Use the Windows GUI version of an SMC client

If your server uses Windows, you can use the Windows GUI version of an SMC client to import the server information.

Migrate incremental data from a source server

If you want to synchronize data changes from your server to Alibaba Cloud, we recommend that you perform an incremental migration.

Migrate source servers to Container Registry

SMC allows you to migrate servers to Container Registry. You can use SMC to migrate containerized applications to Container Registry at low costs. Containerized applications are distributed applications that are automatically managed and deployed with high agility and low security risks. Application containerization improves resource usage and reduces computing costs.

Migrate servers to ECS instances

SMC allows you to migrate servers to ECS instances. After you purchase an ECS instance, you can migrate your server to the ECS instance.

Migrate servers over a VPC

If your server can connect to a virtual private cloud (VPC) from your data center, VM, or cloud host, we recommend that you migrate the server over a VPC. Compared with migration over the Internet, migration over a VPC is more efficient and stable.

Estimate the time required for migration and test the data transfer speed

You can estimate the migration duration and the data transfer rate.

Use tags to manage migration sources and migration tasks

A tag is a key-value pair that consists of a tag key and a tag value. Tags are used to identify resources. You can use tags to group migration sources and migration tasks for easy searching and batch operations.

Use tags to implement fine-grained access control

You can use tags to control the permissions of Resource Access Management (RAM) users and Security Token Service (STS) roles so that different users can be granted different access and operation permissions on cloud resources.

Install GRUB on a Linux server

SMC allows you to migrate a Linux server to Alibaba Cloud. However, for earlier operating systems, such as CentOS 5, Red Hat 5, and Debian 7, you must upgrade GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB) to version 2.02 or later.