Migration to Godaddy.com

May 23, 2006 § Leave a comment

It’s been a long time since I started hosting this website on my home computer. I finally decided I wanted to go for a hosting solution. I mainly wanted to do this for better performance. I had noticed when accessing my website from work that it was a bit slow to respond. I did review my code multiple times to make sure that it did not have any big performance holes. I went ahead purchased a one month subscription which was suprisingly cheap at $6.99. Godaddy was very quick in responding and I was super excited to get access to the hosting server the very next day. I moved all the front-end code using ftp and started to port my backend (SQL Server 2005) to Godaddy’s SQL Server 2000. Unfortunately this was a very bad experience for me. No 1. you cannot access the database server using a tool like enterprise manager (rightly so, they do not want any outside access for security reasons). I was impressed with the web based client that they had, but it would simply not do the job.

You can upload a csv file and import all the data from the file to your db. Unfortunately it was not as simple as it sounds. If you had foreign key constraints, obviously it would simply fail the insert statements. I tried a lot of different options, including generating dynamic insert statements (after removing all constraints, auto number on the primary key field) using custom queries that I wrote, but those kept getting complicated with every bug I fixed.

Some of the rows did get inserted into the Godaddy db, and I left the site hanging just to see what performance gains I had achieved. Interestingly it did not make all that big a difference and I decided that all that effort was simply not worth it.

In the end it may turn out that I did not know how to use the tool, or how to do a successful migration, but I think it does not have to be rocket science to migrate data from one machine to another. I have done many a conversion from different databases in the past but none were as painful as this one. This experience taught me a very useful lesson, no matter how powerful the web gets, the place for desktop applications will remain for a long time.

I still have the godaddy account, but I plan to cancel it within the next 10 days. Luckily I did not buy a whole year solutions (which I was planning to do intially), which left me this option of rolling back to my home computer.

Moral of the story for me was that if at all I had to port my solution to a hosting company, I would only do it if I had complete physical access to the machines even if it meant spending a lot more dollars. In this case as I said before it simply wasn’t worth it.


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