Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

External migrations with Acquia

Acquia offers platform migration services to take the burden off your team while moving your code, database, and files onto the Acquia Cloud platform.

You should anticipate your migration engagement to last at least 2-4 weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the websites you are migrating, as well as the availability of your resources to conduct the testing.


The first step in moving your website onto Acquia Cloud is to provision your new subscription, codebase, and hardware. Acquia will set up your new subscription for you, and grant your team with the necessary access. Acquia will perform your migration remotely (and will require require administrative access to your website).

The migration process is typically divided into two parts: the Initial migration and Final migration. The duration of the migration process will depend on how much time you will need to test your website on the Acquia Cloud platform. The initial migration focuses on copying your code, database, and files to your new subscription, whereas the final migration is a sync of your website’s database and files, including any changes that occurred since the initial migration.

For more information about each step of your migration, refer to the following sections of this page:

Prerequisites for migration

The prerequisite for the initial migration is a code freeze. If a code freeze cannot be put in place before the initial migration, an intermediate migration will be required before the final sync. The website should remain in code freeze until after the final migration and the domain name system (DNS) switch to Acquia Cloud are completed.

The prerequisite for the final migration is a content freeze. The time required for Acquia to perform your initial migration will provide a guideline for estimating the duration of your final migration.

Migration call

To coordinate the engagement, Acquia will schedule an introductory migration call to discuss the process, access requirements for the engineer handling your migration, and the timelines that you should expect.

Granting access to your website

After the migration call, Acquia will create a proactive ticket, and send you an access request with the details of the Acquia personnel who will need to be granted with an administrative sign-in to the code base that you want to migrate.

Initial migration

In preparation for the initial migration, you will need to coordinate the timeframe of a code freeze with your development team, as any code changes committed to your current production website after the initial migration will be disregarded. Acquia will perform an initial migration of your website’s code, files, and databases to Acquia Cloud. After the initial migration is completed, any new development work should be performed only on Acquia Cloud.

Quality assurance

After the initial migration is completed, you must perform quality assurance (QA) and regression testing on Acquia Cloud using an alternate domain. You may choose to set up a DNS record for this alternate domain for testing purposes. You can also simulate a DNS change locally by modifying the hosts file on your local machine.

During QA testing, you must review all critical website functionality, including public functions, themes, and related media assets to verify that everything is working correctly:

  • Verify administrative functions – Creating content, creating users, administering permissions, and other administrative functions
  • Verify business critical functions – Form submissions and third party integrations
  • Validate themes – Images, CSS, and cross-browser compatibility
  • Validate risk areas (possible regressions due to changes made through the migration process) – Upgraded contributed modules and new modules

Acquia cannot proceed with final migration until you sign off on testing.

During your QA testing, you should also add any needed custom domains or SSL certificates to your new Acquia Cloud subscription.

Intermediate Migration

If you cannot implement a website code freeze before the initial migration, Acquia may perform an extra intermediate migration later in the migration process, after you have put a code freeze in place.

Content Freeze

Acquia will inform you regarding how long the initial migration took and, based on that information, will provide an estimate of time required for the final migration. You should put a content freeze into effect shortly before the final migration, and keep the content freeze in place throughout both the final migration process and final testing, until the DNS switch is complete.

Final Migration

Acquia will conduct the final data migration. This final migration contains the final sync of your files and database, to ensure all content changes made on your current production website after the initial migration are brought over to Acquia Cloud.

Final testing and DNS switch

After the final migration, you must perform final QA testing to verify that the newly-migrated website is working correctly. If your tests are successful, you will need to repoint your domain names to your new subscription. Acquia can provide DNS records if necessary. After the DNS switch is completed, your code freeze and content freeze are over and your website is live on Acquia Cloud!

Migration schedule

Activity Notes Owner
Subscription and hardware provisioning You will be notified when your Acquia Cloud subscription is ready for use. Acquia
Migration call Acquia will schedule the call and provide dial in details. Both your project manager and technical lead should attend. Acquia/Customer
Grant access to Acquia During the migration call, Acquia will discuss the level of required access and share options regarding how this access can be granted. You can then provide Acquia personnel with the necessary access. Customer
Code freeze You need to notify Acquia when your code freeze is in place so that Acquia can conduct the initial migration. Any code changes committed after the initial migration will be disregarded. Customer
Initial Migration Acquia will perform an initial migration of code, files, and databases. This initial migration will help with estimates regarding the time needed for the content freeze and final migration. Upon completion, Acquia will notify you to begin QA testing. Acquia
Install Acquia Connector Acquia will install Acquia Connector as part of the initial migration. Acquia
Install Acquia Search (if applicable) If applicable, Acquia will install Acquia Search as part of the initial migration. Acquia
Provide benchmark for final migration Based on the time of the initial migration, Acquia will be able to forecast how much time should be anticipated for content freeze/final migration. Acquia
SSL upload (if applicable) If you will be using an SSL certificate for your website, you should install it on Acquia Cloud on your subscription’s SSL page. Acquia may provide instructions and additional assistance with this step, if required. Customer
QA Testing You must test the website on Acquia Cloud. Load testing is recommended during this time. Customer
Intermediate Migration Optional step Acquia
Content freeze A content freeze should be put in place shortly before the final migration, and continue throughout the entire final migration process and final testing period, until the DNS switch is complete. Customer
Final Migration Acquia will perform a final sync of your website’s database and files. Upon completion, Acquia will notify you to test your production website before cutting over DNS records. Acquia
Final testing After final migration is complete, you will conduct final testing (30-60 minutes) to ensure that your website is fully migrated and that no content is missing. Customer
DNS switch After final testing is completed, you can switch DNS to point to your newly-migrated website. Customer