Redirecting inbound traffic to backup/snapshot droplet

I want to upgrade my droplet from Ubuntu 16.04 to 20.04. I know that the first steps are to create a snapshot and then create a new droplet from the snapshot.

To get inbound traffic to the backup droplet while the main droplet is updating, is it as simple as changing the A record for the domain to use the IP of the backup? Can I assume that the backup droplet will be fully functioning as soon as it’s created? Will changing the IP on the A record create significant downtime?

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To avoid any downtime, what you could do is:

  • Create the backup Droplet from a snapshot
  • Before changing your A record make sure to fully test your website, you could do that by updating your local hosts file so that your PC would load the site from the secondary server rather than your main one.
  • Once you’ve fully tested the site, you could then point the A record of your domina name to the new Droplet’s IP
  • Then wait 12/24 hours to make sure that the DNS cache has cleared around the Globe
  • Finally you could proceed with the upgrade as you mentioned

One thing to keep in mind is the database, as if you are making some changes to your site, they would be preserved on the new Droplet, so you might have to carry them over to the old one once the upgrade has been completed.

Regards, Bobby