How to move SharePoint 2010?

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It is possible to move SharePoint 2010 server but it needs to be carefully plan right from the begin when you create your SharePoint install.

Preparation notes:

. (IMPORTANT) Use cliconfg.exe to create SQL server alias so that it can be used to re-point to a different SQL server later.
. Install your SharePoint use the Alias that you created previously
. Make sure it is running well without any error before you plan to move
. Make sure do not use SharePoint auto reset password which can cause a problem if the password changed in the middle of the move
. Configure your SharePoint farm with 3 tiers: front end, middle tier and back end so that you can move your middle tier first and do some basic testing before you do the move of the entire SharePoint
. Add http://localhost:8080 to point to your SharePoint Central Administrative site to be use for basic testing when you re-point your middle tier server.

Re-Point your Alias to the new SQL server procedure:

. Shutdown all SharePoint services
. Shutdown all IIS including administrative service
. Double check IIS is in stop status
. Run cliconfg.exe to re-point the Alias to a new server

Pre-move preparation:

. Make a complete backup of your SharePoint databases and restore to the new SQL server
. Check all databases permission to make sure it matches your current SQL server permission

The actual move:

. On the middle tier server, follow the "Re-Point" your alias instruction from the above
. Restart your middle tier server and access http://localhost:8080 to check your SharePoint Central Administrative site is running without any error
. Try to run SharePoint configuration wizard, disconnect, reconnect your middle tier to ensure SharePoint is still working like before (IMPORTANT validation steps before you do the next step)
. If no error, then re-point your back end server, check your back end server SharePoint Central Administrative site is running without any error
. If no error, then re-point your front end server, , check your back end server SharePoint Central Administrative site is running without any error and your front end is still serving SharePoint content
. The move is good but need to do post-move check below

Post-move check:
. Do some basic check to see your front end is still working and no serious error in SharePoint or in Windows events log
. Since SharePoint has lot of jobs, minutes, hourly, weekly, monthly job so you don't know completely how successfully is your move until you let SharePoint does all of it jobs which will take a while
. Be ready to re-point back to the old server if bad thing pop up otherwise the move is successful

Congratulation if you reach this far!