There are two methods by which an organization can perform a migration to SharePoint, be it from previous releases of the platform or from other legacy content repositories:
- User-Powered Manual Migration
- Migration via a Third-Party Solution
For organizations considering a migration, there are several important questions to consider before making any final decisions, including:
- How much content needs to be migrated?
- How much downtime is acceptable?
- How many customizations are currently in use?
- Can we migrate in a scaled/phased approach, or must it be a “big bang” migration?
- Can we engage other members to assist in the process and arrange for proper training?
- What are the minimal requirements for this migration?
- Can non-SharePoint related assets be properly mapped into SharePoint?
- Is loss of metadata and security settings acceptable?
The table below outlines some proven practices for optimizing the migration process.
| Proven Practice
|| Practical Application
|Databases larger than 100 GB can take a
long time to upgrade and make it more
difficult to recover if the upgrade doesn’t
|Divide database and folder structures into small data
sets before running the migration. If a large database
cannot be divided, reconsider the upgrade approach
and choose one that supports granular migration.
|Document Libraries with more than 250,000
documents in the root of the document
library will lengthen upgrade/migration
times, and could fail.
|Use folders to break up large document libraries or
data subsets to manage library size. For example, if
250,000 documents are divided into 125 folders, it
should upgrade more easily.
|Estimate the time required for data
|Perform a test migration of a limited section of data,
then review the log files. Please note that this will not
include all of the steps that must be performed both
pre- and post-migration.
User-Powered Manual Migration
This migration method starts with the SharePoint administrator installing the new version of SharePoint 2013 on separate hardware or a separate farm. Then, power users are tasked with manually creating content. For the purpose of this white paper, a power user is defined as a knowledgeable worker with extreme familiarity with SharePoint who has either full control or design permissions for the site they will be charged with managing. In order to most effectively engage Power Users in a content migration,
the following best practices are necessary:
- Create a dedicated Power Users group in the form of a SharePoint site, so that all power users can share best practices and lessons learned with one another.
- Provide expensive training on SharePoint to all power users.
- Request power users to migrate content, as they should be empowered and proactive about proper content migration and administration.
- Request power users to train new SharePoint users on how to properly use their specific sites –provide training materials, videos, and other learning devices to lower the total cost of ownership for this type of IT training.
Now, let’s review the proper situation, benefits, and potential consequences for a user-powered manual migration:
| Best For...
|Environments retaining ample
amounts of outdated
|Puts power users in charge to
recreate and manage sites
|Migrates relevant content to
avoid import of old data
|Requires willing participants
and intensive training
|Moving to new hardware or
|Completely retains old
|Requires additional steps to
retain original URLs
|Virtually no downtime, requiring
user switch to new environment
|Requires new server farm
and additional SQL Server
storage space for new
Migration with a Third-Party Tool
In this method, a SharePoint administrator will install the new version of SharePoint 2013 on separate hardware or a separate farm. The difference is that instead of utilizing power users for manual migration of content, the content and users are ported over to SharePoint 2013 using a third-party tool. The steps necessary for migrating from legacy content repositories onto SharePoint 2013 with a thirdparty tool are similar to the ones necessary for migrating from prior SharePoint releases, including:
- Build a “vanilla” SharePoint 2013 farm
- Install the third-party migration tool
- Map all permissions, configurations, and other customizations from legacy repositories
- Perform the migration
- Ensure the proper transfer of data, configurations, and permissions
- Roll out farm to end-users
Now, let’s review the best scenario to utilize this method, as well as the requisite benefits and consequences involved:
|Best For …
|Any size environment, from
single-server environments to
large, distributed farms
||Costs associated with
purchasing additional software
|Retains all metadata
|Virtually no downtime
||Requires a new server farm
|Applicable to non-SharePoint repositories
Consider AvePoint’s DocAve Migrator for SharePoint, which enables organizations to conduct fullfidelity content migration at the item, subsite, or site level, as well as the opportunity to map legacy content metadata into SharePoint 2013 Managed Metadata. DocAve Migrator also offers a direct migration from SPS 2003 or MOSS 2007 environments to SharePoint 2013, which is unavailable using Microsoft’s native upgrade methods. Companies wishing to migrate content from legacy content repositories can also do so with DocAve, as it supports the following sources:
- Exchange Public Folders
- File Systems
- Network File Shares
- Documentum eRoom v6.0 and above
- EMC Documentum v6.5 and above
- Lotus Notes v6.5 and above
- Open Text Livelink 9.5 and above
- Open Text Vignette v7.x and above
- Oracle Stellent v7.x and above
- Any HTTP/HTTPS-accessible Web content
Now, let’s take a look at the process an organization would take to migrate to SharePoint 2013, and where DocAve Migrator for SharePoint can help optimize the move:
|Build a “vanilla”
SharePoint 2013 farm
|DocAve Migrator utilizes organizations’ existing infrastructure from a single, Web-based interface. Job configuration and administration can be easily performed through a centralized management console, enabling administrators to access the console interface from anywhere and perform any migrate task remotely if necessary.
|Install a third-party
|Map all permissions,
from SPS 2003 or
MOSS 2007 or
SharePoint 2010 farm
to SharePoint 2013
|DocAve Migrator automatically moves content from legacy source SharePoint instances to their mapped elements in SharePoint 2013. Critical information is kept intact, so no data is lost during the transfer. All folder structures, document properties, metadata, permissions, and access control are retained with full fidelity. DocAve’s Pre-Migration Scanner detects and notifies administrators of any illegal characters, user permissions, user names, user domains, and other
legacy elements that must be mapped in order to migrate successfully into SharePoint 2013.
migration – either
full or incremental
|DocAve Migrator offers the following features for organizations wishing to
have control over the method and timing of migration:
- Granular or bulk content migration as well as flexible job scheduling ensures administrators can plan migration jobs according to their specific business needs, thereby reducing the impact on functioning production environments.
- Live migration offers an on-the-fly, drag-and-drop process for transferring data to SharePoint 2013. Live SharePoint content can be selectively chosen to cutover to the SharePoint 2013 farm instantly, or scheduled in order to minimize the impact on the SharePoint environment.
- Reuse existing backups of existing SharePoint environments to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Administrators then will not have to recreate source content selection, minimizing the migration effort.
|Ensure the proper
transfer of data,
| DocAve Migrator offers the following features to ensure proper transfer:
- Maintain platform co-existence with incremental migration approach to ensure proper transfer of all SharePoint content, configurations, and users before redirecting users to the new platform.
- Reorganize or create new folders upon migration to clean up existing clutter.
- Rollback capability enables administrators to roll back to the existing SharePoint product environment if the scheduled job does not meet the organization’s specific needs. This way, the migration process can be reassessed to ensure a properly-executed migration task with minimal errors.
Migrating vs. Connecting
Organizations with content located in other legacy systems such as Lotus Notes or EMC Documentum have other options for moving to SharePoint 2013 besides migration. They can connect via a third-party tool such as DocAve Connector for SharePoint, which presents and manages all legacy file- and cloudbased content, including large media files and documents, via SharePoint without the need for import. Developers can bulk create custom applications for streaming documents, audio files, and video clips in selected SharePoint locations with DocAve Connector Software Development Kit. When organizations are faced with the decision to either migrate legacy content directly onto SharePoint 2013 or to connect the content with a third-party tool, there are three important considerations:
Here are the main differences organizations experience when either migrating or connecting content:
|Data is available in SharePoint
||Data is available through SharePoint
|Data is moved into SharePoint
||Data is left in source (legacy) systems
|Burden of storage is on SharePoint
||Burden of storage is on legacy system
|Changes are saved in SharePoint
||Changes are propagated back to the source system
|SharePoint replaces the legacy system
||Gives legacy system second life by increasing its
|Migrate and decommission
||Connect and forget
As with all methods of SharePoint 2013 adoption, migrating content into SharePoint has its benefits and consequences. Even though DocAve Migrator empowers administrators to migrate according to its specific business needs and offers numerous features to expedite, automate, and streamline the process, third-party costs are still associated with the software purchase. Below is a breakdown of pros and cons for migration via a third-party tool like DocAve.
|Enables administrators to migrate granularly according to business needs, which allows for
|Requires the purchase of an additional third-party
|Complete preservation of metadata, content, and configurations
||Requires new server farm
| If folder structures are not up to
organizational standards, administrators can
re-architect them on-demand during
|A pre-migration assessment should be performed in
order to conduct a proper migration – even if a
third-party tool is in use – so additional time must be taken into account
|Allows for minimal interruption to end-user productivity
|| Requires additional disk/RAM space on SharePoint
Optimizing the Jump to SharePoint 2013
SharePoint 2013 is primed to revolutionize the way companies do business, and it is no surprise that many organizations worldwide are considering making the jump to the new platform. However, there are many points that must be taken into consideration before making the final decision. First, it is essential to know the business objective for the SharePoint 2013 deployment – and which subsequent features and functionality will be utilized most – as this is critical to proper planning. After determining the business purpose, organizations then must ensure they have the proper hardware, operating systems, and databases necessary for deploying a SharePoint 2013 environment. Once the proper requirements are in place, it is then important to consider whether to upgrade or migrate, depending on available processes based on allowable downtime, manual steps involved, business objectives or desired SharePoint 2013 architecture, and upgrade requirements. While Microsoft offers several native methods for upgrading to SharePoint 2013, consider AvePoint’s DocAve Migrator for SharePoint in order to provide a complete and efficient, yet flexible migration to Microsoft’s latest platform release, offering minimal interruption to end-user productivity.