Migration Tools For Office 365 Cloud

Introduction

 
With the evolution of cloud computing, organizations tend to move their content and infrastructure to cloud. There are many good reasons to move to cloud computing, first comes the free from burden of maintaining the server infrastructure and cost associated with it, upgrading the servers and patching the servers with latest cumulative and security updates. By moving to cloud, you get the freedom of paying per what you use, transparency in the services. Ofcourse, there is a downside associated with it, such as you have no control on what upgrades being made that could break your custom applications, what end points needs to be updated, and few unanticipated downtimes and lack of transparency in the processes.
 
But if you balance between pros and cons of moving to cloud vs maintaining on-prem, the more advantages are for cloud computing. This whitepaper talks about various approaches of migration scenarios that are avaialble from MSFT and from 3rd parties. Here our focus is on SharePoint legacy environments (SP2007, 2010 and 2013) also on latest SP2016 farms. Using the various migration tools, we will see the pros and cons of each case and tools supported for these environments to migrate to Office 365.
 

Tools Being Considered for Migration

 
There are lot of migration approaches that can move the content from various cloud locations and on-prem locations to Office 365 cloud. In this document, we will investigate some approaches. We are targeting the following migration tools for this whitepaper,
  • One Drive for Business Client software
  • SharePoint Migrator Tool
  • Mover.io
  • SharePoint ‘Move To’
  • Sharegate

OneDrive For Business Client (ODFB)

 
One Drive for Business Client is the software that is available as a free version. This is avaialble for users with standard organization office subscriptions (E1,E3,E5) and for student editions.
 
For this the site / team needs to be created first and then sync the folder locally using One Drive Sync client. The network drive that is mapped to computer, and then files can be moved to sync folder which in turn uploads to Teams site.
 
Architecture
 
Below is the simple architecture of One Drive Migration.
 
Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
Pros
  • Works for fewer to larger GB migrations.
  • End user friendly. User can do the migration my drag and drop.
  • Gives the capability to work on the files offline.
Cons
  • Users’ needs to be careful while deleting the sync documents. The documents are automatically moved to recycle bin on Teams site.
  • The experience is not great on slower networks. The migration takes longer.
  • There is no report what went right and what went wrong.

SharePoint ‘Move To’

 
This is a modern UI feature in Office 365 Teams / SPO. In the modern framework the document library options come with ‘Move To’. This feature allows to move the files from One Location to another location within the site collection or outside the site collection. This option is not avaialble in ‘Classic UI’. This helps end users organizing the content easily. This option only works in O365 Modern UI and within O365 (SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive).
 
Architecture
 
Below is the simple architecture,
 
Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
Pros
  • End user friendly.
  • No need for IT support.
Cons
  • Works well for smaller migrations.
  • There is no status after the ‘Move To’ is clicked. Sometimes, it could take hours to move the files.
  • Only works in modern UI O365. Doesn’t have for classic UI SPO sites.  

Mover

 
Mover.io is the cloud version of the migrator tool that enables the end user not only to move from On-prem to cloud, but also from cloud to cloud. It supports various cloud sources, such as Amazon S3, Drop-Box, Google Suite, Box etc. For using this tool user needs to have standard office subscription (E1,E3,E5, student edition).
 
Architecture
 
 Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
Pros
  • Can be accessible by end users with standard subscription.
  • Lots of support to cloud connectors.
  • Self-instructive tool while performing operations.
  • Ability to schedule migrations simultaneously.
Cons
  • Requires admin consent first to make it avaialble.
  • No easy way to roll out only to specific users.
  • Static status report. The report is not intuitive.
  •  No dynamic progress indicators that migration is running. You must wait for an email to know the status of the migration.

SharePoint Migration Tool

 
This is the migration tool coming as free tool from MSFT which enables the users to migrate the contents from following sources to O365 Teams / SPO sites. For using this tool user needs to have standard subscription.
  • SharePoint 2010
  • SharePoint 2013
  • SharePoint 2016
  • Network Share
The tool also has special settings to migrate the OneNote notebooks and it gives the final report when the migration is completed. This tool supports incremental migration. This tool can be run on client machine or from server. For best performance it requires Quad core, 16 GB ram and 150 GB of free hard disk space. Users can also move the documents from one team site to another in O365 cloud.
 
Architecture
 
Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
Pros
  •  Supports full and incremental migration.
  •  Supports one to one and Many to Many migration approaches. In Many to Many sources can be from multiple locations as well as destination can be multiple locations.
  •  Supports bulk migrations via CSV / JSON templates.
  •  Provides option to update the dead accounts with service or domain accounts.
  •  Dynamic progress bar that tell about the status of the migration.
  •  Option to automate the migrations by scheduling the jobs using Powershell.
Cons
  •  The status is not dynamic. It generates a static excel report at the end of the migration job.
  •  Not end user friendly. User requires some training to use the tool to fullest capabilities.
  • The tool needs to be run on on-premises location for Shared Drive migration. When run on VPN the connection often drops results in error. 
  • Does not support list migrations.

Sharegate

 
Sharegate is the no-brainer tool that helps the users to migrate the content from on-prem / o365 cloud to cloud locations. It supports SharePoint lists migration and as well as document migrations. This is one of the best tools that supports migration from SP2007 to SP online with minimal efforts. It also comes with advanced features, where users can select modes of migration depending on network speeds also allows to configure custom azure storage. It also supports full and incremental migration.
 
Architecture
 
Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
Pros
  • Powerful tool supports list migrations with schema updates when moving to O365 cloud.
  • Provides insane mode which migrates content at a high speed.
  • Provides option to update the dead accounts with service or domain accounts.
  • Supports incremental migration.
  • Easy to use UI, and gives dynamic status of each item, versions, document migration.
  • Supports single list sub-site and site collection migration.
  • New update supports ‘Shared Folder’ migration as well.
Cons
  • Not free of cost. The cost is optimal though.
  • Supports only one to one migration at a time. There is no ‘many to many’ migration mode features.
  • Migration can be automated via scheduled jobs but requires power shell knowledge.
What to choose? and When?
  • If migration needs to be done from cloud locations, network share to O365 Mover can be used.
  • If migration needs to be done from Network share, SharePoint 2010, 2013, and 2016, then SPMT can be used for free of cost.
  • If migration needs to be done from Network share, SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and SharePoint Online, then Sharegate can be used.
  • If migration needs to be done from small to medium size of content from network share folders, then OneDrive for Business Sync client can be used.
  • If the migration needs to be done for smaller content with in ‘Modern’ SPO sites, then ‘Move To’ option can be used.

Summary Table

 
Migration to Office 365 Cloud
 
References
  • https://support-desktop.sharegate.com/hc/en-us/articles/360028246272-Migration-flow-diagram-Office-365-destination
  • https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointmigration/how-the-sharepoint-migration-tool-works
  • https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointmigration/migrate-to-sharepoint-online