Today I would like to write a few words about Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online. Many things here is based on my personal experience as also on latest Ignite conference news. To be honest for last couple of years such migration wasn’t easy task to do. But It seems that this is something what’s changing. Previously partners did it, and if you wanted to do this by yourself it was a challenging task. Also tolls from external vendors are really expensive.
From my point of view, we could feel wind of change at the latest conference. There’re couple of sessions which take care about every step of migration process. Also what’s more important Microsoft decided to provide us a tool which make Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online quite easy.
But before I get into details, I would like to show you few important things.
Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online is opportunity to make clean up
There’s old IT sentence: Garbage in, garbage out. I mean that if you have a mess on your network share do not expect that after Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online you will get clear environment. No, it’s not gonna happen. It will just get worse. Migration is a chance for you to do inventory of your environment
- You should check what’s on your network drive
- What’s going to be left
- What’s going to be migrated
At this point you should ask your users if all their stuffs are really necessary? You can find very often 10 versions of the same file… Of course usually they will just say that all it’s very important. But if the file wasn’t touched for 2 or 3 years maybe it’s not so important… Of course it could different in case of financial report or agreement.
What we have?
It’s particularly important to know what we have.
- Where’s our data? I mean that we should be aware of fact that some servers are very old, with slow disks or network interface. It could slow down your migration process
- How much data we have transfer? Believe me copying process take some time, and your users want to work…
- What’s the data? Word file is different than AutoCad. Yes, there was a case that one of my client transferred such files to the cloud…
- Are your data actual? This something what happened to me. Nice lady forgot that she has on her desktop latest version of very important file which is used by entire company…
SharePoint migration tool
Lets assume that already we know all those things – you have migration plan. How to start it? A couple of weeks it wasn’t so easy. You must pay for external solution or do manual operation. Today I would like to show a tool which solved all my problems and make Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online very simple. SharePoint migration tool is a free application provided by Microsoft, which can be downloaded here. For me it has two key features:
- it moves metadata, for example last modification date of the file and who done it. In my case date of last modification was crucial. And if you copy file manually you will lose this information
- And the second option is differential migration. I mean that tool is able to discover if something has change in migrated resource and move any changed or new files
Lets’ take a look how it works.
This start screen of the application. In the first step you have to log in into your tenant.
And in the next step we should provide path to migrated data
And if the mapping is completed we can press migration button,
After that new window will appear where we can track data copy progress.