Baby steps approach to migrating to SP online


Hi all,

please bear with me as i'd really appreciate a plain english approach (some of the MS docs just go down rabbit holes and round in circles).

I have to migrate approx 500gb of company data from on-prem WS2012R2 fileserver to SPO. We have MS365 BP/BB licences as well as P1, so its actually cheaper to move to the cloud than to buy a new on-prem server.

Ok, so i don't really want to use the SPMT as i think (and a few others agree) that due to the lousy state of the data and erroneous permissions, all of which i inherited when i came here, it would be better to re-create the file/folder structure in SP sites and then manually move blocks of files/folders over at a time and apply the relevant permissions accordingly.

I need to clean up all the groups as there are some solely created in AAD and some that sync from on-prem AD.

If there was a youtube video of someone pretty much going through a similar project step by step, i'd love to watch it.

We also have a load of Teams that were created ad-hoc (from within the desktop app) and i'm not sure how i should approach the management of them. Would they be better re-created in Teams Admin or leave as is? Most Teams are syncd to users desktop so they have that familiar file/folder structure to play with.

We also have about 500gb of media files (some large videos). We have uncontended 1gb fibre internet connections but i'm wondering how they will fare in SPO, especially with our media guys constantly accessing them. I guess just syncing the larger files to their desktop would be the way forward?


If you've not already guessed, i'm still learning about MS365 cloud products. We have a 3rd party ISP running the project (with me assisting/learning) but i'm tasked with ensuring all the pre-reqs are in place prior to project start.

I'm not the just the 'designated' person, i am the incumbent Consultant IT Manager, but i obviously don't know everything and whilst i'm used to being dropped in the deep end and getting on with it, i could definitely use some advice.

Even if its a numerical (and detailed) list of things to do first, i'd appreciate it.


Many thanks.


Many thanks.

4 Replies

@kevjackson well the first thing I noticed was the videos: don't upload them to SharePoint but use Stream which is one of the M365 apps and is specifically designed for this. You can then display videos oj your SharePoint pages with a Stream web part.


2.5TB is a lot of data so you would be wise to look at a product like ShareGate rather than the SPMT.


Los Gallardos
Intranet, SharePoint and Power Platform Manager (and classic 1967 Morris Traveller driver)

I second Rob, ShareGate is very affordable and has a migration tool, SharePoint admin piece and most of all Teams management (also can migrate channels from one team to another). I have been using it for about 5 years now. Lessons learned - I would migrate smaller chunks of data on weekends and weeknights off-hours and split into smaller libraries if you are talking 100k+files, especially if users will be syncing with OneDrive (which has 300k hard limit). So, for files that are older, but needed, I would migrate to an ARCHIVE library and migrate the newer files to documents to cut down on OneDrive Sync number.
Apologies, i totally mis-typed our data info. I've amended my OP to read 500gb of data to be migrated. The 2.5TB denotes how much storage in SPO we have. Our data grows very slowly so 2.5TB will last us well into the future before the need to purchase more.
With this in mind, would you now agree that manually moving data in small chunks (maybe per dept) would be the better option?


I just finish to migrate 1.6TB of data with sharegate. With this tools you can do also remaping if needed, preserve or reset the permission.

If you plan to do the remapping, i really advise you to do it by chunk indeed. Dependeing of your source structure, you can do it per folder or per department. Don't do it for example accross several folder with for exemple item modified between date 1 and date 2, it's difficult to reconcile after if your project take a long time.