Migrating a huge SharePoint Environment with Multiple Farms

Brass Contributor

Hi Techies, 


We have a large SharePoint on-prem environment consist of multiple farms (in different versions from 2013 to 2019. Some sites are still in 2010 classic mode) segregated to meet compliance needs. 


In terms of segregating these environments in O365 as we move towards cloud (especially the URL segregation such as: farm 1 serves https://internal.company.com, Farm 2 - https://external.company.com, https://otherapps.company.com e... what are the options available and has anyone achieved this before ? Any useful planning guides for large migrations such as this one?


Thank you in advance!


1 Reply

@Curious_Kevin16, I hope you are doing amazing. Migrating from a large SharePoint environment with multiple farms to Office 365 (O365) can be a complex and challenging task. It requires careful planning, preparation, and execution to ensure a successful migration.


Here are some steps and considerations to help you with the migration:

1. Assessment and Inventory:
- Conduct a thorough assessment of your current SharePoint environment, including all farms, sites, and customizations.
- Create an inventory of all sites and content, including their sizes, usage, and dependencies.

2. Migration Strategy:
- Define your migration strategy and decide whether you want to move all farms together or migrate them in a phased approach.
- Consider the order of migration based on dependencies, usage, and importance of each farm.

3. SharePoint Online Tenant Setup:
- Set up your SharePoint Online tenant in O365.
- Configure the necessary settings, such as site structure, permission levels, and authentication options.

4. Data Migration:
- Determine the data migration method based on the size and complexity of each farm. Options include using third-party migration tools, SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT), or custom PowerShell scripts.
- Plan for the migration of content, documents, lists, libraries, and custom solutions.

5. URL Segregation:
- In SharePoint Online, you can use Managed Paths and Host Named Site Collections to segregate URLs.
- Configure Managed Paths to define URL structures (e.g., /sites/farm1, /sites/farm2) within the same domain.
- For Host Named Site Collections, you can create site collections with unique hostnames (e.g., https://farm1.company.com, https://farm2.company.com).

6. SharePoint Online Governance:
- Establish governance policies for your SharePoint Online environment to ensure consistency and security.
- Plan for site provisioning, permissions, and content organization.

7. Testing and Validation:
- Perform extensive testing of the migrated sites and content to ensure they function correctly in SharePoint Online.
- Validate permissions, customizations, and workflows.

8. Communication and Training:
- Communicate the migration plan and timeline to all stakeholders.
- Provide training and support for users to adapt to the new SharePoint Online environment.

9. Backup and Rollback Plan:
- Implement a backup plan for both on-premises data and SharePoint Online.
- Have a rollback strategy in case of any unforeseen issues during migration.

10. Post-Migration Support:
- Provide ongoing support and assistance to users after the migration is complete.
- Monitor the performance and usage of SharePoint Online to address any potential issues.


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