Many organizations that are running SharePoint 2003/2007 or other CMS are either actively considering or in the midst of upgrading to SharePoint 2010. In this blog we will look at what is involved in upgrading to SharePoint 2010, various options available for the upgrade and initial planning that needs to precede the migration.
There are two basic methods of upgrading/migrating from an older version of SharePoint to SharePoint 2010 that are provided by the Microsoft: in-place upgrade and database attach upgrade. In addition there are numerous third-party tools that can help you migrate content and upgrade to SharePoint 2010 not only from an older version of the SharePoint but also from other CMS’. Each method has its own set of benefits depending on the objectives of the migration and specifics of the environment. When selecting a migration path some of the aspects you may need to think about include:
- Ability to take the production system offline during the migration
- Amount of change involved in content and its organization during migration
- Number of customizations (web parts, themes, meta-data, workflows, etc.)
- Amount of content being migrated
- Need to upgrade hardware
- Need to preserve server farm settings
- Many others …
It is much easier to migrate a clean and lean environment than an environment that is full of obsolete content, unused features and broken customization. Start with cleaning up your existing sites and check for the orphaned sites, lists, web parts, etc. Remove any content that is no longer in use, remove unused features and ensure used features are present and working. Once your existing SharePoint site is in tiptop shape you are ready to plan your migration steps.
Before you put your migration/upgrade in motion you need to understand what migration aspects you can compromise on and hard constraints you have. For example can you afford to put your environment in read-only mode for the duration of the upgrade? Does the amount of content you have make it prohibitive to copy it over the network? Do you have a lot of customization that you have to deal with? Are you planning to reorganize or selectively migrate your content? Depending on the answers you will need to pick a migration option (Microsoft’s in-place, db attach or third-party tool). Here is a check list that will help you get organized.
Customizations can have a big impact on how quickly and smoothly your migration goes. Therefore it is important to identify and account for as many of them as possible. PreUpgradeCheck can help but here is a list to help you identify and uncover customizations that can add complexity to your migration efforts.