How to Migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online?

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Why You Should Migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online?

A downside of SharePoint 2010 On-Premise is that it uses an Active Directory for its users and authenticating or granting permissions can turn out to be troublesome while migrating. Further, all the data that will be destroyed as soon as the 2010 version meets its doom can be quite catastrophic for the organizations using it and measures must be taken by them to migrate to other SharePoint versions before it’s too late.

Being a go-to platform for the business organization for so many years, reaching an end is a bit difficult for the platform users. Hence, it is important to have a well-thought contingency plan in hand, while starting to execute it as soon as possible, before it becomes completely obsolete. Hence, it is always wise to have a well-thought contingency plan in hand and start implementing it as soon as possible, because the clock has already started to ticking away. The best solution to avoid the situation. When it comes to choosing the right option, migration from SharePoint On-Premise 2010 to SharePoint Online or other newer versions is the ideal rescue option.

When choosing to migrate from SharePoint 2010 On-Premise to SharePoint Online, there is a wide range of factors that you need to take care of beforehand. The two most important factors that must be considered are a well-thought migration approach and the right choice for a SharePoint Migration Tool. Microsoft Office 365 is considered to be the best emerging option to opt for. It is also a popular choice and also the most widely used platform all across the world; surprisingly this also turns out to be a great alternative for SharePoint On-Premise 2010.

Migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online

The latest version of the industry-standard intranet platform released by Microsoft is SharePoint 2019. SharePoint also sits on a server that is known as SharePoint Server or SharePoint On-Premise. This version normally gets set up at the business servers at the corporate location and all the authorized users can simply use it by logging into the local domain. This enables them to access and avail all the provided benefits of the SharePoint intranet.

Microsoft has by far released four versions of SharePoint in the years 2010,2013, 2016, and 2019. However, migrating to the latest version has never been a piece of cake, whenever a newer version is released. People usually have a misconception that migrating or upgrading to the newer version of SharePoint is just like running an update for software running in the background. But, in actuality, it is not like that and there is a dedicated process of migration involved, that’s why we always call it SharePoint Migration and not Upgradation.

But, when you are already on the cloud version, migration becomes a little easier. Migrating from SharePoint On-Premise 2010 to SharePoint Online offers you a wide range of advantages, but the foremost is that Microsoft will take the responsibility of update and upgrade itself. Hence, SharePoint experts are recently recommending migrating to SharePoint Online to lessen the hassles in the forthcoming years.

Don’t Rush & Plan Wisely

I would really love to say that SharePoint migration is a simple and easy process, but unfortunately, it is not. SharePoint migration is a complex process especially when you are moving from the on-premise version to SharePoint Online. There come a lot of compatibility wrinkles that you would be in need to iron smoothly before you can actually allow your users to take benefit of the new system. Planning is the most important step when it comes to SharePoint migration, so take your time and don’t rush here at least.

Quantum States

You need to understand that SharePoint migration does not happen overnight, and that it happens in certain stages and that every stage takes its destined time. So, before actually migrating your Lists and Document Libraries to SharePoint Online, you are first required to get your users’ set up. This means that you will be enabling your users to exist at two different places at one time i.e. at your local Active Directory and also at the Office 365 Online Tenant Director Azure AD. This is a must-to-do so that the file ownerships and permissions get transferred easily without losing or damaging any data.

So, before directly jumping into SharePoint migration, you need to synchronize your users to Azure AD from local AD. In the biz, it is known as ‘Federated Services’ and usually pump the blood higher among IT professionals. Following are the steps that you need to set up to get this done.

Institute Trust

To synchronize your users between Azure Ad and local Active Directory, the first thing that you need to do is to build trust. This will help Microsoft getting an understanding of you to be the rightful owners of your domain and any hackers anytime would not be able to set up a duplicate Office 365 tenancy with the name of your domain.

Once your tenancy for Office 365 is set up and you are login as the Global Administrator, you can then go to the Admin Dashboard of your MS Office 365 tenant and can add the desired domain name. Steps ahead vary from business to business, also depending on how your DNS is managed and where you got your domain name purchased.

In this process, you’ll be given some special instructions and may also be asked to insert a custom identifier within your DNS, so that Microsoft can look up to the fact that you really own the domain and have all the credentials to administer it.

Read also → What Is the Cost of Migration from SharePoint 2010?

Configure & Turn on Synchronization

Once your domain ownership is confirmed by Microsoft, you will be required to activate AD Synchronization for your tenant, which you have also done in your Office 365 Admin Dashboard.

This is the point of time when you will eventually be moving to your local domain, away from Office 365. Because, your Office 365 is now anticipating hearing from your Active Directory, so this is high time when you are required to install AD Synchronization too i.e. (dirsync.exe) on your AD Server. This is a special tool provided by Microsoft to facilitate communication between Online and On-Premise Active Directory. Both dirsync.exe and IdFix can be downloaded from the Admin Dashboard.

Active Directory IdFix Window

First, you need to run IdFix to clasp any obvious issues within Active Directory. Then you need to run DirSync to get connected to the Azure AD. As compared to Azure Active Directory, the Active Directory is way more lenient. Hence, it is important to sanitize your user list from anything which tends to cause an error in Office 365.

Set a Sync Flag in AD

There are a lot of records that are contained and used by Active Directory for managing local domains, and they are not all users. So, you do not need to push all those records to Azure AD, but you will need a way to tell your DirSync about which users to synchronize. An easy way to do that is to use the DirSync tool’s filter of only migrating OUs (Organizational Units). But, keep in mind that this is not always feasible.

Also, Azure AD requires every single user to be individually licensed, so you need to create a list of users that you want to grant access to SharePoint Online. The list can be created as a simple text file with the login details and password of every user mentioned against his name.

Read also → Advantages of Migrating your SharePoint to Online version

Force Sync

DirSync not only keeps a good record of changes made in Active Directory, but it also periodically checks in with Azure AD for any changes occurred. However, force sync is required when you are setting this up for the first time. Also, any time a domain password is changed by a user, it will be considered as force sync. These changes take a little time to set up, so you can sit back for a while and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

Verify Sync

Finally, you need to check if everything is working smoothly. To do so, attempt login to your Admin Dashboard Office 365 and then select Active User that is placed under the User Section. Now verify if the DirSync has been pushed successfully to the users that you have specified. Remember that every user authorized should be marked under the status of “Synced with Active Directory”. Now, all your users will be required to log in to the Office 365 portal by using the same credentials that they use on the local domain.

Wrapping it Up!

Once, all your users have migrated successfully, you are now required to purchase Office 365 license for them and assign it to them for usage. As soon as this will be done, your users will be able to log in to the Office 365 portal by using the credentials they use on their local domain. The purpose of SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 is to make the transition or migration easier to the cloud version i.e. SharePoint Online and both are designed to facilitate a hybrid environment between Online and On-Premise Tenants.