SharePoint is a versatile application used by scores of businesses for collaboration and document management. A significant proportion of these users continue to use on-premises versions of SharePoint which will sooner or later get outdated. While SharePoint Online is always up to date, the same is not true of the on-premises counterparts. While new features are generally introduced with every release, the old ones are still supported with security patches and other additions.
In other words, businesses cannot and should not maintain the status quo of their SharePoint deployment regardless of their version. The two available methods for staying up to date are migrating and upgrading SharePoint. The words are often used interchangeably, and incorrectly so. This article is an attempt to resolve the dilemma and help businesses in choosing between SharePoint migration and upgrade.
How Are SharePoint Upgrade and Migration Different?
Between SharePoint upgrade and migration, the former is more restricted of the two processes. It does not entail major changes to existing systems’ taxonomy or architecture. There are two ways an upgrade can be performed.
1. In-Place Upgrade
This process involves an upward revision to a later version where the underlying OS bits are replaced and rewritten with the newer codes rather than performing a wipe-and-replace deployment
2. Database Upgrade
In this upgrade process, the new version of SharePoint is deployed from the ground up and the databases of the existing databases from the legacy system are attached to it.
What is SharePoint Migration?
SharePoint migration, on the other hand, is a more extensive process. It involves collating all the existing data and transferring it to a new SharePoint environment. Most importantly, the old data need not even have to be previously stored in SharePoint. In case of a migration, all the content, metadata, and everything else that keeps an application or site relevant must be moved and reconfigured to fit into SharePoint.
When to Perform SharePoint Upgrade?
Some of the scenarios in which SharePoint Upgrade would be a better option are as follows:
- Current tenants are on the later versions of SharePoint. (For instance, SharePoint 2010) and need to upgrade to a more recent one like SharePoint 2013.
- The existing systems have a well-established taxonomical structure with proper site collection architecture and content databases.
- The content is highly distributed across deep folder structures.
- Default site templates like Team Site, Document Center and Records Center have been deployed.
When to Perform SharePoint Migration?
SharePoint migration is recommended in the following scenarios:
- The existing content repository is not SharePoint.
- The current legacy SharePoint version has no support and has been outdated beyond the point of being relevant. Example: SharePoint 2007.
- Users must move up several versions for the desired features. E.g. Moving from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019.
- The taxonomy cannot/ need not be replicated and can/ should be rebuilt.
- Recovery Time Objective or Recovery Point Objective are not being met because of poor database performance.
- Shallow, sub-optimal content distribution challenging migration.
- Complications due to site template customizations.
So…Do You Want to Migrate or Upgrade?
Whether it is a migration or upgrade, transferring data and applications from one data repository to another is never an easy process. No two businesses will be using their systems in the same manner. The type, quantity, and distribution of data will be different in each case making it difficult to develop a standardized approach for upgrading or migrating to an on-premises or online SharePoint version.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner and a leading SharePoint expert, Apps4Rent can help you in finalizing the better approach for SharePoint solution – migration or upgrade? Apps4Rent also offers fully managed SharePoint services to deploy, adopt, and customize the SharePoint instance as per your business requirement. Get wide range of SharePoint services more than any other SharePoint provider.
Contact our Microsoft-certified experts for 24/7 technical support via phone, chat, and email for technical assistance for SharePoint adoption.