How to Perform SharePoint Tenant to Tenant Migration?

Several organizations have adopted SharePoint as their primary collaboration platform. In due course of time, businesses have to change tenants due to reasons ranging from mergers and acquisitions to a name change as a part of their re-branding efforts. In these circumstances, not only will they have to migrate simple data from one environment to another, but in most cases, several GBs of documents, sites, collections, libraries, and lists along with their permissions, and designs have to be migrated while preserving the integrity of the environment. Let us look at what it takes to perform a SharePoint tenant to tenant migration.

What Are the Prerequisites for SharePoint Tenant to Tenant Migration?

SharePoint tenant to tenant migrations are often complex and time-consuming projects. Ensuring that your business fulfills the prerequisites will facilitate faster execution. Here’s what you need to do before you proceed with the migration.

  • Ensure that you have an active Office 365/ Microsoft 365 subscription with SharePoint Online.
  • Someone from the organization has your SharePoint Online admin access.
  • You are familiar with the site(s) structure and permissions on the existing tenant.
  • You know the size of document libraries that have to be migrated.
  • You can communicate with the migration experts any customizations, third party integrations, web part functionalities, library views, and other requirements specific to your organization before starting the migration.
  • Identify a point-of-contact within the organization who can collaborate with stakeholders to drive the project to completion.
  • Configure and provide access to the organization’s resources such as networking equipment, server, and system as and when required.
  • Assess the impact of the migration on employees especially the high-risk users to minimize disruptions.

What Are the Challenges of SharePoint Tenant to Tenant Migration?

Despite being a migration that is done between two environments that are on the same platform, SharePoint tenant to tenant migration is as complicated (if not more) than any other migrations. Here are some of the reasons why that is the case.

  • As a cloud-native product, it is not possible to simply backup all the contents on one tenant like it is done for an on-premises solution and restore it on the new tenant.
  • There is a high probability of data loss even after moving contents to an Azure-hosted file share and transferring the data to the new tenant. Moreover, configurations and customizations on the old tenant will have to be rebuilt.
  • Certain factors such as latency and performance depend on Microsoft’s infrastructure as much as local determinants.
  • In the case of large migrations, it might not be possible for individual users will to move their contents themselves. An admin will have to do it on behalf of the entire organization.

What Does SharePoint Tenant to Tenant Migration Involve?

The SharePoint tenant to tenant migration is almost always performed using specialized tools. Whether you use Microsoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool or some other tool by third-parties, the migration approach is more or less the same. This is because all tools require the SharePoint API and most leverage Azure for migrating larger volumes of data. Here are the basic steps involved in SharePoint tenant to tenant migration.

  • Preparing Source Environment

    As a part of preparing the source environment for migration, the content has to be evaluated, analyzed, and triaged. Use this opportunity to identify the quantity and types of data that have to be migrated from the source environment. Determine the versions of the files that have to be made available on the new SharePoint Online tenant. Additionally, at this stage, it should be possible to estimate the size of the packages based on the number of files to be transferred and their sizes. It must be noted that in most cases, files move faster than list items and other objects. Additionally, the smaller the file size, the greater is the overhead. This knowledge would help in optimizing the project size.

  • Preparing Destination Environment

    This step involves creating an account with SharePoint Online administrator or Site Collection administrator rights. If the new tenant has to be built from the ground-up, the admin will have to create site libraries and schemas. They will also have to replicate the structure of the document library along with any customizations before initiating the migration.

  • Initiating the Migration

    Regardless of the tool that is used, the migration is initiated by creating endpoints. This involves providing authentication to the tool for the source and destination environments. The type of authentication such as NTLM, Kerberos, Multi-Factor Authentication, app-based authentication, and so on, not play an important role in determining the security of the process, but also the performance due to factors such as throttling by Microsoft.

  • Performing The Migration

    At this stage, it is time to move contents from the source SharePoint Online tenant to the destination. The steps involved at this stage may vary based on the number of users and the tool. If there are only a few users, it is recommended to move all the contents in a single pass. If there are more users, some of the supported items can be moved first before a specific date, and subsequently, the remaining content can be transferred in delta passes.

  • Post Migration Steps

    After the migration is complete, the tools typically generate reports detailing the items that have migrated, errors, and other data. Verify that all the data has been moved. Once that is done, the authentication app, if used, can be disconnected. The subscription for the older SharePoint tenant is no longer needed.

Apps4Rent Can Help with SharePoint Tenant to Tenant Migration

All tools that can be used for SharePoint tenant to tenant migration have their restrictions. Ensuring that the file version history, metadata integrity, permissions, folder structure, and other aspects are preserved requires deep SharePoint migration expertise. Additionally, many businesses also require user folder and mail server migration as a part of their Office 365 migration. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP with over 17 years of experience and over 5000 SharePoint migrations, Apps4Rent is your perfect partner for your SharePoint tenant to tenant migration project. Contact our SharePoint experts, accessible 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for promotional prices for migration and SharePoint plans.


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