This series highlights critical considerations and best practices for upgrading, migrating and deploying SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online.
Learn what will work best for your business.
Part three of a series.
Choosing the right path to the new version of SharePoint, whether on-premises or online, can be overwhelming. Should you upgrade or migrate? It is important to understand that upgrade and migration are not synonymous.
Some may disagree, but I truly believe that these are two different processes. Let’s get a better understanding of both options.
Upgrade to SharePoint 2016
The technical terminology of upgrading is the physical transformation of a SharePoint content database from one schema version to the updated schema. The most common upgrade process is attaching your existing databases to the new SharePoint farm.
The content remains the same, even though your new farm may be on new hardware. From a non-technical perspective, it’s similar to remodeling your home – taking what’s old and making it new with a few more modern conveniences.
Migrate to SharePoint 2016
Migration is the physical move of SharePoint containers, data and associated attributes from one SharePoint farm to the newly updated farm. The process is typically carried out with the aid of commercial tools. Again, using my non-technical comparison of migration, it’s like moving from a house to a condo.
Now that we’ve seen the differences between the two, the next question is making the choice of whether to upgrade your platform or to migrate out of your current implementation.
Here are some examples of when an upgrade is recommended:
- You’re running an out-of-support version of SharePoint
- You need to upgrade the SharePoint farm operating system
- Your site collections and content databases are properly architected
- Your existing taxonomy/information architecture is well-formed and supports your current organizational structure
And here are some examples of when migration is recommended:
- The source document repository is not SharePoint
- You’re migrating to SharePoint Online (Office 365)
- You’re migrating from older SharePoint versions (SharePoint 2010 and previous)
- Your taxonomy/information architecture needs to be redesigned
- Content databases are too large and need to be split to improve the performance or to meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) or Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
In summary, upgrade and migration are two different options. The best approach depends on your requirements, constraints, and business objectives.
It is important to mention that certain considerations must be taken into account when deciding whether upgrading or migrating is appropriate for your organization. Centric has assisted many organizations in upgrades and migrations to SharePoint 2016. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help with your decision to upgrade or migrate, contact me.