File Server File Shares to SharePoint Online (Private Cloud) Migration Guide


This is the complete onboarding task flow for migrating file shares from File Servers to SharePoint Online document libraries

Complete each step in the order listed. Links to corresponding Knowledge Base articles are provided.

If performing a file server home directory to OneDrive for Business migration, refer to File Server Home Directories to OneDrive for Business Migration Guide.

SharePoint Online has certain limitations. You should be aware of these limitations before performing your migration. They are documented in the article Limitations of SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business. The good news is that by using MigrationWiz, these limitations can be overcome by setting a few MigrationWiz Advanced Options. These are included in this migration guide.

The Destination must be SharePoint Online or SharePoint On-Premises 2010 or later.

If permissions are to be included in the migration, users must exist on Office 365 and have Office 365 licenses assigned to them.

This migration scenario is free and requires no MigrationWiz licenses.

You will need to create separate MigrationWiz projects for each file share. You will create a baseline project first with all the Advanced Options set, and then use the MigrationWiz Clone feature to create one MigrationWiz project per file share, based on this first baseline project.

To see what items are included in the migration, see What items are migrated with MigrationWiz? and What items are not migrated with MigrationWiz?

MigrationWiz is a migration solution (not a synchronization solution) and will NOT propagate updates, deletes, or moves of the items previously migrated in the first migration pass because we do not have “live” monitoring of changes (as with a sync agent) and we cannot handle scenarios such as conflict resolution without user interaction.

MigrationWiz supports the capability to share migration projects across a Workgroup. When the Project Sharing feature is turned on, all Agents besides those who are Inactive can view all migrations projects. For more information, visit Project Sharing in MigrationWiz.

The diagram below provides a high-level overview of the steps involved in migrating a small number of file shares. The key difference for this type of migration scenario is that this one requires an Azure subscription, and the use of the BitTitan UploaderWiz utility to upload the file shares to Azure before they can be migrated into SharePoint Online, using MigrationWiz.


Prepare the Azure Environment

  1. Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional, but is useful in order to provide the customer with upfront storage costs ahead of time. For more information, see Estimate Azure Storage costs for migrations
  2. Buy an Azure subscription (or use the free one-month trial, and be aware that this option is only viable if you are performing a very small migration). For more information, see How do I buy an Azure subscription?
  3. See How do I create an Azure Storage Account​? to create your storage account. Take note of the storage account name and the primary access key. (In Azure, from the storage screen, click Access Keys at the bottom of the screen.) These need to be entered into the MigrationWiz migration project when specifying the Source settings. We recommend that you create your Azure storage account in the same Microsoft data center as the Destination Office 365 tenant. There is no need to create any Azure containers for this migration. Separate containers are created on a per-home directory basis. During migration, MigrationWiz creates two separate metadata files (with extensions: -directory.metadata and -files.metadata) which are added to each container. These are used during migration to build out the folder structure in OneDrive for Business and to migrate the permissions. They should not be deleted until after the migration.
    Note: The access key information that is needed are these:
    • -accesskey – This is the Storage account name for the Blob – example “accountname”
    • -secretkey - This is the access key for the Storage account – example “W1RrDfkPNkfYfdVqizMNJjn5mXchwMP5uYBY8MsMqWTA7EubG911+4fZlki0Gag==”
    • -rootpath "xxxxxxxx" – this is where your files are stored – example “C:\”


Prepare the Destination Environment

  1. Create a SharePoint Online administrator or Site Collection administrator account to be used for migration, or use the global admin account for the tenant. More information can be found here.
  2. Create a SharePoint document library.
    Note: Make a note of the site URL where the document library is stored. This will be entered when creating your MSPComplete Destination endpoint.
  3. Before beginning the migration project, create the structure of the document libraries, and also create the actual document libraries on the Destination SharePoint Online site.
    Note: Refer to this Microsoft training video for more information on the steps to do this: Create your document library.
  4. Set up the app-based authentication in the Office 365 tenant. For specific instructions, see Sharepoint App-based Authentication.


Upload Files to Azure

Note: Steps are performed from a file server, or a computer joined to the domain, when logged in with the domain admin account, with local admin rights to the machine.

  1. Download and extract the UploaderWiz utility from here (e.g., extract into the c:\apps\uploaderwiz directory). For more information on using UploaderWiz, see Using BitTitan UploaderWiz for File Server Migrations.
  2. Set the file share migration batch to read-only access by user, and inform the users that a migration is occurring and that their file shares are now read-only. (This will prevent the user from adding files to these file shares during the migration). For more information see How do I restrict users to read-only access to their Home Directories?
  3. From the command console, running as administrator, from the directory that UploaderWiz was extracted into, run the following command (replace the x's with your own information):  For more information see Using BitTitan UploaderWiz for File Server Migrations
    UploaderWiz -accesskey xxxxxxxxxx -secretkey xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -type azureblobs -rootpath "c:\xxxxxxxx\xxxxxxx" -homedrive true
    • If there are problems with the upload, and you need troubleshooting help, refer to How do I troubleshoot UploaderWiz?.
    • If you are performing these steps from a domain-joined computer, a network drive needs to be mapped from the domain-joined computer to the file server, and the root path needs to match this drive letter, followed by the directory path, e.g., "x:\home files" (if there are spaces in the path, you need to surround the path with quotation marks) or x:\fileshare.
    • The parameter -homedrive true creates separate blob containers for each file share, under your top-level Azure blob container.


MSPComplete Steps

  1. Create the customer. For more information see View, Add, and Edit Your Customers
  2. Create the Source and Destination endpoints.
    • For the Source endpoint:
      • Click Endpoints > Add Endpoint > Enter endpoint name > For endpoint type, select Azure File System.
      • Enter Storage Account Name and Access Key in fields provided.
    • For the Destination endpoint:
      • Click Endpoints > Add Endpoint > Enter endpoint name > For endpoint type, select SharePoint.
      • Enter the URL for the top-level SharePoint document library. For more information on finding the URL for the SharePoint library, see How do I find the URL for my SharePoint Library or OneDrive for Business?
      • Enter the administrator username and password in the fields.
        Note: This must be either a Global administrator, SharePoint Online administrator, or a Site Collection administrator account.
  3. Launch MigrationWiz (select All Products > MigrationWiz).


MigrationWiz Steps

  1. Set up the Project. Read the How do I create a new migration project? article for more information.
    Note: This first project is the baseline project, from which all other projects will be cloned. We recommend that you call this "baseline", for easy reference.
  2. Add the accounts (items) that will be migrated to the project. How do I add items to my migration project?​​
    • Note: The name that needs to be entered under Destination in MigrationWiz will be the text that is at the end of the site URL. This may be different than the actual name that has been set for the Document Library. The examples below help explain this:
    • If the document library is named "Documents" and the URL is listed as "", enter Documents as the document library name.
    • If your document library is named "Documents" but the URL says " Documents/", the name of the document library that needs to be entered is Shared Documents.
    • Note: ‘/' characters are not supported in the destination library name. Attempting to migrate any destination library with a '/' character will result in a migration failure.
  3. Set the Project Advanced Options.  For more information see What project Advanced Options are available?
  4. Clone the Project. Click the Edit Project button > Select Clone Project from the drop-down list > Enter the name for the new Project (each new project should be named after the file share name) >Click the Clone Project button.
     Repeat this process to create one MigrationWiz project per file share. For more information see How do I clone a migration project and then move items between projects?
  5. In each cloned MigrationWiz project, add an item for the file share to be migrated. Select Add/Quick Add and enter the Destination SharePoint document library name. 
    • In each cloned MigrationWiz project, set the Project Advanced Option for the container name. For more information see What project Advanced Options are available?
      • Specify the correct container name under the Source: File System/Container Name field. By default, the container name is migrationwiz.
      • This must be changed or your migration will fail. This must be set to match the name of the Azure container that was created on your Azure subscription when the home directories were uploaded in the previous step, under the "Prepare Source File Server Environment" section of this guide. Typically, this will match the name of the home directory, unless the home directory contained any special characters (including spaces and uppercase characters). In such cases, the Azure container name could be different, and so the names should be checked within Azure. For more information see How does UploaderWiz overcome Microsoft restrictions to Azure container names?
        • The Source entry field will already contain the Azure information, based on the Source endpoint.
        • The Destination Library field will be the name of the SharePoint document library, e.g., Sales. It does not need the entire URL because this was captured when setting up the Destination endpoint.
  6. Run Verify Credentials. For more information see How do I verify credentials?
  7. Perform a Full Migration pass.  For more information see How do I start a migration?


Post-Migration Steps

  1. Remove access to the Source file shares.
  2. Provide training on SharePoint Online.
  3. Decommission the file server. Perform this step only after migrating all data from the file server, such as home directories, when you are certain that you will not be returning to the file server.
  4. Delete all the Azure blob containers that were created during the upload to Azure.
    Important: This will prevent incurring post-migration Azure costs for these containers. Be careful to only delete the containers created by UploaderWiz; these will be names that match the file shares, and have a create date from the date of the upload.



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