File Server File Shares to SharePoint Migration Guide

​​Introduction

This is the complete onboarding task flow for migrating file shares from File Servers to SharePoint Online document libraries. This migration scenario is free and requires no MigrationWiz licenses. Due to versioning, storage usage in SharePoint may be increased when migrating with permissions.

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

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.

SharePoint Online migrations

SharePoint Online has certain limitations. You need to be aware of these limitations before beginning your migration.

File path limitation

SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business have a 400 character limit that applies to file paths and file names. Character limits might not be enforced in other document storage services, like Google Drive or Dropbox. When migrating from one of those platforms to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business, you might need to shrink file paths and file names. Use the "ShrinkFoldersMaxLength=200" advanced option as described in the Advance Options portion of this migration guide. 

File and folder name extension limitation

Microsoft has a list of file extensions that are not allowed to be created inside of SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

The list currently contains: .ashx, .asmx, .json, .soap, .svc and .xamlx as blocked by default when working with SharePoint server. In addition, folder names may not end with any of the following strings: .files, _files, -Dateien, _fichiers, _bestanden, _file, _archivos, -filer, _tiedostot, _pliki, _soubory, _elemei, _ficheiros, _arquivos, _dosyalar, _datoteke, _fitxers, _failid, _fails, _bylos, _fajlovi, _fitxategiak There are currently no file type limitations for SharePoint Online.

This may be changed at any time by Microsoft. Additionally, an administrator may add other extensions to this list.

Review the following links before commencing the migration. 

First migration?

We’ve created a guide on scoping, planning, and managing the migration process for your use. If this is your first migration, we recommend reading this guide carefully.

MigrationWiz

MigrationWiz is a migration tool, not a syncing tool. If changes are made at the source after migration, they will not sync to the destination, nor will changes made at the destination sync to the source. 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. 

We are not able to support migrations with two-factor or multifactor authentication. 

Prepare the Azure Environment

  1. Estimate Azure storage costs. This step is optional but is useful in providing the customer with upfront storage costs ahead of time.
  2. Buy an Azure subscription, or use the free one-month trial ( this option is only viable if you are performing a very small migration).
  3. Create an Azure storage account. We recommend that you create an Azure Storage Account in the same Microsoft data center as the Destination Microsoft 365 tenant. Unless specified, leave all settings as default.
    1. Visit ​https://portal.az​ure.com​  
    2. Click Storage accounts
    3. Click Storage Create
    4. Select the subscription in which you want to create the new storage account.
    5. Select your Resource group.​ Create new if one doesn't exist.
    6. Enter a name for your storage account.​
    7. Choose your datacenter Location.
    8. Choose Blob storage for the Account kind with Standard performance
      1. ​​If you are using the OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, or SharePoint Online endpoint for a document migration, do NOT select Blob Storage. Select STORAGEV2 (general purpose v2) with Standard performance.
    9. In the Replication field, select Locally Redundant Storage (LRS).
    10. Click Review + create.
    11. Click Create
    12. Then go to Resource
    13. Select Access keys under Settings
    14. Copy the Storage account name and the key 1.
    15. The Storage account name and one key 1 will be added to the destination endpoint of the MigrationWiz project.

You do not need to create any Azure containers for this migration. Separate containers are created on a per-home directory basis. During migration, MigrationWiz will create two separate metadata files (with the extensions: -directory.metadata and -files.metadata), which will be added to each container. These are used during migration by MigrationWiz, to build the folder structure in OneDrive for Business and to migrate the permissions. They should not be deleted until after the migration.

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. Before beginning the migration project, create the structure of the SharePoint sites, and also create the actual document libraries on the Destination SharePoint Online site. Refer to this Microsoft training video for more information on the steps to do this: Create your document library.
  3. Set up the app-based authentication in the Microsoft 365 tenant. For specific instructions, see Sharepoint App-based Authentication.

Upload Files to Azure

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. This process utilizes UploaderWiz. Our guides contain information on running, configuring, and troubleshooting UploaderWiz. 

  1. 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.
  2. Download and extract the UploaderWiz utility from here (e.g., extract into the c:\apps\uploaderwiz directory).
  3. 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.
  4. You can restrict users to read-only access to their Home Directories through the Active Directory Users and Computers console on the AD controller, or via PowerShell. Prerequisites:
      1. Create a CSV file containing all the usernames (SAMAccountName).
      2. Install the required AD module on the machine that you're running the script from.
      3. Example script: 

    Import-Module 'ActiveDirectory'
    import-csv E:\usersname.csv | foreach-object{
    $homeDrive = (Get-ADUser -Identity $_.name -Properties homedirectory).homedirectory #Query AD for the HomeDirectory attribute
    $ACL = Get-Acl $homeDrive
    $ACL.setAccessRule((New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.FileSystemAccessRule($_.name, "Read", "ContainerInherit,ObjectInherit", "none", "allow")))
    Set-Acl $homeDrive $ACL
    }

  5. 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):
    UploaderWiz -accesskey "xxxxxxxx" -secretkey "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" -type azureblobs -rootpath "xxxxxxxx" -homedrive true
    1. 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.
    2. The parameter -homedrive true creates separate blob containers for each file share, under your top-level Azure blob container.

MSPComplete Steps

Create Customer

  1. Click the Add button in the top navigation bar
  2. Click the Add Customer button on the All Customers page
  3. In the left navigation pane, select the appropriate workgroup and then click All Customers.
  4. Click Add Customer.
  5. Enter the new customer’s information in the Add Customer form. Primary Email Domain and Company Name are required. The rest are optional.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 4 for each customer you want to add. 

MigrationWiz Steps

Create a Document Project

  1. Log in to MigrationWiz.
  2. Click the Go to My Projects button.
  3. Click the Create Project button.
  4. Select the Document project type. 
  5. Click Next Step.
  6. Enter a Project name and select a Customer.
  7. Click Next Step.
  8. Select endpoints or follow the steps below to create new endpoints. 

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.

Endpoints

Endpoints are now created through MigrationWiz, rather than through MSPComplete. The steps for this section outline how to create the endpoints in MigrationWiz.

If you are selecting an existing endpoint, keep in mind that only ten endpoints will show in the drop-down. If you have more than ten, you may need to search. Endpoint search is case and character specific. For example, Cust0mer will not show up if the search is customer. We recommend keeping a list of endpoints you have created, along with any unique spellings or capitalization you may have used.

You may either use existing endpoints, or create new ones.

To create a new source endpoint:

  1. Click Endpoints
  2. Click Add Endpoint
  3. Select Azure File System. 
  4. Enter Storage Account Name and Access Key in fields provided.

  5. Click Add Endpoint. 

To create a new destination endpoint:

  1. Click Endpoints
  2. Click Add Endpoint
  3. Select SharePoint. 
  4. Enter the URL for the top-level SharePoint document library.

  5. Enter the administrator username and password in the fields. This must be either a Global administrator, SharePoint Online administrator, or a Site Collection administrator account.

  6. Click Add Endpoint. 

Add Advanced & Support Options

  • ShrinkFoldersMaxLength=200  This option shrinks file path names to prevent issues during the migration. 
  • RenameConflictingFiles=1  This prevents errors due to files with duplicate names.
  • InitializationTimeout=8 This increases the initialization timeout window to eight hours.

There are no spaces on either side of the "=" sign, and the entries are case-sensitive, so pay special attention to the capital letters in the commands above.

Set the Preferred BitTitan Data Center. For the fastest migration speeds, select the Data Center that is closest to your Microsoft 365 Destination tenant. 

Clone the project

  1. Click the Edit Project button
  2. Select Clone Project from the drop-down list
  3. Enter the name for the new Project (each new project should be named after the file share name)
  4. Click the Clone Project button.
  5. Important: Repeat this process to create one MigrationWiz project per file share.

Add Items

In each cloned MigrationWiz project, add an item for the file share to be migrated. 

  1. Select Add/Quick Add
  2. Enter Shared Documents as the Destination library name.
    •  

Container Name

In each cloned MigrationWiz project, set the Project Advanced Option for the container name

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.

Run Verify Credentials

  1. Open the Project containing items you wish to validate​.
  2. Select the items you wish to validate.
  3. Click on the Start button in your dashboard.
  4. Select Verify Credentials from the drop-down list.

Once complete, the results of the verification will be shown in the Status section.​ 

Start migration

  1. Select the users
  2. Click the Start button from the top
  3. Select Full Migration
  4. Click Start Migration

Run Retry Errors

Look through the user list and click any red "failed migration" errors. Review the information and act accordingly.

If problems persist, contact Support.

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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