Home > Office 365, SharePoint, SharePoint Online > Take time and plan….Dont rush SharePoint Online

Take time and plan….Dont rush SharePoint Online

I for one think Office 365, including SharePoint Online is awesome. If you think its awesome too and want to implement I cannot stress enough how important it is to do a thourough job planning out the migration/implementation. I will be approaching this post from a migration standpoint.

SharePoint Online Limitations:

  • Total data limit per tenet = 5 TB
  • Total site collection data limit = 100 GB
  • Total amount of site collections allowed = 300
  • Max upload limit = 250 MB
  • No server side code, consider any 3rd party solutions you have implemented
  • Limited Enterprise Feature set (No Records Center, FAST Search, Business Connectivity Services (BCS), Performance Point Services)*at this time
  • NO email enabled libraries and lists

What you should do?


If using 2007 Microsoft’s recommended database limits was 100 GB, so hopefully you never went over that. But I have certainly see my share of clients that have. If you have SharePoint 2010 and want to move to the cloud your database size recommended limits prior to SP1 was 200 GB, this has since grown to 4TB (depending upon how it was implemented). So either way we slice it you will most likely have to reorganize your site structure.

  1. Start looking at cleaning up your existing farm. This means delete versioning where you can, look at cleaning up old documents that are no longer of any value, and anything thats old and not needed for compliance puposes. Delete any unused lists. These dont take up much space, but in a service like SharePoint Online every little bit counts.
  2. Look at how your sites are structured. If they are all residing in one site collection, think about how your business operates. Can you break your sites into separate site collections based on department, or operational functions?
  3. Repreform (If you havent already done so, for your current implementation) a Capacity Planning session. To determine how much space you may need over time.
  4. Dont use unlimted versioning anymore if you were in your existing environment, this will just add to the storage being utilized in the Online version.
  5. Determine what types of documents you can put dispositions on. For instance if it is for a contract, once that contract is set as a record or some other policy, consider the length of time the document should reside in the system and delete it automatically once the time frame is reached. This makes your sites a little more self governing. (In Place records management is available)
  6. Dont create team templates in the new environment if you are not going to be using all of the features of a team site.
  7. If you have more than 5TB of data, well then I can only recommend that you run in Hybrid mode, SharePoint Online and SharePoint Onpremise. If you have all the appropriate SharePoint Online licensing you may not have to purchase Onpremise cals for SharePoint, only the Server license. Speak with your Microsoft Account Managers regarding this possibility.
  8. If your site is branded, look into reworking that branding into a Sandbox Solution Package.

Custom Features

  1. If coming from SharePoint 2007, I would actually recommend running the SharePoint Upgrade Checker as if you were moving to SharePoint 2010. This will help point out some areas of your 2007 deployment that may not be compatible with SharePoint Online.
  2. Create a list of any 3rd party applications or custom applications deployed to SharePoint, in most environments you can have your farm administrator look in Central Administration to determine what custom solutions have been deployed. Check with those vendors to see if they have Office 365 versions of the software.
  3. If you have deployed Sandbox solutions to 2010, test them first in SharePoint Online, there are limitations to what SharePoint Online allows even with Sandbox Solutions, there are a sub-set of webservices available here.

Email Enabled lists

Again these do not exist in SharePoint Online at this time, and may never for that fact. I am optomistic that Microsoft will give tenets a preset limit of these down the road but its difficult to tell. Anyhow I have done some research into this problem and have discovered that Metalogix appears to have the best solution to this problem. They actually advertise it as a replacement option for email enabled lists/libraries. From what I understand however, is that you will need to have a Hybrid scenario with some exchange functionality onsite.

There are numerous vendors out there that have tools to help with the migration of content, AvePoint, Metalogix, MetaVis to name a few. I of course recommend you also partner up with a specialist in this space when planning out your migration or implementation strategies. Oh and if you havent already I highly recommend you come up with a Governance Plan.

– Cory

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