Archive for the ‘SharePoint Online’ Category

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


SharePoint and the Cloud: Office 365

My first public presentation. The presentation was of course on SharePoint and the Cloud: Office 365, it was for the most part a high level overview of the capabilities and the things you need to consider when it comes to deployment, migration, and development. I have sent my presentation to the Charlotte SharePoint User Group to post but I wanted to add some context here for some of those slides.

You can find my deck here

Slide 4: What is the Cloud?

So I want to point out where you can win here with Office 365 in the cloud.

Lower Cost*

  • Office 365 is a subscription license, you are purchasing it for each user in your organization. If you are running these services On-Premise, then you have essentially purchased (or should have) a license for each user, there is no giving that back. With Office 365 you can add/remove licenses as users come and go.

User Experience

  • Office 365 is familiar, not like jumping over to something like google apps.
  • Office 365 will basically be running with the most up-to-date software, receiving updates and new features in a timely fashion.

IT Management

  • Less Overhead
  • Scalability is dynamic, no need to purchase no hardware every X years, or new server level licensing.
  • Backup and Redundancy is handled by the Service Provider

Slide 5: What is Office 365

  • Check it out here
  • Plan Comparison
  • I like it so much I purchased my own private version of the E3 Plan

Slide 7: SharePoint Online

  • Mix between SharePoint Standard & SharePoint Enterprise – Some features not included are:
    • SharePoint for Internet Sites
    • Records Center (In-Place records declaration is available)
    • Business Connectivity Services
    • Performance Point Services
    • Fast Search
  • Basic Public Facing Site
    • Basic Browser customizable web site, does not include Web Analytics, Master Page Customization, Page Layouts. It has a limited set of pages that can be created.
  • Storage Allocations
    • Overall storage limit per Tenet = 5 TB
    • Storage limit per site collection = 100 GB
    • Beginning storage allocation = 10GB + 500MB per user. 1000 users would equal 510 GB’s.
    • Upload limited to 250MB
  • Multiple Site Collections
    • You can have up-to 300 site collection (My sites are not included in this limit)
  • My Sites
    • Currently up-to 20000 users can exist, companies may request exceptions from Microsoft to add more users.
    • Each user’s mysite is capped at 500MB of data
  • Backup
    • Backups occur every 12 hours.
    • Retained for 14 days
    • Two metrics commonly used in service continuity management to evaluate disaster recovery solutions are a Recovery Time Objective (RTO), which is the target time between a system disaster and the time when the system is again operational, and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO), is a time representation of the possible data loss that occurred as a result of the recovery from the unexpected event. SharePoint Online has set an RPO and RTO in the event of a
      • 1 hour RPO: Microsoft protects your SharePoint Online data and has a copy of that data that is equal to or less than 1 hour old
      • 6 hour RTO: Organizations will be able to resume service within 6 hours after service disruption if a disaster incapacitate’s a hosting data center.
  • Anti-Virus
    • Add on for SharePoint On-Premise
    • Forefront Security for SharePoint provides comprehensive protection for SharePoint document libraries using multiple scan engines and content controls to help eliminate documents that contain malicious code.
  • 50 Partner Access Licenses
    • When you sign up for SharePoint Online / Office 365, you get a starter pack of 50 Partner license, you can create accounts for select partners, clients that have Hotmail accounts, or other online services accounts.
    • Great for extranet functionality
  • Licensing for On-Premise is covered
    • If you have purchased the E3 or K2 plan your user licensing requirements are covered for an on-premise installation of SharePoint 2010. You would still need to purchase Server Licenses. Check with your Microsoft Account Rep for details.

If you have any more questions about the other slides or would like some clarification regarding the statements above. Please feel free to reach out to me. If you would like to read up more on Office 365 services I recommend reading the Service Descriptions for each service. You can find the descriptions here.


Upcoming Events – September 2011

So in an effort to get more involved with the SharePoint community I am presenting at the next Charlotte SharePoint User Group  meeting on 9/21. My presentation is called “SharePoint and the Cloud: Office 365”. I will be focusing on how online compares to on premise, deployment, migration, and development options. I will also touch on what is being targeted for future releases. I will post my deck later next week.

Something else you may be interested in is the SharePoint Innovation Summit on 9/29 hosted by Cardinal. There will be two tracks, Technology and Business. Featured speakers include JB Holston – CEO & President of Newsgator Technologies, Brandon Ebken – CTO of Cardinal Solutions, and Michael Gannotti – Collaboration Technology Specialist at Microsoft.


  • Social Collaboration with Newsgator
  • Best Practices of Organizing and Finding Information in the Enterprise
  • Quick to Market, Line of Business Solutions
  • Delivering Business Insight to the Organization


  • To the Cloud!
  • Getting Ready for SharePoint
  • Development Best Practices
  • Operational Excellence with AvePoint

I encourage you to come to these Charlotte events if you are going to be in the area. Lots of good information to be consumed.