Review: Quest Migration Manager for Sharepoint

Simplify the move from SharePoint 2003/2007 to SharePoint 2010

Many organizations that are running SharePoint 2003 or SharePoint 2007 are thinking about moving to SharePoint 2010 to take advantage of its new social features, business intelligence capabilities, and search improvements. However, migrating SharePoint 2010 is not an easy task, as there is no direct migration path from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2010. That's where Quest Migration Manager for SharePoint comes into play. This tool enables organizations to transfer content from SharePoint 2003 or 2007 to SharePoint 2010 or to reorganize and consolidate content within SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010 environments.

Installation and Setup

Migration Manager for SharePoint works on these SharePoint versions:

SharePoint 2003

  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 SP2 or later
  • SharePoint Portal Server 2003 SP2 or later

SharePoint 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
SharePoint 2010 Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010

The tool must be installed on each SharePoint server that will be used as a source. Installation is a breeze, with an easy-to-use wizard interface. Installing the tool took about 15 minutes per source SharePoint server.

You must also install an extension web service component on the target SharePoint servers, to preserve certain metadata information (e.g., created date, created by). Installing the extension web services component was pretty straightforward and took just 5 minutes.

During the installation process, a repository database is created, so the user account should have the DB owner role on the SQL Server database. Several other permission combinations might be required, depending on the migration scenario. The tool's online Help comes in handy when determining which prerequisites and permissions apply to your situation.

Using the Migration Manager for SharePoint

Migration Manager for SharePoint provides a web interface for creating, scheduling, and tracking migration jobs, as Figure 1 shows. Because the tool is web based, you can track migration jobs remotely, without needing to log on to the source server. When you create a migration job, additional options are available to manage exclusions, filtering, and scheduling. For example, I could choose from these filtering options:

  • items that were modified before a given date
  • particular file extensions, such as .pdf
  • the number of versions to maintain
  • documents that exceed a given size
Figure 1: Migration Manager web interface
Figure 1: Migration Manager web interface

I could also choose to exclude particular sites, documents, libraries, or lists.

Migration

I was able to execute several migration tasks with different combinations of sites, servers, exclusions, and filters, without any major hassles. All document libraries, list content, artifacts such as metadata, and permissions were moved intact from source to target SharePoint sites. Metadata Information, such as created date, was migrated correctly to the target servers on which I'd installed the extension service. Custom workflows that I'd created by using SharePoint designer were also moved correctly, but the tool lacks support for migrating out-of-the-box SharePoint workflows-definitely a feature I'd want.

The speed of migration was a bit on the slower side. It took about 45 minutes to migrate sites with 50MB of content from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. Although the majority of the content migrated successfully, I did run into a few issues:

  • Document libraries with content approval settings weren't moved.
  • Sites that were created from SharePoint application templates weren't moved.
  • The migration service stopped occasionally for no apparent reason and required a restart.

 

Scheduling

Scheduling options allow you to run a migration job on specific days and during specific hours. This capability lets you schedule migration during off-peak hours. The tool began the migration job only during the hours and day that I specified, and accurately restarted from where it had stopped on the next scheduled day. However, an option to select a start date for the migration job would have made the scheduler even better.

Consolidation

Migration Manager for SharePoint also enables consolidation of content, by facilitating moving specific sites, libraries, or lists within a SharePoint 2007 or 2010 site or site collection. The tool doesn't have the facility to move only specific sets of users or groups, which would have helped during permission restructuring.

Tracking

The monitoring section of Migration Manager for SharePoint helps to track the progress of migration jobs. This section provides status reporting on contents moved, remaining time (as Figure 2 shows), and so on. However, when checking the migration status, we noticed that the displayed time remaining was inaccurate and showed a huge time variance on a different visit to the monitoring page.

Figure 2: Status reporting on remaining time
Figure 2: Status reporting on remaining time

An important feature that is missing is a notification mechanism to alert administrators when a job is completed or an issue is logged. Without this capability, I needed to constantly check the monitoring page for status updates.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Quest Migration Manager for SharePoint performs a decent job migrating content from SharePoint 2003 or 2007 to SharePoint 2010. Features such as post-migration synchronization of content and flexible scheduling options make this a worthy tool. Adding missing pieces, such as notification functionality and select permission move, would make the tool better. On a final note, Quest plans to release a new version of Migration Manager that will support migration to Microsoft Office 365, an option that will benefit organizations that want to move to SharePoint Online.

Quest Migration Manager for SharePoint
PROS: Direct migration from SharePoint 2003 to 2010, post-migration synchronization, scheduling options
CONS: No notification mechanism, no select user or group migration, no support for out-of-the-box workflow migration
RATING: 4 out of 5
PRICE: $1,995 for a 25-client server; $4,495 for a 100-client server
RECOMMENDATION: This tool is a good option for organizations that want to migrate from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2010 because it allows them to pass the intermediate step of upgrading to SharePoint 2007. The tool is also a good option for migrating from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 if you want to migrate, consolidate, and restructure content.

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