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File Server / File Share to SharePoint Online migrations


Microsoft SharePoint Online is widely used across enterprises globally. It's often added into other Microsoft packages which in its own way offers a free tool for content management and collaboration - especially in this new way of remote working. However, migrating your data and content into SharePoint from your traditional on-premise File Server or File Share can prove difficult, cumbersome and just overall complicated. There are two main ways to move the data: Migration Manager (owned by Microsoft) or a third-party data moving tool like Movebot.

Migration Manager

Migration Manager, formerly Mover, was purchased by Microsoft for users to get data into their ecosystem. The main benefit of Migration Manager is that it’s free to use. It won’t cost you anything to move your data into Microsoft 365, including Sharepoint. However, being free doesn’t mean that it’s the best tool for everyone. It has some limitations that can take time, money, and work hours to fix for larger, complex migrations.  

Limitations of Microsoft Migration Manager

Migration Manager is a solid option if you have a straightforward migration and want to move into Mircosoft 365. However, there are some limitations in more complex migrations, such as: 

  • Requires an app or to be installed before the migration (if not joined to a domain). The app must be installed by an administrator. Currently, the app has a 3.7 star rating with some users finding it difficult to work with. The Migration Manager agents will need to be downloaded and installed on every computer and virtual machine you plan on connecting to Migration Manager. 

  • Migrations are only one way. If you plan on moving and staying in Microsoft 365, one-way migrations aren’t a problem. However, you’ll need to find a new tool to work with should you ever decide to move away.

  • Issues with duplicate filenames. Migration Manager may have syncing conflicts if there are duplicate filenames. The system doesn't recognize if files have the same name before or during syncing, which can cause issues with copying over new files or can stop them from copying over at all. 

Using Movebot to move a file server to SharePoint

When migrating from on-premise traditional file servers Movebot provides an executable agent that doesn't need to be installed and connects to Movebot without the need to worry about firewalls or complex configurations. Once connected, it is as if you are using another cloud endpoint, it behaves the same way and encrypts your data in transfer using HTTPS, as well as offers checksum technology to prevent data loss. 

Connecting to SharePoint is the easy part, it's the on-premise part that is often the challenge. With Movebot you simply log in through OAuth (your administrators credentials). With other providers, you often have to install heavy software, open firewalls and beg your security team to be able to run the software. With Movebot, it's as simple as running and executable and deleting it from your downloads folder once you are done. 

Configuring the Movebot Windows file server agent

When you are setting up your migration, whether is a project or a simple migration, you will need to download the executable file and copy the token key. Once downloaded, run the agent and follow the instructions.

  • Add the copied token and connect to Movebot

File Server to Dropbox

  • The agent will begin authenticating and connecting to Movebot

Movebot OSX Agent Setup

  • The agent will connect and you can continue with the migration

Movebot OSX Agent

  • Once you are connected you can work through your file server and locate the content and users to migrate, to then map to your SharePoint sites and users. 

An important note, when migrating from a local file server, be sure to select a Movebot region under advanced settings to migrate from that is closest to you, this is to improve performance and also maintain data sovereignty.

File Server to Box-1

If you don't see a region you require, then please reach out to the team and see if we can establish an ad-hoc region for you.

Another option that you have is the ability to run a discovery scan across your file server which simulates a migration and will show you any errors that may be encountered, a breakdown of the data, and analytics of the content. 

Movebot Scan Results - Graphs

File server to SharePoint migrations made simple with Movebot

Movebot keeps migrations simple, whether it is on-premise to the cloud, or cloud to cloud. Moving from a file server / file share to SharePoint shouldn't be difficult. And with Moevbot, it isn't. It's always simple, fast, and cost-effective.

Want to see how simple and straightforward it is to use Movebot for yourself? All sign-ups include a free 14-day trial without needing to talk to a sales team or add a credit card. Simply sign up and see if it's right for you. Give it a try and start your free trial today. 

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Move data like a pro with simple yet powerful data migration tool that just works

Move data between storage platforms, cloud tenants, and to and from on-prem files servers and the cloud with ease. Movebot provides lightning-fast speeds and simplifies data moving with an intuitive, feature-rich web dashboard that gives complete visibility for stress-free migrations.

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