Every organization intranet and every product are slowly moving to cloud platform. SharePoint is no different and have better features in its cloud platform( SharePoint on steroids 🙂 ) than on-premise version. This blog will provide some key things which can help you in defining a cloud strategy for your SharePoint investments.
Part 1 – Assess your farm
Read this post about how to prepare your farm for migration.
Part 2 – Decide your strategy
The are 2 strategy you can employ while migrating to SharePoint online or Office 365.
1. Full migration to SharePoint online i.e completely move all your SharePoint sites and services to Office 365. This strategy is pretty straightforward and no infrastructure dependency or complexity is involved here. The major decisions to make here are:
- Do we need complete Office 365 plan? i.e here you will have whole office 365 suite products like SharePoint, outlook ,yammer , MS office suite etc. See this post about SharePoint features in Office 365 plan to choose which plan matches your needs.
- Do we need SharePoint standalone plan? As the name suggests this plan includes only SharePoint and other products are not available. See this post on SharePoint features in SharePoint Online standalone plan.
Note that the SharePoint features available also differs on the above decision you make. SharePoint Online standalone plan has less SharePoint features compared on Office 365 plan (Major one for me is no support for Claim based authentication in Standalone plan).
2. Office 365/SharePoint hybrid Here both your on-premise and office 365 environments will be running and they can share sites and services like Search, Mysite etc. This will allow you to extend some of the office 365 capabilities into your on premise and also allow any cloud incompatible farm solutions to still be used.
One major decision to make in hybrid scenario is selection of the correct hybrid topology to suit your needs.There are three topologies available:
- One-way Outbound(Unidirectional) topology : Here the on premise farm connects to SharePoint online sites and pulls data. The only service supported here is Search service application. So the on-premise search application can crawl the SharePoint online sites.
- One-way inbound (Unidirectional)topology: Here the SharePoint online connects to on-premise farm and pulls data.The only service supported here is Search service application. So the SharePoint online search application can crawl the on-premise sites. This is best topology considering the future road map as all your services and new sites will be on SharePoint online and old sites with customizations can be retained in your farm and slowly re mediated and migrated to SharePoint online.
- Two-way (bidirectional) topology: Here both on-premise and SharePoint online connects to each other and can pull data from each other. This topology supports Search service application, BCS and Duet enterprise online (to connect to on-premise SAP systems).
Below is a flow chart on how to decide which topology you should use (Source)