5 tips to tackle the migration of 1 million+ documents

by Ernst van Rheenen, on Sep 27, 2013 11:51:00 AM

With digital storage in abundance, more and more companies see themselves faced with the million-document challenge: How do I get my one million plus documents into a new system?

Familiar Challenges

Is there more to a large-scale migration than just big numbers? Certainly, yes. A large migration comes with all the challenges that other migrations have in terms of restructuring, dealing with metadata, and cleaning up.

Tackle the Scale

On top of that come the challenges of dealing with millions of documents instead of just thousands. To tackle these scaling challenges, you need a practical approach. This knowledge may not be readily available in your organization.


1: Well-Informed Planning

Write a realistic migration plan and line out a feasible migration schedule. Seeking professional help from a migration specialist will prevent you from falling into pitfalls well-known from experience.

2: Simple Restructuring Rules

The migration rules, restructuring the documents for optimal disclosure in the new system, need to be simple. The large scale makes it impossible to allow for many exceptions.

3: Measured IT Performance

Base any deadlines you set on the performance of your IT infrastructure. You won’t be able to set realistic migration deadlines until you have measured technical performance.

4: Segmented Migration

Chopping up the huge assignment into smaller parts is really helpful. Segment your migration into size-able blocks. You can use different classifications to create cuts; for example: department, workflow, or content type.

5: Data-Safe Approach Choose an approach that guarantees no data loss. The safest approach in our experience is using your target system's API. Don't settle for a direct database migration unless there really is no other way.
Topics:SharePointContent Migration


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