Look before you leap – SharePoint 2010 Migration

It’s about at this time in a product lifecycle that organisations look at the options available when upgrading and migration to new versions of their software applications and platforms.

Many IT departments will be looking at upgrading their SharePoint environment from either 2003 or 2007 to SharePoint 2010.

The important bit to note is that there’s no upgrade route from SharePoint 2003 to 2010! The only way to upgrade would be to upgrade the farm to 2007, then to 2010. Alternatively a content migration exercise should be assessed, 3rd party tools are available to assist with the migration of content.

To upgrade your environment the following is required:
• SQL 2005 with SP3 supported but not recommended, SQL 2008 is recommended
• SharePoint 2007 SP2 with October Cumulative update
• 64 bit hardware
• Windows Server 2008 with SP2 / R2
• Minimum 8GB RAM, development environment will run on less RAM
• SharePoint WCF hotfix required, this isn’t installed by the pre-requisites tool (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976462)


There are 2 upgrade methods available, and 2 hybrid options:

In place upgrade:

• Uses existing hardware

• The configuration and content databases are upgraded

• Server offline during upgrade

• Farm wide settings preserved

• Customisations should be available after upgrade

• Recommended for small or non-production environments

Database attach upgrade:

• New hardware (farm) required

• Upgrade multiple databases at a time

• Server farm settings not kept (Audiences, InfoPath configuration etc…)

• Customisations must be transferred / redeployed

• Opportunity to consolidate multiple farms into one

• Recommended if farm configurations are minimal

Hybrid 1:

• Read only databases

• Use database attach upgrade to preserve existing farm settings

• Existing farm is put in read only mode

• Create a new farm and attach all content databases

• Recommended for small / medium / with minimal customisations

Hybrid 2:

• Detach content databases from the farm

• Use in-place upgrade to preserve farm settings

• Central Admin and SSP databases upgraded

• Once upgrade is complete, reattach DBs and upgrade content databases

• Farm level settings are maintained

• Content databases could be upgraded in a temporary farm, then ported over

• Recommended for medium / large farms

Avoiding Upgrade Issues

• Run the pre-upgrade check

• Upgraded to SharePoint 2010 won’t fix a broken farm

• Coalesce the farm, make sure no users are using the farm while the upgrade takes place

• Perform a trial upgrade on a test farm first, important!

• Use STSADM / Powershell scripts to attach database

• Remember to backup all content, and ensure backups are working!

Technet supporting information:

Upgrade Planning: