Moving millions of files into SharePoint is not an easy
task, because there are many things to consider. But
to me, who was leading the project, it was an interesting
challenge that I was happy to take on.
2 million files in 225 000 folders
The organization that hired kalmstrom.com for the task
needs to keep a huge amount of documents on file in
a way that is both secure and easy to search. When we
started this project, there were 225 000 folders, containing
around 2 million files, so my first task was to do a
file server inventory.
The inventory gave an opportunity to clean-up and determine
what should be kept for the future. When that was done,
it was time for the difficult decisions on what to do
with all the files.
PowerShell automates tedious work
Before moving the 225 000 folders to SharePoint, the
team had to consider what should become of them.
Should the content of each folder be transformed into
a site collection, a site or a document library. How
about metadata or even tags? Was the information stored
in Excel lists suitable to export into SharePoint lists?
migrate the data manually would take years, but once
the decisions were made, the actual migration was done
with a PowerShell script. All the SharePoint containers
were automatically created and populated with the correct
Metadata should be kept
An important aspect to consider was the existing metadata.
The customer did not want to lose it. For example,
a file at P:\Projects\2010\IT\ClientPlatform\ already
has a lot of important metadata that should be maintained.
It should be tagged as a project file, created in 2010,
by the IT-department, concerning the ClientPlatform
the process, the organization also converted old all
Office files into modern file formats. Converting the
old .doc and .xls files into .docx and .xlsx formats
gave a huge space saving benefit and enabled the new
Another consideration was how information should be
found in the future. It should still be possible to
find information by location, but we should also use
the SharePoint search features. Here Peter could do
a lot by using the SharePoint features in combination
with the maintained metadata.
Long term project
This SharePoint project gave me valuable experience,
which later has been used in several smaller projects.