SharePoint 2013 and O365 Upgrade Assessment

SharePoint 2013 Upgrade AssessmentThe great new features and capabilities of SharePoint 2013 may have you salivating for an upgrade but before scheduling, take a moment to consider the complexity of your current SharePoint 2010 or earlier environment. The list on the right will give you some guidance on the right questions to ask.

Careful evaluation of these questions and many more can help your business prepare for a successful upgrade to SharePoint . Our consultants have been evaluating upgrade paths to SharePoint since before the product launch and can help ensure the success of your deployment with Abel Solutions’ SharePoint Upgrade Assessment.

Our Approach

In order to gain a better understanding of your current SharePoint environment, we’ll begin by performing a complete inventory of your existing SharePoint deployment leveraging Microsoft and Abel Solutions provided tools and scripts. Along the way we’ll identify risks to the upgrade process and begin to plan initial mitigation strategies to those risks. Finally we’ll develop a project plan detailing the timeline and key milestones for your SharePoint upgrade.

At the conclusion of our assessment, we’ll deliver an Assessment Summary detailing our findings as follows:

  • Pre-Upgrade check report, including identification of custom solutions, custom workflows, database size, etc.
  • Recommended hardware specifications.
  • Appropriate recommendations related to the SharePoint upgrade approach.
  • Identification of risks that require mitigation strategies.
  • Recommended SharePoint Administrator and Site/Content Administrator training based upon the level of internal support staff.
  • Proposal and Project Plan for migration services.

Potential Options for Upgrade

The recommended path for upgrade will depend on many of the aforementioned issues as well as the level of planning that went into your initial deployment. The following is an analysis of the upgrade approaches considered.

In-Place Upgrade

The In-Place Upgrade option was available for upgrades to SharePoint 2010 but is no longer available as an option for SharePoint 2013.

Database Attach

The database attach method involves detaching the databases from the existing environment; restoring them to the new environment; attaching the databases to SharePoint web applications; and running the upgrade.  For SharePoint 2010, this approach would involve a significant outage window where users could not access SharePoint, as well as a single outage window during which all issues must be addressed.  In SharePoint 2013, farm administrators can now allow site collection owners to upgrade their sites to the new user interface on their own timeline.

Content Migration

The content migration approach involves creating a new SharePoint 2013 farm; recreating the existing web application structure; and then migrating content either manually or using a tool from a third-party vendor such as Axceler or Metalogix. This approach is time-consuming and many of the components and pages would have to be recreated from scratch.


The hybrid approach is similar to the database attach approach, but allows for the work effort to be spread out over a reasonable period of time. Databases would be moved to the new 2013 environment, attached and tested, documenting issues and issue resolution for the final upgrade. This approach allows for the most flexibility and time to properly address issues and to allow for continued use of the existing SharePoint environment until the final upgrade is performed.

Clean Install

If your first deployment was not well-conceived and structured, perhaps an upgrade is actually not in order and you might consider a fresh start in SharePoint with governance, planning and oversight, along with a plan to migrate critical information from the existing environment.

Often businesses who thought they could make a successful launch of SharePoint on their own have an installation that fails to thrive within their organization. Don’t make the same mistake twice. Contact Abel Solutions to learn more about SharePoint Upgrade Assessment Services.