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I am running a MOSS 2007 farm as described:

  • 1 Web Front End Server (IIS 7, Win 2008)
  • 1 Application Server (IIS 7, Win 2008)
  • 1 SQL Server (Win 2008)
  • Content: 1.5 TB across ~3500 site collections (total websites ~75000) all residing in a single content database (I know, bad practice!!). Each website contains 5 to 10 document libraries.
  • BLOB content (documents) is externalized using StoragePoint (MetaLogix), resulting in reasonable size of content database, if that provides any consolation about the single content database.
  • Customizations -
    • Custom master page for entire portal
    • Custom page for site collection page
    • Custom page for website page
    • About 15 web parts across site collection and website pages

Now comes the "fun" part... moving this to SharePoint 2013! Expectations include:

  1. Downtime absolutely should not exceed 8 hours, for business purposes.
  2. Read-only access time should not exceed 24 hours, for business purposes.
  3. SharePoint 2013 must be better and faster... :-)

I used MetaLogix's ContentMatrix for an earlier migration (SP 2003 to MOSS 2007). Due to similar customizations and constraints, the migration was a long, drawn out process even with the content migration tool, long after the MOSS 2007 environment was set up. Because content had to be moved from source (SP 2003) to destination (MOSS 2007). To relive that experience is like needing a vacation from another vacation (aargh)!

So after the above rant of a summary, my question is relatively short... how do I migrate to SP 2013?

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Good luck. My guess is your content database by itself will take more than 8 hours to upgrade. Personally I would break that up before migrating.

There is no direct upgrade path form 2007 to 2013 - so you you have two choices there

  1. Stand up a 2010 server to upgrade your server to before again migrating to 2013
  2. Use a migration tool.
  3. Combination of 1&2

Which one to do depends on a lot of factors - your customization and blobs are the two biggest. For Option 1 that means you need to not only duplicate the content database but the blob store as well, and then do it again for 2013.

I would first take a pass at 2010. Stand up a single server and then just run a test upgrade and see how far you get. You need to install all your customization, including storagepoint. You should be able to get away without duplicating blobs at this point - as you are just validating the customization. If the content is visible and only throwing errors b/c there are no real blobs that is fine for the first test.

If you get thru that with no problems or minor - then you can look at doing the first stage production upgrade. Again do this parallel - leave the old farm up, but this time you need to be bring the blobs along for the ride. You need to find out how you can duplicate the store and configure storage so it works. If you can't - you are looking at re-importing that data back into the database. This is why breaking up DB's are important, your content DB sizes should be under 200GB (and you include your BLOBS in that calculation) - so if my content DB is 30GB and associated blobs are 170GB I'm at my limit. For performance purposes I like to keep them under 100GB if possible.

Once you are upgraded to 2010 (all sites have to be at 2010 level) - build out your 2013 test farm. Move the databases over and repeat. Once your good on 2013, move the DB's over to 2013 production ready servers.

Once you have your 2013 server in place you can use a tool like ContentMatrix to update the delta between content. If you want to stay away from a migration tool - then you need to break up the databases, and plan a staged migration. You can do this with both farms by using URL rewriter in IIS to set rules to bounce you back and forth between servers. Be aware - you want to minimize that as much as possible to avoid confusing your users there is a big difference between 2013 and 2010.

There is a ton of material on how to move from 2007 to 2010 and you will need to review that. It's the first place you have to start if you are not relying on a content tool.

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@JesusShelby thank you for the detailed answer! Since all the BLOB content is externalized, the size of the content database is around 400 GB, which is substantially smaller than the 1.5 TB of content that it represents. When do I need to work on the StoragePoint aspect - before or after the move to SP 2010 (and again, before it after the move to SP 2013)? If I go with the double hop approach, do I still end up with any content delta warranting the use of ContentMatrix?

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