I have been tasked with an SP2013 to SP2016 upgrade.The second server is ready with Server 2012 R2. We have software assurance licensing to allow for this upgrade.

At what point during the upgrade would the SP2013 server become unavailable? Is it possible to have SP2013 up and running after the upgrade to SP2016? We are wanting to test our custom programming prior to committing to changing users over to the new server URL. I am following the Microsoft TechNet instructions, but am unclear as to this detail. Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1


You can retain it but depending upon your infrastructure:

  • Do you want to reuse the SharePoint 2013 servers for something else?
  • what is your migration plan?
  • Which migration method you are using?

In a typical SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 migration. (i prefer the database upgrade method)

  • Build a new farm with SharePoint 2016
  • Create and Configure the Services application, web applications, authentications and other customization (if any).
  • Now backup the Content database from SharePoint 2013 farm's sql
  • restore it to SharePoint 2016's sql and attach to SharePoint
  • once the upgrade completed, you have to test the data.
  • You have to update DNS and point to the new SharePoint servers.

At this point, you have both farm up and running while all the data moved to SharePoint 2016.

Upgrade databases from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Server 2016

  • I am following the Microsoft TechNet instructions: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/SharePoint/upgrade-and-update/…. So- your last statement is where my question lies. My supervisor is wanting to leave 2013 intact during the upgrade process to "test" our custom programming content prior to committing to making the DNS updates. So, he wants to back up the SP2013 without setting the DB to read only. Attach the DB to SP2016, test and then decide to change (or not -based on the results of our custom content testing) the DNS for users.
    – Lemara
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 19:07

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