SharePoint on-premise site collection migration refers to the process of moving a site collection from one SharePoint on-premise environment to another on-premise environment or to SharePoint Online. This process is used when organizations need to upgrade their existing SharePoint environment, consolidate multiple site collections into a single environment, or move site collections to a cloud-based solution.

The steps involved in SharePoint on-premise site collection migration include:

  • Determine the scope of the migration, identify the site collections to be migrated, and plan the migration timeline.
  • Check the compatibility of the source and destination environments, set up the destination environment, and test the migration process.
  • Copy the site collection and its content, data, and settings from the source environment to the destination environment.
  • Verify that the site collection has been successfully migrated and that the destination environment is functioning correctly.
  • Finalize the migration, update the URLs, and configure the environment as needed.

The process of SharePoint on-premise site collection migration can be complex, especially when migrating a large amount of data, so it’s recommended to use a migration tool or engage a professional migration services provider to ensure a smooth migration process.

Different Ways to Migrate a Site Collection

You can copy an existing site collection to a different web application in SharePoint. You have several options to do this, including:

  • SharePoint Backup and Restore
  • Export and Import using PowerShell
  • 3rd Party Tools (e.g. Sharegate, Metalogix, etc.)

It’s not necessary to create a blank site collection prior to copying an existing site collection. However, you need to have the correct permissions to access and copy the site collection, such as the “Backup and Restore” permission in SharePoint.

Export and Import method using PowerShell

Here is an example of copying a site collection using the Export and Import method with PowerShell:

  1. Open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator
  2. Run the following command to export the site collection:

Export-SPWeb -Identity http://SpDev2019/sites/Source_Site_Collection -Path "C:\Export\source_site_collection.cmp"

  1. Run the following command to import the site collection to a different web application:

Import-SPWeb -Identity http://SPProd2019/sites/Destination_site_collection -Path "C:\Export\source_site_collection.cmp"

Adnan is six time Microsoft MVP (Since 2015) with over 16 years of extensive experience with major expertise on SharePoint, SharePoint based development, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, .Net Platform and Microsoft BI. He is currently working Sr Microsoft Consultant at Olive + Goose. He is MCT Regional Lead for Pakistan Chapter since 2012. He is working on SharePoint for past 12 years and worked on different intranet/intranet solutions for private & govt. sector majorly in United states and Gulf region and have experience of working with multiple Fortune 500 companies. He is a trainer, technology evangelist and also speaks in community forums.

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