Office 365, SharePoint, SharePoint Online

Top 5 things you need to know before Migrating to SharePoint Online


There’s a few ‘gotchas’ and limitations around SharePoint Online so I thought I’d write a blog post explaining what I personally think are the top 5 things you need to know before making the decision to migrate to SharePoint Online.


  1. No Additional Storage for SMB plans – When signing up to Office 365 you have a few options between plans – Small, Medium, Enterprise and different levels of functionality comes with it, unfortunately on a SMB plan there is currently no way to purchase additional storage which I’ve found a popular ‘gotcha’ with the SMB’s.

    What makes it marginally worse is that you can’t upgrade your tenant from a small/medium license plan to an Enterprise which if you could do that would mean you could purchase all that additional storage you require.

    So how much data will I end up with if I’m on a small or medium size office 365 plan? And when will purchasing additional storage come available to SMB’s?


    The base storage for these plans are 10 GB + 500 MB for each licensed user


    For example, if you have 10 users, the base storage allocation is 15 GB (10 GB + 500 MB * 10 users).

    Up to a maximum of 100 GB. Additional storage for Small Business plans is not yet available.


    I’ve heard murmurs around the Microsoft community that the capability to add additional storage for the SMB plan is right around the corner.



  2. 100 GB Site Collections
    An issue that most people don’t realize is that with SharePoint online there is a hard limit on the maximum size a Site Collection can grow to, unfortunately not like SharePoint 2013 on premise where you follow best practices but the decision lies with you of how large your site collection can grow to.


    So what can we do if we have over 100 GB of data? Well the obvious choice is to split your data over multiple Site Collections which seems logical but there’s also another SharePoint Online limitation and that is on both Small/Medium Size business plans you can have a maximum of 20 site collections, so realistically outside of SkyDrive Storage for SMB’s you can only utilize a maximum of 2TB of data which would take thousands of user licenses at 500mb a user.


  3. No Site Collection Backup Restore –Most SharePoint admins would be familiar with commands like “stsadm –o backup” or “Backup-SPSite” unfortunately with SharePoint Online there’s no way you can do a site collection backup/restore for SharePoint Online out of the Box.

    So how can we backup and restore our site collection? You have very limited options to do a Site Collection backup/restore, there are a few third party products that will allow you to backup/restore into SharePoint Online or if you like keeping things out of the box, an alternative may be to save your site as a template (.stp) file and save it/re deploy as your backup and restore method.

    If you opt for saving your site collection as a template method you will need to keep in mind that you cannot save a site as a template if the Publishing feature is enabled, so watch out for that.

  4. Limited PowerShell Cmd’s – For those who have Administered or worked with SharePoint 2010/2013 on premise you would be familiar with the power/flexibility of using PowerShell with SharePoint
    unfortunately the SharePoint Online Management Shell that’s currently available only has 27 commands which is very low comparing to SharePoint 2013 (700+) commands.

    So what can we do since there’s very limited PowerShell commands, well I personally am thankful there are various ways you can interact with SharePoint Online, one being via the Client Object Model which I to date have had good success with developing tools or solutions to do activities I once would’ve with PowerShell.. it is for me personally a little more time consuming but the end result is the same.

  5. SharePoint Online URL – An unfortunate scenario find’s us unable to use our domain name to map to a SharePoint site collection the only exception the 1 Default Public Website SharePoint Online comes with.

    So basically the 1 Public facing site collection can be , but any internal site collection cannot use your domain and is limited to ( I’m hoping this will be changed in the next version of SharePoint Online).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s