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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pre-Processing Content for Migrating to SharePoint 2010

I have recently been working with a number of customers to establish information governance in their SharePoint 2010 environments.  The question always comes up is “how do we get content off the network shares into the SharePoint environment?”

There are a number of commercial tools that will analyze, cleanup and migrate network share content to SharePoint.  These tools come from vendors such as StoredIQ, Active Navigation, EMC Kazeon and Metalogix.

If you are going to be migrating file shares to SharePoint, regardless of the tool being used, there is a basic process that I think you should be taking. This process is broad, but could help you get started thinking about your environment. You can see the basic steps below.

You may look at that process and be thinking that it doesn’t really say anything, nor does it really help you.

As I said, there are many tools out on the market today to help in this endeavor.  These tools can help you discover all the files you are looking to migrate; they can also help you filter out files by date, specific strings, or other information that you may not want to migrate to SharePoint.

However! There are a couple tools that you can use right now that can help. They are PowerShell and Microsoft Excel! Yes, PowerShell and Excel!

Take the example of a network file share you want to migrate into SharePoint. The share is N:\team1. In the process above, the first step is to discover what files are in the file share, how old they are, what types there are etc. Of course, you could go through and manually look at them one by one. Or, you could ask the person responsible for the file share to do that.  Or you could use PowerShell to iterate through and output the results to a CSV file. Simply by running this command:

Get-Childitem –recurse \\Ndriveserver\team1 |Export-CSV c:\export.csv

This process will create a CSV file that can be opened with Excel as you can see below.

With the power of excel sorting and filtering you can scroll through and really look at a ton of data about the files. Such as Extension, Last Access Time, Last Write Time etc.

This could be a great help; however, it could also be too much. Say you only want to see all the files with exe, MSI, and MP3 extensions? You could use the same command but use the Include parameter.

Get-Childitem –recurse \\Ndriveserver\team1 -include *.exe, *.MSI, *.MP3 |Export-CSV C:\export.csv

Or, if you want to narrow down your list by excluding files you don’t care about like DOC, XLS, and PPT since these are probably more natural files to migrate.

Get-Childitem –recurse \\Ndriveserver\team1 -exclude *.doc, *.xls, *.ppt |Export-CSV C:\export.csv

At this point, congratulate yourself, you have discovery, now you can run these PowerShell commands and use Excel to sort and filter.

Now, let’s go to the next, Cleanse.  We want to remove what is often termed ROT (Redundant, Obsolete and Trash or Trivial) files. Once again there are many products that make this part of the migration or import process.

However, you can do some cleaning with PowerShell as well. When you come up with a list of files you want to get rid of such as all the MSI files in the \\Ndriveserver\team1\Marketing directory, you can use the Remove-Item to get rid of them.

Remove-item \\Ndriveserver\team -recurse1\Marketing\*.pptx

You could also do something a little more fun.

get-childitem \\Ndriveserver\team1\Marketing -include *.MSI -recurse | foreach ($_) {remove-item $_.fullname}

However remember that you want to test your process for jumping in with both feet. You can use a parameter on the PowerShell command to test before you actually remove.

get-childitem \\Ndriveserver\team1\Marketing -include *.MSI -recurse | foreach ($_) {remove-item $_.fullname -whatif}

The –Whatif command will output what the command would have done, but not do it.

Like the shot below if I was to delete all the PPTX files

Running the command with the –Whatif parameter will help you make sure you are aware of exactly what the command would delete.

So now we can identify file types, and that may be useful in the case of log files or obscure application output files; however that typically is not all the criteria that you would practically use. What if you want to enforce a policy of removing OLD files? For example, what if you wanted to remove anything that has not been modified in the past year? With the capabilities of PowerShell you can do that!

Get-Childitem N:\Marketing -recurse |Where-Object {$_.LastWriteTime.Date -le (Get-Date).Date.AddDays(-365)}|foreach {remove-item $_.fullname }

Finally, you do have another option that can take advantage of that CSV file you are creating. Once you create that export file (CSV) you can delete all the entries of files you wish to keep, thus leaving in all the ones you want to delete. Then use the Import-csv PowerShell command and use that as the input to the remove-item command as follows:

Import-CSV c:\export.csv | foreach {remove-item $_.fullname }

The result is any file listed in that CSV goes away. This is one where you definitely want to be careful and ensure that you are only listing out files you really want to get rid of!  Remember the WhatIf!

Hopefully, I’ve given you some insights how to Discover and Cleanse your network file shares in preparation of migrating them to your SharePoint environment!

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