You’ve made your migration from Exchange On-Premises using the hybrid migration wizard to the new Office 365 tenant. Trouble is, you were using Dropbox. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, you might want to move your files into the Office 365 “OneDrive” offering. There’s nothing to stop you from maintaining your Dropbox environment, but you’re already paying for OneDrive—so that’s at least one reason for making the switch.
But moving the files calls for a 3rd party solution. One that Anexinet has found useful is BitTitan.
How and Where Do I Start?
The first thing to consider is your Dropbox Business environment. This provides any number of user accounts. You will find these accounts have logon addresses from any number of domains, not just the one associated with your corporate identity. You’ll have a management account for the environment, and from there you can create an admin account for the migration. See this link at Dropbox for help.
Next you’ll need a valid account in Office 365 to do the ingestion of the file data. BitTitan suggests you use an account with Global Admin permissions. Follow the Dropbox to OneDrive for Business guide to go through the steps.
Once the accounts are set up, create the BitTitan project with all of your source email addresses (Dropbox logons) and destination data. From the admin console, you can get an export of the email addresses so there’s no typing to do, or typos to make. On several projects, we’ve entered the same data into both the source and destination columns and then used the BitTitan console to change the destination domain to the correct one for the Office 365 logons, where necessary. Obviously, you may find the user ID format to be wrong, so some manual effort may be necessary to align sources and destinations. To make sure the destination email addresses are correct, the BitTitan console offers a “Check Credentials” function which (rather than check passwords, per-se) checks whether the email addresses are valid at source and destination. Of course, you have to make sure the addresses are for the same people.
First and foremost is the matter of sharing, or shared folders. Dropbox users can often forget that a folder in front of them isn’t actually owned by them. Sure, the folder has a subtly different icon but who pays attention to that when they’re simply opening documents from Word and Excel by opening a recent document? Once you migrate a user, you assume they won’t keep trying to go to Dropbox to access their files. You’ll have gone to great effort to coordinate migration dates and times, as well as a communications plan, with the users so that folders and content can be re-shared by the owning user.
Once migrated, they should get disabled in Dropbox. But what about a situation in which you’re doing a phased migration, and suddenly another user can no longer access a Dropbox file because they didn’t recall that the folder containing the file was only shared with them, not owned by them. Mapping that all out is still a very manual operation.
The Dropbox Migration Guide is an excellent reference to get started, but we’ve encountered situations where administrators requested we move data—not into the main portion of the OneDrive storage—but perhaps into a folder marked OldData, where it can be referenced, if required. To do this, use this command in the Support Options:
The word ‘Documents’ is required so that SharePoint (remember where OneDrive comes from) knows to put the data into the SharePoint documents library. From there, the /OldData/ is required in order to create that folder and then populate the Dropbox file structure underneath that folder.
Another scenario is that rather than performing a full and complete migration of the Dropbox folder structure we instead select a particular folder to migrate from Dropbox. In this case we need to enter the following into the Advanced Options:
This option will index all of the folders in the source and then will go back and index only the specified folder name in the root. Any and all folders and files underneath “folder1” will be migrated to the root folder in the matching user’s OneDrive–unless of course you also submitted a folder-mapping string to the Support Options section.
A final warning for Dropbox migrations is one that’s present in all scenarios but which in our experience seems to manifest itself more in this kind of migration than others. This is regarding the number of folders in the source. BitTitan enumerates the source folders before migrating the files, and this seems to take somewhat longer in Dropbox than in others—such as OneDrive. So, if you’re in a situation where you need to move a few folders at a time, rather than the whole folder structure at once, your migration windows will need to be larger to take this into account.
And of course, once you’re done, be sure to suspend the user from Dropbox.
The BitTitan tool has proven extremely valuable in simplifying, and speeding-up the migration process, while increasing accuracy. We at Anexinet have had a lot of success with BitTitan, and highly recommend it for Office 365 migrations. To learn more, please contact us. We’d be happy to perform the migration for you, allowing your team to focus on other aspects of the project.
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