Hybrid Environment


Planning SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business Migrations
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In this course, we take you through planning a migration to SharePoint and OneDrive in Microsoft 365.

Learning Objectives

  • The steps for planning a migration to SharePoint and Onedrive in Microsoft 365
  • The best practices when migrating to SharePoint and Onedrive in Microsoft 365
  • The different options for the migration process
  • The tools and resources available to you when migrating to SharePoint and Onedrive in Microsoft 365
  • Various considerations when planning a migration

Intended Audience

  • Users looking to learn about planning a migration to SharePoint Online and OneDrive


  • A basic understanding of Microsoft 365



When planning the migration to Microsoft 365, it is likely that the first decision made is whether you will be making the move to a hybrid or purely cloud-based environment. Understanding this is imperative as it greatly impacts not only the migration process, but how your environment will work once the migration is completed. A purely cloud environment will move your organization to the complete SAS solution of Microsoft 365 and remove the need for on-premises infrastructure. However, if your organization already has existing infrastructure in place, you may be looking to migrate to a hybrid environment. The benefits of a hybrid scenario is that it can integrate with your existing infrastructure, and pulls in the Microsoft 365 benefits to provide additional cloud functionality. In regards to SharePoint in OneDrive, this works by using something called redirection, which is exactly what you might expect it to be.

Any time a user attempts to access a service within the on-premises SharePoint server, they will be automatically redirected to the equivalent service within Microsoft 365. Let's quickly cover some example features available in the hybrid environment. Firstly, hybrid OneDrive; By redirecting users from their SharePoint server to OneDrive, organizations can continue to utilize their on-premises SharePoint server and also provide the additional benefits of OneDrive's cloud functionality like collaboration and sharing files. The next feature is hybrid site following functionality. User's site follows are added to a followed sites list that consolidates all followed sites from both the SharePoint server and SharePoint in Microsoft 365, thereby reducing confusion by maintaining a single location for any followed site. The next feature we have is hybrid profiles. By default, both your on-premises SharePoint server and Microsoft 365 environment will have their own independent profiles.

A hybrid environment, however, uses redirection to automatically direct users to their Microsoft 365 profiles, and can even enable single sign-on with directory synchronization of identities through Azure AD Connect. Next is the extensible hybrid app launcher. While both on-premises SharePoint server and Microsoft 365 will continue to have different launchers, any tile that you pin to your Microsoft 365 app launcher will also appear in your SharePoint server app launcher. Another feature is hybrid self-service site creations. This is another example of redirection, as users navigating to the default SharePoint server site creation page will automatically be redirected to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 creation page, which will create the site in Microsoft 365. And finally, the hybrid search feature. This is the incredibly helpful feature that consolidates search results from both on-premises and Microsoft 365 contents into a single search center. And the hybrid search feature actually leads us perfectly into another great feature known as hybrid taxonomy.

This feature is a bit more than a simple redirection as it effectively recreates your entire SharePoint server taxonomy within Microsoft 365. As defined by Microsoft, a taxonomy is a formal classification system. A taxonomy groups the words, labels, and terms that describe something, and then arranges the groups into a hierarchy. This allows organizations to copy their existing taxonomy directly to Microsoft 365 by using PowerShell, and maintains a consistent taxonomy regardless of the sites being utilized. In the hybrid SharePoint scenario, the taxonomy is mastered within Microsoft 365, so any changes should be made within M365, which will replicate to the term store in the SharePoint server. Now, there are some requirements to implementing a hybrid SharePoint environment. Specifically being: The organization must be running SharePoint server 2013 or 2016, it must be running the 2016 or 2017 public update depending on the taxonomy and content type, and user accounts must be synchronized between your on-premises Active Directory Domain Services and Azure AD through Azure AD Connect.

Now, that all might sound like a lot of information and requirements, but Microsoft provides a tool called the hybrid picker, which can be used to help configure and connect your on-premises SharePoint server with SharePoint in Microsoft 365. The tool can configure the following features: Hybrid OneDrive, hybrid site features, hybrid app launcher, business-to-business extranet sites, hybrid taxonomy, hybrid self-service site creation, and cloud hybrid search. Each of these features are part of SharePoint hybrid through the hybrid picker, and can be implemented by following the guided steps through the picker tool. For more information on planning a SharePoint hybrid environments, check out the documentation below.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Lee has spent most of his professional career learning as much as he could about PC hardware and software while working as a PC technician with Microsoft. Once covid hit, he moved into a customer training role with the goal to get as many people prepared for remote work as possible using Microsoft 365. Being both Microsoft 365 certified and a self-proclaimed Microsoft Teams expert, Lee continues to expand his knowledge by working through the wide range of Microsoft certifications.