Challenges in Migrating Teams Between Tenants

There are many functional components of Teams which bring together the best of Microsoft Office 365 collaboration components into one single experience. Since it is pulling together many functional components this means the data is stored in multiple places, making it more complicated than just picking up a Team, and moving it.  

There are also the dependencies on non-Teams components with the AD user accounts, groups, and potentially mailboxes. Since Teams leverages all these components, it can make managing these dependencies and migrating a Team challenging and cumbersome and without the support of a tool designed to oversee all of it. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the functional components that make this challenging. The below diagram is a logical architecture of Teams. It's fairly high level, but it's straight from Microsoft 

Microsoft Teams logical architecture

Key components

  • Tabs, apps, and chats for the users are all tied to OneDrive for Business 
  • Voice components are stored in Exchange with contacts messages, and images 
  • Teams data such as files, apps, channels, and tabs are stored in SharePoint and Office 365 Groups  

You can see when you are doing a Teams migration, you are basically doing SharePoint migration,  OneDrive migration and Exchange mailbox migration. There is a lot of specific content and configuration that turns all of that into the Teams site. Whatever migration solution you choose needs to be able to manage all these dependencies and pieces into a single and secure migration without disruption to your end users. 

Another Teams migration challenge is storage. Let's break down storage a little bit. The below is another diagram from Microsoft.  

Microsoft Teams Storage challenges

Key points

  • Exchange is still in the picture handling meetings mailboxes contacts and images and compliance as well for the Teams site 
  • SharePoint is handling site content, and simple site pages, as well as content storage for the Teams site 
  • OneDrive is used to capture the individual chat, and individual user-stored video recordings are stored in Stream 

So, if you are going to migrate Teams, you want as many of these pieces to be able to enter the underlying configurations for the related Azure  AD objects as humanly possible. Again, it is not as simple as just picking up a Teams site and moving it. It is a complex endeavor that requires the coordination of a convoluted set of configurations and data stores. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that Microsoft makes updates to their platform on a regular basis, so any tool you choose must be agile enough to pivot with those changes quickly to meet the transformation needs of your company. 

If you have ever done a migration or consolidation project before, then you know you need to have all of your ducks in a row before you move the first byte of data.  For more insights and best practice recommendations on analyzing your organization’s Microsoft Teams, watch our on-demand webinar Enhance Remote Work by Consolidating Microsoft Teams into a Unified TenantAnd if you have a Microsoft Teams migration project in the near future, contact us to learn more about our solutions for migrating, onboarding, analyzing, monitoring and managing Teams today.