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Microsoft Extends Mover Tool to Microsoft 365 Users

Mover, Microsoft's free cloud-to-cloud migration tool, is "now available to Microsoft 365 customers worldwide," Microsoft announced earlier this month.

Mover is both a tool (a Web app that runs in a browser) and the name of company based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that Microsoft bought in October. Typically, it's used to move content and file shares from a cloud service to Microsoft's OneDrive and SharePoint Online services.

The Mover migration tool can be used by organizations as a "self-service" solution for moving so-called "third-party" (non-Microsoft) cloud-based content to Office 365 services. Mover and Microsoft's FastTrack partners also offer migration support services for some organizations.

The Mover tool supports other cloud services, as well. Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, Google G Suite and Amazon WorkDocs are supported. It's described by Microsoft as a free tool for all Microsoft 365 customers. Likely, Mover is not a free tool when moving content to non-Microsoft cloud services, though.

Currently, Mover doesn't yet have support for Office 365 government cloud moves, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft's FastTrack partner service, offering onboarding and migration support for moves to Microsoft 365 services, uses both the Mover tool and the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT), according to Hani Loza, a principal program manager for SharePoint and OneDrive, in a pre-Ignite "Intrazone" talk (reproduced in Microsoft's announcement). FastTrack can be used by all Microsoft 365 subscribers and by Office 365 subscribers with more than 150 seats, according to this Microsoft FAQ document.

During a Microsoft Ignite session back in November, Microsoft outlined its various SharePoint migration tools and roadmap plans. Mover is just for cloud-to-cloud migrations. SPMT is used for moving SharePoint Server content (on the customer's servers or "premises") to SharePoint Online. Currently, the SPMT supports moving SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2010 content. Sometime this year, Microsoft expects to also have support in the SPMT for moving SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 content.

Microsoft had also introduced its new Migration Manager tool during the November Ignite talk. Migration Manager, accessible via the SharePoint Admin Center portal, is still at the preview stage, according to this Microsoft document.

Currently, Migration Manager "does not support the migration of content from SharePoint Server," according to the document (although that's part of Microsoft's stated roadmap plans). In addition, Migration Manager "currently supports only the migration of file shares."

During the Ignite talk, it was explained that Migration Manager is designed to solve the difficulties that organizations have when carrying out SharePoint migrations across multiple machines. It's used to set up clients and create a list of migration tasks. Migration Manager also has reporting capabilities, and it permits IT pros to monitor the progress of a migration.

Microsoft's three migration tools -- Mover, SPMT and Migration Manager -- right now seem somewhat siloed. Microsoft's general aim with its tooling, though, is to make large migrations easier for organizations, Loza had indicated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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