Google Drive to Google Drive Migrations - Best Practice and Concepts

Due to the flexibility of how files and folders can be organized within Google Drive, CloudM Migrate has to perform Google Drive migrations in a specific way to maintain integrity in the destination Drive.  CloudM Migrate has been implemented to provide extremely high integrity and fidelity during a Google Drive migration.  All folder structures, included shared folder structures, file locations, item starring and modification dates are preserved during a migration.


Complex Migration Scenarios

If you have a complex Drive migration scenario such as migrating only a subset of users within a domain or migrating users to different domains CloudM Migrate can be configured to perform migrations such as these using domain replacement and user renaming functionality. Please contact our support team if you have a complex scenario and we can provide guidance on how to configure CloudM Migrate.

There are a few things to be aware of when performing a Google Drive migration.


Provision all Users and Groups Before Migration

You should always provision all of your users and groups before performing a Drive migration. This is required to ensure all sharing and Drive hierarchies are preserved correctly during the migration. 

You should ensure all of your Drive users have Drive enabled in the destination.

Usage of the destination drive during a migration is not recommended. Items may not be moved into place for all users until the full migration for all users has completed.  If items are moved around in the destination domain during a migration multiple problems can occur with migration and may cause migration times to increase significantly.

If you are renaming users as part of the migration, you must make sure all import and export names are present and have been updated to the names in the new system.  You should ensure you have provisioned all of your users before migrating your groups.  You should not rename groups during a migration. This must be done before the migration begins.  If you are migrating Drive items, the tool will warn you before the migration.


Migrate Items Only From Listed Users

This option will migrate only Drive files from those users listed on the Users tab. 'Migrate All Drive Items' should be also set to true for this setting to work. If you want to migrate items from users other than those being migrated add them to the user tab but do not select them for migration.

'Migrate Items Only from Listed Users' should be used with care and only ever used if you are only migrating a subset of your users.  If you are migrating all of your users during a migration, you should not select this option for any part of your migration.  If you do use the option, you should ensure that your user list is fully correct before starting the first migration.


Migrate Contents of Non-Owned Folders

Migrate files from folders not owned by the migrating user/s. This usually only needs enabling when some users are not migrated but the Drive items need to be migrated. Folders will always be processed.  This option should not be used in conjunction with 'Migrate Items Only From Listed Users'.


Files and Folders May be Migrated for Other Users

During a migration of the migrating user, files and folders that were shared with the migrating user may be migrated for the owning users, even when they are not being migrated at that time. This is essential to preserve the complex structure of Google Drive. It is possible to disable this action by setting the option ‘Migrate All Drive Items’ to False, but it is highly recommended to use the default behaviour to preserve Drive integrity.


Files from Outside of the Domain

Only files owned by users inside your domain are migrated. While it may be possible to migrate files from outside of the domain where the user has edit access, this involves making changes to files outside of the migrating domain which raises many security issues for the external domains and is therefore not enabled.


Folder Hierarchies from Outside of the Domain

It is possible to add folders that have been shared with you into your folder hierarchy, and other users could also have done the same thing. If this is a folder from outside of your domain, then the first user to migrate the folder will become the new owner and it will then be treated as belonging to that user. All external ACLs will be removed from the folder (but all domain ACLs will be preserved).


Comments and Revision History

Comments can be migrated but revision history cannot. See here for details on comments migration.


Deleted Files and Folders

Deleted files and folders a user owns are not migrated. 

If a user has deleted a file that has been shared with them making the file invisible in their account (but not actually delete the source file or the sharing rights), then these files will be visible again in the ‘Shared with me’ folder following migration.  This particular case is not handled by CloudM Migrate as its usage is rare, and when encountered increases migration times. Additionally, even though the file may be invisible, the sharing rights as allocated by the sharer still exist.


Renaming Users and/or Groups

CloudM Migrate has functionality to allow user or group email addresses to be changed or mapped during a migration.  This is achieved via address replacements. See the article about address replacements to understand how they should be used. Please ensure you read and understand the article fully before migrating.

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