Migrating M-Files to the Cloud

Scott Olesen
Dec 28, 2021 9:47:43 AM

An alternative to hosting M-Files on-premises is the M-Files Cloud. Compared to on-premises deployment, M-Files Cloud provides scalability and high availability without the need for investments in infrastructure and maintenance.

TEAM IM has migrated many existing M-Files customers to the Cloud and has documented the process. Feel free to use these steps in your own migration project or reach out to us, and we can lead you through the steps and take care of all the details.

Prepare for the Migration

  1. Notify M-Files Cloud Team that you want to migrate your on-premises vault to the cloud and provide them with the anticipated timeline. When coordinating with multiple teams, you should plan on the migration taking at least three weeks, but it could take much longer for larger vaults with strict security policies.
  2. Upgrade your on-premises OS, database, M-Files Server, and M-Files Clients to a version compatible with the M-Files Cloud. The M-Files Cloud Team will let you know which versions are required, but we have found that the M-Files Cloud typically runs the latest version of M-Files (as should be expected). They also have minimum requirements for the SQL Server database.
  3. The latest M-Files subscription has object count limits that may not be imposed on the version you are running on-premises. Check the object count for the vault and make sure they are within the subscription limits.
  4. The M-Files Cloud is typically accessed over the internet, so you will want to check that your company firewall is configured to allow connectivity.
  5. On the vault, run the database “optimize” and “verify and repair (through)” utilities successfully. It is best to resolve any issues before the migration begins. Not doing this could cause the entire migration to fail, and you may need to restart the process.
  6. Comb through the event logs on your M-Files Server and resolve any critical errors before the migration begins. Again, any major issues not resolved before the migration could cause the entire process to fail.
  7. Audit your login and user accounts. Delete any unnecessary/unused Login and User accounts from M-Files to reduce the clutter in the Cloud Vault.
  8. If you have custom vault applications or scripts, arrange for a code review for them with the M-Files Cloud Team. Any code running in the M-Files Cloud must be reviewed and certified by an M-Files Cloud developer. If the code is not needed or could be handled via a configuration, it is best to change that before the migration.
  9. Get the Azure storage location from the M-Files Cloud Team and ensure back-ups can be transferred to it from your on-premises server.
  10. Catalog any integrations and verify the design/connection for the M-Files Cloud. If needed, design alternative methods to allow the integrations to work after the migration.
  11. You need to determine your method of authentication and user group syncing in the Cloud Vault before the migration begins. Your options are M-Files, Azure AD: SCM, or Sync Plugin. If you use Active Directory (AD) authentication on-premises, you will need to change the method of authentication because it will not be available in the M-Files Cloud. If moving to Azure AD for authentication from on-premises AD, one option is to sync your on-premises AD to Azure AD. If moving to Azure AD, a document which on-premises AD accounts and groups are connected to which Azure AD accounts and groups. After the vault is migrated to the M-Files Cloud, you will manually map the accounts using the M-Files Admin tool.
  12. Let the M-Files Cloud Team know that you have completed the prep steps.

Perform the Migration

  1. The easiest method is to freeze the contribution/updates to on-premises vault while the migration is happening. If that is not possible, you will need to set up data replication between the on-premises vault and the cloud vault once the cloud vault is restored.
  2. Take an export/back-up of the on-premises vault and upload it to M-Files Azure Cloud Storage provided by the M-Files Cloud team.
  3. M-Files Cloud team will restore the cloud vault from the provided backup.
  4. You will receive a welcome email once the vault is restored with the connection details. Log in to the cloud vault map the legacy accounts and groups to new accounts and groups, if needed. If using Azure AD, then you will need to configure the connection and sync the user accounts from it first.
  5. Perform basic connection and functional tests. Turn over to test users for User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

Go-live on the Cloud

  1. Once the cloud vault passes UAT, change everyone’s connection details to point to the Cloud Vault. This could be performed manually or scripted in an automatic update.
  2. Once everyone is switched to the cloud vault, take the on-premises vault offline and shut down servers.
  3. Make sure to engage with your support team so they understand the changes and can properly support you going forward.


TEAM IM is a global enterprise solutions and technology company. Utilizing best-in-class technologies to put unstructured data to work, TEAM has successfully implemented thousands of business solutions across a diverse spectrum of organizations of varying sizes and industry focus. TEAM’s offerings include expert professional services, managed support services, custom development, and solutions in many areas, including Content Management, Records Management, Workflow, Analytics, and Collaboration. TEAM has offices across the globe, with resources in every discipline and service offering available to support you, wherever you’re located. For more information, visit our website

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