German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Backs up, Migrates Intranet to SharePoint® 2013 with DocAve®

Kritieke behoeften

  • Back up SharePoint 2007and restore at the item level
  • Migrate 5 gigabytes (GB)to SharePoint 2013,discarding outdatedcustomizations
  • Migrate contentincrementally withmetadata intact

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  • DKFZ
  • Locatie van de klant Heidelberg, Germany
  • Industrie Research
  • Platform SharePoint 2013
  • AvePoint oplossingenBackup & Restore

Success Highlights

  • Backed up SharePoint 2007 with full fidelity and automation, eliminating need for an in-house backup solution with PowerShell
  • Accelerated SharePoint intranet migration by omitting stale data and migrating incrementally
  • Increased software efficiency and optimized system through an AvePoint service day
quote When it comes to the scope and quality of the solution, DocAve is clearly the go-to solution provider. quote
Bernd Rasemann ITCF –AG Datenbanken – TeamInternet & Intranet, DKFZ

De uitdaging

Finding a cure for cancer. It’s an ongoing medical dilemma in which doctors and scientists invest countless hours. The German Cancer Research Center, the largest biomedical research institute in Germany with more than 3,500 employees, investigates cancer mechanisms, identifies risk factors, and uncovers strategies to prevent people from being diagnosed with cancer.

In addition to the medical technology required to conduct experiments and make progress in this field, DKFZ implements SharePoint as an intranet and a collaboration platform to support team-based projects. While not a microscope or test tube, SharePoint is a critical instrument for DKFZ to impact the biomedical industry and strive towards eliminating cancer.

DKFZ needed to back up 220 gigabytes (GB) of data within its SharePoint 2007 deployment, as well as migrate its intranet to SharePoint 2013 to bolster collaboration among 3,500 end users. To do so successfully, the organization began searching for a third-party solution.

De AvePoint oplossing

Among other vendor options, DKFZ selected DocAve Backup and Restore, part of AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform, because it offered functionalities and features that other tools did not. DocAve Backup and Restore provides full fidelity backup and recovery while maintaining all metadata, security settings, and version histories. “When it comes to the scope and quality of the solution, DocAve is clearly the go-to solution provider,” said Bernd Rasemann, ITCF – AG Datenbanken – Team Internet & Intranet.

While DKFZ also created an in-house backup solution with PowerShell, DocAve was the best option for the organization to implement a granular automated backup of the entire platform to Tivoli Storage Manager. “Our in-house PowerShell backup scenario cannot be compared with what AvePoint offers when it comes to security and scope,” Rasemann said.

In addition, DocAve Migrator led the way for DKFZ to achieve a successful intranet migration to SharePoint 2013, but the path was not easy. “Our goal was to migrate 5 GB of data. The problem was not the data volume, but the outdated applications and customizations,” Rasemann said. Time was also a potential snag, but one that DKFZ overcame by working with AvePoint. “We could not manage the entire migration project alone,” Rasemann said. “We had already devoted 1.5 years, but with AvePoint’s support, we were able to complete the project in only 6 months.”

DocAve Migrator also allowed DKFZ to migrate selectively, discard stale data, and customize the migration schedule in a fully-functional tool. “The biggest advantage of DocAve was the incremental migration capacity,” Rasemann said. “We had around 1,200 site collections with metadata that we could simply migrate. No manual jobs were required, which would have been a nightmare.”

DKFZ also took advantage of a service day with Robert Mulsow, AvePoint Director of TSP, EMEA. “Together, Mr. Mulsow and I reviewed the details of DocAve, eliminated mistakes, optimized the system, and activated important features, like an alert system via email notifications,” Rasemann said. “Overall, I gained a better understanding of how the software works, and can apply that knowledge to increase the efficiency of our SharePoint intranet.”


For a cancer research organization like DKFZ, time is critical. With SharePoint, its end users can communicate their discoveries quickly and easily, and focus on what they do best: finding strategies to eliminate cancer. When DKFZ needed to backup and restore SharePoint 2007, as well as migrate a 5 GB intranet to SharePoint 2013, DocAve aligned with these requirements.

Looking ahead, AvePoint’s solutions and services will play an important role in DKFZ’s SharePoint deployments, particularly for backup and restore. DKFZ can continue to rely on AvePoint’s 24/7 global technical support team to achieve success with these projects. “During the migration process, we were in touch with the support team, which did well to arrive at solutions for us,” Rasemann said.

Overall, the service day was the most positive experience for the organization. “My favorite part of working with AvePoint was how involved Mr. Mulsow was,” Rasemann said. “He answered our questions professionally and was happy to share his in-depth knowledge. We would definitely recommend the service day to other companies.”

With DocAve, DKFZ can focus less on troubleshooting snags in SharePoint, and more on boosting collaboration among end users. “After the service day, we feel much more confident handling this project on our own, all because of AvePoint and Mr. Mulsow’s dedicated efforts,” Rasemann said.

About DKFZ

DKFZ is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the largest scientific organization in the country.