Why SharePoint Hybrid does not make sense

hybrid Sharepoint

With the release of SharePoint 2016 the integration with Cloud Services were given first time. With the upcoming Release of SharePoint 2019, it will get more integration to Cloud offerings like Azure Functions and Office 365. Microsoft recognizes that the first step into the cloud a SharePoint Hybrid Scenario seems to make sense for many organizations.

The vision is still cloud first. Cloud first means that every feature will be available in cloud first. You see this on the feature list of the upcoming SharePoint 2019 Version. Those features are mostly already available in the cloud.

Hybrid Picker

Microsoft now offers a so called hybrid picker. This Hybrid picker is a wizard which helps the it departments to connect the SharePoint Onpremise world with their Cloud Office 365 or SharePoint Online tenant.

Here are some features of the hybrid picker

OneDrive Hybrid

the link to local my websites will be redirected to SharePoint Online Onedrive

Hybrid App Launcher

the app launcher known from SharePoint Online, will be also available onpremise with links to the cloud services

Hybrid monitoring

(only for SharePoint 2016) you can upload useractivity protocols to Office 365 compliance center and show these in the compliance center of Office 365.

Hybrid taxonomie

It makes a central termstore which is editable in the Office 365 and readable in your onpremise SharePoint. It contains also hybrid content types.

Hybrid Search

This one should be known already. The search index will be in the cloud available and you can search for items in onpremise SharePoint and cloud, but the index is stored in the Office 365 Cloud tenant.

hybrid Sharepoint

There is a way to have two index, one onpremise and one in the cloud.

hybrid Sharepoint

Please read the article.

Why hybrid does not make sense

Well, if you see all details of the hybrid picker and the hybrid options, you’ll find out the following: Mostly it is a redirection to Cloud or the feature uses the cloud with Office 365 as primary (storage) location. So your primary termstore is in Office 365, your “primary” search index is stored in Office 365 Cloud, your onedrive and personal sites are linked to the cloud sites.

So why should you use a hybrid solution?

Well, often the reason is that you have certain data which should not be stored in the cloud. If you think about this scenario, you recognize, that you cannot use then the hybrid search because the index with all relevant data is stored in the cloud Search Service Application.

[Update]: You should then use the option with two index, one in the cloud and one onpremise. Thanks for the hint @spsmadrid (Giuliano De Luca), who gave me this hint.

The hybrid termstore and content types make no sense in this scenario. If you have data based on content types, which should not move to the cloud, why you should use those content types in the cloud? If you have terms which should only be available in your onpremise system, you would not synchronize those with the cloud.

As you can see on long term it makes no sense to go hybrid. In this case it might be better to go directly into Office365 completely.

But if you plan to go into Office365 completely with your organzation it only makes sense for the transition phase. For example if you have custom solutions which are not cloud-ready at the moment, it can help you for a period of time till your solutions are cloud ready.

Another option might be to have Cloud and OnPremise separated without a connection to each other. It depends on what your goal is. In all cases you should care about an Azure AD.

I would like to hear what you are thinking about a hybrid cloud. So please feel free to comment 🙂


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About Karsten Schneider 312 Articles
Consultant for Microsoft 365 Applications with a strong focus in Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business as well as PowerPlatform with PowerApps, Flow and PowerBI. I provide Workshops for Governance & Security in Office 365 and Development of Solutions in the area of Collaboration and Teamwork based on Microsoft 365 and Azure Cloud Solutions. In his free time he tries to collect tipps and worthy experience in this blog.


  1. Maybe such Business case is useful for hybrid :
    -your customer data on premise due to legal restriction, maybe form based authentication
    -your company data in the cloud

    Yet ive never had this scenario ! Two on premise environment though yes. And there are hybrid configurations (search, metadata..)

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