Understanding Microsoft 365 – Part 2: Cloud Storage

31 Dec, 2024
Ritchie Farr

Ritchie Farr

The success of Microsoft 365 has a lot to do with how files are stored, shared and accessed. In part 2 of our series on Microsoft 365 we delve into some of the key features, use cases and our top tips for maximising your cloud storage.

The difference between OneDrive and SharePoint

Whilst both OneDrive and SharePoint offer similar functionality with the storage of files there are some key differences. At the highest level the key difference is that OneDrive is designed to allow a single individual to manage their files, whereas SharePoint works better across organisations, departments, and teams.

However SharePoint also offers functionalities to provide company 'intranets' where information and news can be widely shared across companies or teams from a customisable website. For the purposes of this post we are going to focus on 'Document Libraries'.

In terms of storage capacity the two systems differ quite substantially, whereas OneDrive comes with an impressive 1 TB of storage per licensed user, Sharepoint is limited to 1 TB per organisation with 10 GB added per licensed user in the organisation, this amount of storage is great for documents, however for media intensive organisations alternative storage solutions may be required.

OneDrive works best when installed as an App and runs local on your laptop, PC or Mac. I believe its best to use OneDrive as a service to make your computers storage smart, integrating with your existing storage, rather than being a separate storage resource. Using OneDrive to enhance your local storage enables you to quickly share files, access them across multiple devices and maintains a copy of your data should your device be lost or stolen.

Due to these differences I like to describe SharePoint as being an online store for company and departmental files, whereas OneDrive is a online copy of your computers files, that offers you extended features with minimal friction.

Backup and Security

Many organisations don't realise that the responsibility for the security of their data in the cloud is still partly shared with them. Data held in OneDrive and SharePoint should always be backed up to a third party, this gives complete peace of mind and protects against many modern threats.

Microsoft of course have some tools to help with backup and security, and have backups for their services in place. However we recommend implementing a third party solution if you heavily depend on Microsoft 365 for its cloud storage as these often come with many added benefits over native solutions in Microsoft 365.

We offer an optional backup solution that keeps nightly backups of all data from SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams and Exchange; with unlimited data and retention for a low monthly fee per licensed user.

In addition to backing up at server level syncing your OneDrive with your laptop, PC or Mac, will also keep a copy of your files in the cloud. Meaning when you have to replace your computer your files are just a login away, allowing you to get back to being productive quickly and protecting from lost and stolen devices.

Top Tips

  1. Link SharePoint Document Libraries to your desktop

  2. Sync your local files with OneDrive

  3. Get OneDrive installed on your mobile phone

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