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Microsoft Boosts OneDrive for Business Storage to 1TB

OneDrive for Business clients will see an increase in their default storage capacity from 25 GB to 1 terabyte (TB) "over the next few months," Microsoft said on Tuesday.

The extra storage space will be available to "all Office 365 ProPlus customers," according to Microsoft's announcement. Microsoft is also promising to provide support for organizations wanting to migrate their cloud storage services over to OneDrive for Business. However, no details about that support were provided.

The 1TB expansion plan sounds like good news for OneDrive for Business users, and Microsoft had hinted that it would expand the storage capacity in early March, which is when it announced a standalone, unbundled OneDrive for Business offering. However, readers commenting in Microsoft's announcement Tuesday did not seem appeased.

The problem is that OneDrive for Business is based on SharePoint. Organizations have had problems with SharePoint's synchronization limitations with OneDrive for Business, which are described in this Microsoft support article.

The big drawback is that users are limited to syncing up to 5,000 items in SharePoint libraries on SharePoint sites (including team sites and community sites). The files that can be synchronized are limited to 2 GB maximum in size. In addition, OneDrive for Business itself has a file sync limitation of up to 20,000 items in its library.

The 5,000-item sync limitation with SharePoint libraries appeared to be the deal breaker for organizations, according to the reader comments. A reader named "boso" pointed to that issue:

It is not the OneDrive limitation (25GB/20K files sync) that our company is strug[g]ling with today; it is the SharePoint Library sync limit of 5k items! And only recently a site collection's limit was increased from 100GB to 1TB. A Whole Site Collection! For an E3-plan, servicing midsized and large companies?

Microsoft SharePoint team member Mark Kashman responded that Microsoft is currently working on those SharePoint sync limits. He specifically responded to boso's comment by saying that "site document library sync'ing has a lower threshold for now."

Microsoft recommends using metadata navigation when an organization uses more than a single site collection, Kashman explained, adding that "we support creation of up to 10,000 site collections for enterprise customers in SPO [SharePoint Online]." He pointed to an article on configuring metadata navigation and an article on configuring search for a Content Search Web Part for those wanting to figure out the nuances.

Kashman also indicated that Microsoft is committed to supporting a Mac version of the OneDrive for Business client by the end of this year. He said that a preview of the Mac sync client had been shown at Microsoft's last SharePoint Conference, referencing this session.

Another complaint by a reader was symbol support on files names. Microsoft limits the use of special characters in file names stored on OneDrive for Business. There also was a complaint about the separation of OneDrive for Business storage from the overall pooled tenant storage quota.

On that latter point, Kashman described the storage separation as a feature of OneDrive for Business. "One of our design goals include[s] making it so admins don't have to manage storage as much," he explained.

Kashman also promised that Microsoft would improve OneDrive for Business' offline behavior. One reader had complained that saving a file twice when offline causes an error.

In general, Kashman explained that with OneDrive for Business, "some improvements land sooner than others." But he described the sync limits as "well understood."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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