Microsoft Gives SharePoint Online a Cloud Storage Boost

Big files? No problem. Microsoft launches 1TB site collections and announces that there is no longer an upper limit to how much data businesses can store on the platform.

SharePoint Online, Microsoft's cloud-based business collaboration platform, has been given a big storage upgrade.

The company announced that it has increased SharePoint Online's site collection limit to a full terabyte, up from 100 gigabytes previously. Business customers now have substantially more headroom for bigger, more storage-intensive projects without overhauling their IT environments—one of the biggest benefits touted by cloud storage providers.

"1TB will let you establish large team document centers that teams can use—and keep using over time—without needing to introduce unwarranted information architecture complexities," boasted Mark Kashman, a SharePoint senior product manager, in a March 14 blog post.

Individual users of OneDrive for Business can also partake of the expanded capacity. SharePoint Online administrators, added Kashman, "can now allocate more storage, up to 1TB, to users in the following increments: 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1024GB."

Microsoft has been continually working to loosen SharePoint Online's technical constraints. In September, the company announced that it had raised the per-file upload limit from 250MB to 2GB and added support for .exe and .dll files.

Along with the new site collection limit, Microsoft announced that businesses can better scale their storage on SharePoint Online. The move comes after a surge in adoption, according to Kashman. In nearly a year, since April 2013, the service has experienced "a 485 percent growth in user access and a 500 percent [year-over-year] growth in customer content storage," he reported.

Kashman further stated that his company's largest customers expressed concerns "about scaling to meet their growing needs, particularly in the future, as data is growing at an increasing rate."

The solution was to architect a storage design for Office 365 and SharePoint Online that enables "infinite storage scale," he wrote, and can accommodate "current storage needs and unlimited future potential." Previously, SharePoint Online Enterprise customers faced a tenant storage maximum limit of 25TB.

Leveraging a combination of OneDrive and Office 365, organizations have access to ample storage for more users without running into limits, suggested Kashman. "Users get a default 25GB of OneDrive for Business storage, + 50GB of email storage, + 5GB for each site mailbox you create, + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10GB + 500MB times the number of users," he wrote.

In a FAQ, the company revealed that 1TB site collections and unlimited tenant storage affect select Office 365 plans, including Enterprise E1, E3 and E4 and Education A2, A3 and A4, and do not apply to Home Premium users.

Since Office 365 Small Business allows for just one site collection, the tenant storage maximum is thereby limited to 1TB. Similarly, Office 365 Midsize Business plans are limited to 20 site collections, effectively capping their setups at 20TB.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...