Just after Google slashed the price of storage in Google Drive, Microsoft responded. It's giving SharePoint Online a massive cloud storage boost. When all the sniping has been said and done, enterprises and business users are the big winners. 

Cloud Storage

In fact, according to the blog post Microsoft slipped in under the radar late Friday, there is no longer any limit on how much data users can store on the online platform. It has also introduced 1 terabyte site collections, which will make collaboration on projects easier.

The addition of better storage functionalities to SharePoint has been an ongoing project since Microsoft launched Office 365 with SharePoint Online.

However, in the current vicious, storage price slashing that is going on across all the big providers, this announcement could be seen as a response to recent announcements by Google and Amazon cutting the price of storage to almost laughable levels.

SharePoint is not a storage product, but will benefit massively from increased storage. It will also benefit from enterprises users expanding their use of SharePoint Online for collaboration, document management and enterprise content management.

Mark Kashman, a senior product manager at SharePoint, said the enhancements, which were mooted but never detailed during the recent SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, will be rolled-out internationally over the coming weeks. They will include:

  • A 1TB site collection limit for OneDrive for Business and team sites
  • Infinite tenant storage scale

SharePoint Online Admin Center storage.jpg

SharePoint Online Storage

This will enable teams in the enterprise store more content in a single location and will lift restrictions on the amount of content users will be able to place in the cloud:

All your site collections – private and public, managed from the SharePoint Online admin center – can now have up to 1TB of storage allocation. You simply assign the desired amount to the selected site collection. The same holds true for users1 OneDrive for Business that start with a default of 25GB/user allocation. Your SharePoint Online admin can now allocate more storage, up to 1TB, to users in the following increments: 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1024GB,” he said.

In practical terms, this means it will be easier to share and collaborate on work projects, as well as enable the creation of large team document centers that even disparate teams can access and work in.

SharePoint Online Admin Center.jpg


Buying more storage

SharePoint Online Growth

Behind all this is the massive growth in SharePoint Online. While there aren’t any independently veritable figures for the number of people that have signed up, there is little doubt that Office 365 and SharePoint Online have been pretty successful to date.

According to Kashman, SharePoint Online use has exploded since April 2013 when Microsoft gave it a massive upgrade. In 12 months, it reportedly experienced a 485 percent growth in user access and a 500 percent year-on-year growth.

Microsoft is clearly expecting this growth to continue, especially across the enterprise space, as it has also announced that Office 365 and SharePoint Online have architected the storage design to enable infinite storage scale. The result is that for business users, Office 365 offers the following:

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."

You will also be able to buy unlimited additional storage from within your SharePoint Online admin center at a cost per gigabyte (GB) per month.

The new storage plans apply to enterprise users only and exclude home premium plans, dedicated subscriber plans and government plans.