Monday, September 1, 2014

SharePoint Online Storage Calculation Updates


There have been new modifications to SharePoint Online storage. All for the better. If you have been following SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, there has been some truly exciting things going on as of late with the announcement for the ability to support 1 TB site collections and 1 TB OneDrive for Business sites.

I have literally seen this as a complete game changer for enterprise organizations to get rid of expensive legacy file drives and move all user data to the cloud. This allows end users to have access to their data where ever they go across devices. It literally changes the way people work.

So What Is Changing?

In this new blog there are some new announcements -

Updated Usage Model

SharePoint Online Site Collection storage will now only calculates on actual storage utilized. They give an example:

  • Old Model - If you had set the SharePoint Online Site Collection quota at 100 GB, but was only using 20 GB, SharePoint Online would still calculate as if you are using 100 GB from the pooled storage.
  • New Model – If you set a SharePoint Online Site Collection quota to 100, but are only using 20 GB in that specific site collection, SharePoint Online will only count the 20 GB that is actually being used. Meaning you still have 80 GB available in pooled storage.

This is great thing given that direction of:

  1. 1 TB site collection.
  2. No cap on the amount of additional storage you can purchase for SharePoint Online pooled storage.

Remember nothing has changed from how your pooled storage is calculated. It is 10 GB + 500 MB per user. You can purchase as much storage beyond that as you want. OneDrive for Business storage is in no way associated to the calculation for SharePoint Online Pooled storage. Details are located here -

Auto versus Manual

Along with the changes above there is a change in how Site Collections sizes are managed.

  • Old Model – In SharePoint Online, every site collection requires a quota to be set for the Site Collection.
  • New Model – There is a new setting in SharePoint Online called Site Collection Storage Management. This setting can be set to Auto or Manual.
  • New Model Manual - If set to Manual, the SharePoint Online administrator will continue to set quotas to each site collectoin. When set to Manual, the site collection will use the new storage utilization model described above. If the site collection reaches its quota, the administrator will have to allocate more quota. If the site collection does not utilize all the quota but all the SharePoint Online pooled storage, the administrator will either need to free up space or purchase more pool storage on a per GB per month basis.
  • New Model Auto - If set to Auto, none of the Site Collections have a quota set. The site collections will grow to the current system maximum which is 1 TB per site collection. Do not worry, the site collections can only use the SharePoint Online pooled storage that is available to them. An administrator will have to purchase more SharePoint Online pooled storage when it gets maxed out. The SharePoint Online Admin Center has several new reports that will show how much storage you still have available.

I can see some pros/cons for both Auto and Manual. For Auto, the big benefit is if you want to keep it simple, Auto is the perfect choice. There are still some reason why you may want to use Manual over Auto; especially if you are a large organization with a lot of new content being created or acquired. What if there are specific site collections that are consuming large amounts of pooled storage? With Manual you will be able to continue to stop the growth by using quotas. For instance:

  • Check if there are automation processes building up too much data, should something be changed?
  • Determine if the retention policies for content need to be changed.
  • Determine if there is a reason to logically partition data into a new site collections because you see even more long-term growth.
  • Etc.

I still see good reasons why Manual would be needed.

Site Collection Limits

To go along with this, the number of Site Collections is now being increased from 10,000 to 500,000 Site Collections. That is a lot. This was a needed change to support this. You now have the ability to spin up tons of site collections to support this new storage model.

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