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SP 2013 Online

Posted on 2014-10-20
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Last Modified: 2014-10-20
Hi Experts.

I'm looking closely at SharePoint Online as an extranet solution for document sharing with clients. Ultimately, I'm looking for a solution that is easily "brandable", provides a professional presentation, and is easy to use for my users and clients. SP Online looks like it could fit the bill.

Has anyone had any experience with SP Online good, bad, or ugly? Part of the research is to also identify weaknesses, potential security compromises, and the like. I would appreciate any experiences, recommendations, and/or directions.
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Question by:Eddie_1
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Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40392730
SharePoint Online is brandable. "Easily" ...not terrible, but not simple either. As far as security goes, logins can be secured a variety of ways and with ADFS or azure AD, MFA is possible. Data security is another matter. The data is not encrypted currently while at rest. For some, that is a big issue. For others, not at all. There have been no publicly documented cases of breaching Sharepoint Online's storage directly though. For me, I don't worry much about the data being encrypted while at rest. Then there is the legal issues about governments and subpoenas for access. Any cloud solution has these challenges as the law has not caught up to the technology. So it does have to be considered.

Overall, I am a fan of SO. Reasonable service at a very reasonable price. But YMMV.
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Author Comment

by:Eddie_1
ID: 40392781
Hey Cliff. What does "data at rest" mean?
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 250 total points
ID: 40392802
Data at Rest refers to the actual files on the hard drives. Whole Disk Encryption is what usually covers that requirement, however, Microsoft's Datacenters have significant physical security and other technical controls that typically mitigate the risks of not encrypting data at rest.

That said, look into the Onedrive portion of Office 365. It uses SO, but doesn't require you to purchase SO licenses. Onedrive licenses are cheaper than SO (A SO license is 8 dollars per user/month, while Onedrive is 2.50), and allows you to share files more easily, since users don't have to log in to SO to access them, but the files are protected by limiting access to users who use a specific link they are emailed (that has some rights management and other features to prevent unauthorized access).
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Author Comment

by:Eddie_1
ID: 40392975
One Drive for Business is a semi-alternative. The scope is to provide a host for file sharing and perhaps collaboration. I don't have a lot of experience with One Drive yet but would to use it in conjunction with our Office 365 subscription for remote user backup. The dilemma is how to manage another users' One Drive, for example, if there's a separation between the user and company.  

Using One Drive seems to possibly be cumbersome for each user to share a doc, each doc to many others. Would this be any different than using SP Online though?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 40393131
The management interface for One Drive is actually done through the SharePoint admin interface in Office 365. Each user's One Drive is a site collection that is managed through the Manage User Profiles section of Sharepoint Online administration. If you go through there you can grant administrative rights to terminated or otherwise absent users' OneDrive.

As for how cumbersome it would be, that depends a lot on how you manage it. It also depends on what you need it for. If you just need a system to allow users to send files to one another, it's more than sufficient. However, if you need a system that allows multiple users to access a file from a central repository, Sharepoint Online will work better.
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Author Comment

by:Eddie_1
ID: 40393194
Thanks Cliff and acbrown2010.
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