Howto use OneDrive as File server and Shared Mailbox replacement for 10+ people ?

Senior IT System Engineer
Senior IT System Engineer used Ask the Experts™
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Hi People,

I’ve got multiple people would like to use OneDrive as the shared mailbox and file server replacement so that they can collaborate and put files into the One Drive with some permission.

How can I achieve this with One Drive that is part of the Office 365 E3 license? because I am still confused how to create One Drive as File share for a dedicated team of Mac & Windows users.

My understanding is that OneDrive on E3 license is maximum 1 TB per user, so if I have the group of 10 marketing people, the one Drive I can allocate for the Marketing people to dump their files and collaborate is about 10 TB ?

Regards,
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
There are several options, but your scenario sounds like creating an office 365 group will meet your needs. That creates a onedrive formbusiness shared storage area for the group automatically.

Author

Commented:
OK, so it is OneDrive for Business.
Regarding the quota, is there any limitations with Office 365 Groups ?
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Yes. What specifically do you want to know?
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Author

Commented:
As I'm trying to move away from the OnPremise NTFS file server, my requirements are:
1. To be able to set permission who can access to this drive and who cannot access it anymore (Permission based ACL now in the OnPremise NTFS file server)
2. Collaborate between MacOSX and Windows OS user.
3. Utilize the current OneDrive 1 TB quota per user in Office 365 E3 license.

Would that be possible with O365 Groups?
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Sort of. File shares are based on decades old protocols. Overdrive for business is different. ACLs as you know them don't exist when dealing with onedrive for business. You'll have a learning curve.

2 and 3 yes and yes.
If this was a new request, I would ask why OneDrive? I tell my clients..OneDrive is for one person, SharePoint is for sharing. Once you setup a SP site, then you can work with Teams for sharing in there with SP links.

If they need a shared mailbox, I have them buy a mbx just for this purpose, most want to edit data on their mobile devices and editing cannot be done on a shared mbx or even shared with a regular mbx with permission.
Alexander ArdatovSoftware Manager
Commented:
Unfortunately, OneDrive is not supporting files sharing locks. So, two or more persons may overwrite files. And permissions could not be applied to files/folders.
I may only suggest to migrate your existing OnPremise NTFS file server to the cloud as VM and configure VPC to for the server. So, everyone who has access to your network will able to access it, and you will keep your permissions to the files.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Onedrive is for one person. OneDrive for Business is actually built on SharePoint, and when you create an O365 Group, they get a OneDrive for Business space that is already shared, easy for quick collaboration, and a SharePoint Team Site with a document library, which can be used for more structured workflows and metadata.  But OD4B is an easier transition for small teams, which is what this sounds like. Thus my answer that multiple paths exist, but an O365 Group is probably an easier learning curve for both the admin and the end users.  OD4B is definitely not just for individuals.

As for the other, while NTFS permissions don't really apply anymore, it is conceptually a shift in access control.  Just like someone coming from Linux doesn't know NTFS, that doesn't mean NTFS is bad or that the user should spin up Linux and Samba just to stay with access control they are familiar with.  Controlling access to OD4B is handled by Azure AD, and in this scenario, would be controlled by who is a member of the O365 group.  

In the old world, a user could still copy an NTFS file they have access permissions for to a USB drive and give it to whoever they want. Similarly, while OD4B will restrict access to files to the group, a user could still copy the file. So NTFS doesn't prevent any sort of data leak that OD4B would allow.  If you want to prevent that, Microsoft IRM was always a requirement, and now Azure RMS is the spiritual successor to that as well.

Don't get me wrong, OD4B and SharePoint aren't a one-size fits all solution. But for someone looking to move to a cloud-first solution, I wouldn't necessarily jump to an NTFS VM just because either. It is assessing needs and picking the best solution, and based on my initial assessment of the OPs question, a small team wanting a collaborative workspace with controlled access, OD4B hits all of those checkboxes.
chilemooreVP of Information Technology
Commented:
I'm in the probes of moving our File Shares to O365.  The approach I'm taking is creating Microsoft Teams per department and uploading their corresponding File Share to the Team Files.  They can then sync the files and folders they want locally to have a copy.  Not sure how multiple edits will scale but I've done this in smaller deployments.  I also have a 3rd party service backup up all may 0365 data so as not to depend only on OneDrive for Business versioning.  

Do keep in mind if you currently have NTFS nested permissions that may be problem.  I would suggest you restrict who can create Groups/Teams.  

Let me know how things go.

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for the sharing people!

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