Yes/No Advice on Moving our File Server Network Drive to the Cloud?

I need suggestions on advantages and disadvantages of moving our file server to the Cloud.

We use a network drive (about 20 users, approximately 10 concurrently) basically as a file server. Each workstation has a Drive C containing Office 365, a couple of accounting programs and various utility programs. All billing, correspondence, data, reports and spreadsheets are stored on Drive F (ie, the server, approximately 50GB). Most of the current work files are within a  single directory on the file server. That directory is shared, via ShareFile, is about 30GB. There are 5 or 6 employees who are running ShareFile on the laptops who access that directory via ShareFile.

Sharefile does funny things to the file permission settings that I do not quite understand. Even though a file IS NOT marked READ ONLY, once ShareFile shares the file, it is READ ONLY. Although annoying, it is workable. I would like to move the 30GB shared directory, or for that matter the entire 50GB file server directory to the Cloud. That way users are the office or those working via laptop would have access to the same files.

I assume this is possible. Is it advisable? The advantages are obvious, but what are the disadvantages? Costs? File Conflicts? Speed?
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberAsked:
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well speed is probably the biggest even if you have good Internet Connection it surely can't beat a simple Gigabit line...
Personally i would implement a syncing strategy between your file server and cloud that have the best of both worlds

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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
John Tsioumpris makes a good point.
Historically, internet service upload speeds were lower than download speeds.  This is likely changing and has changed for some.
But, assuming some difference between UP and DOWN speeds, if your necessary service responsiveness is mostly focused on the time it takes to open a file then maybe you'll be happy with 1Gbps service (or less even).
But, if saving changes or uploading new versions is speed-sensitive then it can be disappointing when, indeed, folks are used to Gigabit speeds on the LAN and that's not what you're buying.
I find that 1Gbps speeds are great and that 100Mbps speeds are well-tolerated by many office needs.  Even 30Mbps gets no comments / complaints re: file transfers.

Do we understand that there would be no local file server?
Get SharePoint online from Microsoft and store your data there
Manage your access permissions through azure ad cloud only accounts
Use one drive to store your data locally and eventually it will sync to cloud SharePoint library as well
This way user will work locally on files and your internet bandwidth will be used only to upload / download new files
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I asked this question of Microsoft at the latest MVP Global Summit and the answer from them was largely as the first post here.

Keep the documents in both places and sync them.
Check the Accounting program:  QuickBooks and similar need to be on a fast local server.

But documents in the cloud should be easily accessible remotely which is helpful .
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberAuthor Commented:
I believe we should maintain a local file server. The problem comes from how best to allow the 5 or 6 remote users to access shared files. Personally, I was happy with the server running ShareFile and each remote user doing the same. Originally we used OneDrive but seemed to get a lot of file conflicts. Our IT guy kept getting the runaround from Microsoft support so he insisted we go to Sharefile. Now he is saying ShareFile is NOT meant to be running on our File Server and we are violating their license agreement. Now insists that each workstation run ShareFile. Looking at ShareFile's website I am not seeing any of this. I appears to me that one license for our server and each remote user is adequate.

Hoping someone more familiar with these issues than I am can shed some light.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
well you can always rent a cheap VPS and access it either via Ssh or Ftp...files remotely and secured...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you wish to maintain a local server you can provide remote access by VPN or SharePoint. We have both at different clients.

You can outsource Exchange and SharePoint (we do this) and have a local server for internal use
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
Are you from europe, OR is any of your customers, users, .. or data that you manage about someone  from Europe? (even visiting...)
Then better check the GDPR first.  It might severly restrict what cloud you store stuff into...
legislation is almost two years old now, and it will become enforcible from may 25th onwards. (Fines start at Eur 20M or 4% of Gross Turnover worldwide, which ever is highest).
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the good advice and No, I am not from Europe.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to help
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