OneDrive for Business Deployment

UAA IT Services will be rolling out OneDrive for Business to a university computer near you this fall. OneDrive for Business enables you to store, sync, and share up to 5 TB of your files to cloud storage from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device and have a consistent version of the files available to you between all of your devices. Additionally, using Office Online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as the desktop version of Office 2016 you can work on Office documents with others simultaneously.

So why should you use OneDrive for Business instead of other cloud services such as Dropbox and the like? In a nutshell, privacy, security and cost. When individuals sign up with other cloud-based services they enter into personal agreements with the provider that may not provide the necessary protections for university related data. In many of these cases the personal agreements with the vendor may never have been vetted for privacy and security compliance against either University of Alaska Anchorage policy and guidelines, or the University of Alaska Board of Regents polices. Additionally, most cloud storage solutions charge a monthly fee for their services. With OneDrive for Business you have 5 TB of space available for your use anywhere you go at no cost to you.

UAA IT Services has been working over the last several months to transition the UAA Employee Home file share for the storage of personal data from our current on-premise file share to Microsoft Office 365’s OneDrive for Business.

  • What does this project site communicate?
    The project charter, key project documents, updates, and links to applicable knowledge/training resources.
  • What are the key features to the university community?
    • Personal storage will be expanded from an Employee only service to one available to all current university Students, Staff, and Faculty
    • 5 TB of storage space available to all university Students, Staff, and Faculty
    • 15 GB Maximum file size: Individual files have a maximum file size of 15 GB
    • Accessible anywhere: Store and access files from any computer or mobile device that has access to the Internet
    • Share files internally with other university students, staff, and faculty: With your personal OneDrive for Business library you decide which files are private (all by default) and can choose to share specific files and/or folders to just one person, a group of people, or to everyone.
    • Share files with people outside of the university: You can easily share files and/or folder with external guests simply by providing the individual’s email address.
    • Work on documents offline to stay productive even when disconnect from the Internet: Using sync capabilities you can work on a document while offline and save the file to a working folder on your computer. When you reconnect to the Internet, the updated file automatically syncs to your OneDrive for Business library.
    • Use advanced features like versioning and archiving: OneDrive for Business is built upon SharePoint Online which comes with many powerful and easy to use features. This includes:
        • Versioning: Easily roll back to a previous version of the file
        • Recycle Bin: Easily recover deleted documents
        • Tagging: Add meta-data (aka tags) to files to make searching quicker and easier
        • Co-authoring: After you’ve shared a file you can work collaboratively with others on Office documents simultaneously
        • Simplified Search: Searching for file your files has never been easier. On your computer use your computer’s normal search tool, or access your OneDrive for Business library via a web browser and use the integrated search feature of OneDrive for Business.
    • For university owned Windows computers joined to the university’s Active Directory domain the OneDrive for Business folder will automatically map for each authorized individual
        • Individual’s using Mac computers can download an installer package [PROVIDE LINK] that will install the necessary software files.
  • How secure and compliant is this service?
    OneDrive for Business implements important measures that increase the security and compliance of the platform. Security measures include:
    • Encryption in Transit: All data transferred to OneDrive for Business is encrypted with strong encryption (TLS) preventing someone from accessing your data as it traverses from your device to the Microsoft servers.
    • Encryption at Rest: All data is encrypted with a separate encryption key when stored on Microsoft servers to ensure it is not accessible by anyone else.
    • Storage Resiliency: OneDrive for Business data is stored across separate data centers located across the country to ensure maximum resilience and prevent data loss.
    • Legal Hold of Data: All information stored on OneDrive for Business is stored using legal hold, this means that all documents are recoverable to meet Freedom of Information and State Records requirements.
  • Five Terabytes sounds like a much is it?
    • It is estimated that 429,496,725 pages of Word documents would fill 5 TB.
    • If the average book is approximately 650 pages long and consumes approximately 7.57 MB of space. Then you could store 660,764 books.
    • If the average music file is 5 MB you could store 1,000,000 songs, or around 85,000 hours of music.
    • If the average photo is 3.22 MB you could fit 1,550,000 photos.
    • If the average 2-hour video was 6.7 GB you could fit around 746 videos.
  • What is the difference between OneDrive and OneDrive for Business?
    The OneDrive for Business service, aimed at enterprise users, is not the same as the OneDrive service offered by Microsoft to individuals. OneDrive for Business is designed around a more robust security model. Additionally, because OneDrive for Business is associated with your relationship with the University of Alaska, everything stored in it will be inaccessible should you leave the university. For this reason, it’s best to use it to store materials that are your own personal university related (e.g. homework, budget files, reports, etc.) use. Those really cool vacation pictures you want to share with your family might be better off in OneDrive. For storing material that are important to departments, schools, colleges, or other groups at the university indefinitely please consider using a SharePoint Online site instead of OneDrive for Business.
  • What will happen to my existing employee personal file share?

    All existing employee personal file shares will have the data transferred to the individual's OneDrive for Business share. At the date and time that each file share is scheduled to be migrated it will be placed into a read-only status to ensure that no data is added, or changed during the migration process. Individuals will still be able to access the files located on their personal file share; however, they will not be able to make any changes to them. After the file copy is completed for each individual's file share a notification email will be sent to the individual out asking them to verify that their data has been successfully copied.

    Five (5) business days after the data has been copied over to the individual's OneDrive for Business share the on-premises file share will no longer be accessible for use.

    There are a few exceptions to be aware of that will cause some files to not be successfully transferred over. These are:

    • Any file larger than 15 GB.
    • Any file with a filename longer than 256 characters.
    • Any file with a file path longer than 256 characters.


    Any file where one, or more, of these are applicable will not be transferred automatically to OneDrive for Business. Those individuals that have files impacted by these limits will receive a detail email message providing specific information with regards to which files did not copy over. And, if desired, the individual may personally copy over the one or more of these files using the OneDrive for Business desktop client.

  • How will my existing employee personal file share data be migrated?

    All data from existing employee personal file shares will be transfered to your OneDrive for Business share. In order to avoid conflicts with any existing files within your OneDrive for Business share the migrated data will be copied to a folder labeled MD_FileServerName (e.g. MD_AncFilesrv01). This will ensure that individuals who may have personal file shares at multiple geographical locations (e.g. Anchorage, MatSu, Valdez, etc.) will have the data transferred into logically organized destinations.

  • After my data has been transferred why does it say it was last modified by someone other than myself?

    Data stored on network file shares may be modified by one or more automated processes in the background for things such as backup jobs and the like. This may cause the last modified name to be someone other than your own identity. Regardless of whos name is listed as the last modified you should still have access to all the content that is migrated without any issues.

    The following names are possible values that might be displayed as the last modified by value:

    • System Account
    • BUILTIN\Administrators
  • Why are there files in the migrated folder that I don't see on the file share?

    Many operating systems store hidden system files such as .DS_Store, .TemporaryItems, and Thumbs.db to name but a few. In most cases you can safely ignore, or delete these files from your OneDrive for Business file share.

    Some specific files you may see are listed below:

    • .apdisk: This is a file created by macOS when accessing a Microsoft Windows file share. They contain information about mounted folders.
    • .DS_Store: This is a file created by macOS in directories that you view using the Finder. It stores things such as folder view settings and icon positions.
    • .TemporaryItems._Temporary Items, or Temporary Items: These are folders created by applications on macOS. These are used as temporary storage. Ideally, the application using it would cleanup after itself; however, this does not always happen. It is not uncommon to see nested folders/files within these temporary folders such as folders.501, etc.
    • .Trash: This is a folder created by macOS on each drive/share that you delete a file from and stays until you empty your computer's trash.
    • ._AppleDouble: These are files created by macOS when an application adds resource data or metadata to a file on a disk whose format doesn't support resource or metadata.
    • desktop.ini: This is a file created by Windows that determines the way a folder is displayed in Windows. These files are created in any folder that has a customized appearance.
    • Thumbs.db: This is a file created by Windows that contains an image cache which makes thumbnail viewing faster. This file is automatically created in Windows whenever images are encountered in a folder.


Project Documents


Project Updates

  • 9/11/2018 OD4B Progress Update

    Current Status:

    • Continued testing of file transfer process using Microsoft's latest migration tool which provides support for transferring files greater than the previous 2 GB size limit.


    Upcoming Activities:

    • Refine notification process for communicating to individuals the list of files that were not successfully transferred during the file migration.
    • Continue file transfer tests to determine optimum batch size settings to ensure fastest data transfer rates sustainable without saturating UAA commodity Internet connection.


    Risks / Issues / Concerns:

    • Nothing to report at this time.
  • 9/29/2017 OD4B Deployment Update

    Current Status:

    • Initial project site kickoff


    Upcoming Activities:

    • By the end of next week UAA IT Services will begin the project's communication plan by placing notifications in the UAA Green & Gold, Seawolf Daily and Green+Gold Student Edition.
    • Data migration performance testing will be conducted during the month of October in preparation for migrating existing personal file shares to OneDrive for Business.
    • As the dates are finalized for the migration of existing personal file shares a individualized email message will be transmitted to each respective individual notifying them of the specific date and time that their personal file share will start being migrated. This is anticipated to begin around mid-November.


    Risks / Issues / Concerns:

    • Nothing to report at this time.


Other related information