|WSU & Office 365
|This article is part of the
Office 365 Guide
About this article
This article provides an overview of Microsoft's OneDrive for Business (formerly known as SkyDrive Pro) cloud storage service. It is intended for both students and employees.
What's OneDrive for Business?
Microsoft OneDrive for Business is an industrial-strength, business-class file storage and management service built on Microsoft's SharePoint technology that provides you with 1 TB of space in the cloud, a geeky way of saying that your files are stored off campus on a Microsoft file server that you can access via the Internet. OneDrive for Business is an important component of Microsoft's new vision for business productivity and collaboration, anchored by their web services: Office 365 and SharePoint Online. Every WSU student and employee has a OneDrive for Business. Whether you decide to use it or not is entirely up to you.
- All network servers are located in the continental United States
- Integrated with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2013 (e.g., shows up on your device as a location to which you can Save files)
- Upload and access many common file types from multiple devices using your favorite web browser
- Organize your cloud storage using your own folder structure
- Share files and folders with others at WSU and beyond
- Sync your cloud files and folders to your Windows computer (Mac OS X synchronization coming soon!)
- iOS tablet apps for viewing, editing, and uploading your files
How does this differ from other cloud storage services?
You may already have a personal OneDrive, Microsoft's free, consumer-class cloud storage service. This is a completely separate storage location, so don't confuse the two. You may also be using Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or another cloud storage service. OneDrive for Business differs from these other services in several important ways:
- It's the only cloud storage service supported by WSU. If you use any other service, you are on your own.
- It's not a free, ad-supported, consumer-class service like Google Drive and Dropbox.
- It's licensed, reliable, and fully supported by Microsoft engineers and account representatives, who we can actually call if we have any questions or problems.
- Microsoft does not assert any ownership over your files.
- It's more secure and accessible, making it ideal for work and school-related storage.
- It integrates with other systems and services at WSU.
Does Microsoft own your files?
In OneDrive for Business, "You own your data and retain all rights, title, and interest." Microsoft does not assert any legal ownership over your intellectual property stored in your OneDrive for Business.
Are your files private and secure?
They are private to the same degree as your files on your WSU personal network directory or R drive. By default, any file you upload to your OneDrive for Business cannot be accessed by any other network user unless you decide to share it. However, there are Microsoft network administrators who can access your files if required (e.g., if subpoenaed), just as WSU network administrators can access your files stored on our campus network. According to Microsoft's Office 365 terms of service, they do not mine your data for advertising purposes and they only use it to help provide the service. For example, if you are having trouble with your OneDrive for Business, a network administrator might look at your files and usage log to determine when you last uploaded a file or whether you uploaded a file infected with a virus. In today's digital world, it's safe to assume that any file you transmit and/or store on the Internet is accessible by at least one other human being on this planet no matter how secure the system. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use the service; you just need to behave accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns about the privacy of your data in OneDrive for Business, contact our ITS Security Officer, Toby Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Is it reliable?
Service uptime for the most recent quarter was 99.97%. Microsoft's financially-backed customer service level agreement sets 99.9% as the uptime threshold. If WSU experiences monthly uptime that is less than 99.9%, Microsoft will compensate us through service credits.
Those of you who use our campus SharePoint services will appreciate knowing that your OneDrive for Business is actually just a large document library in a SharePoint site located off campus. It you poke around in your OneDrive for Business, you will find SharePoint features and functions that you may recognize. We recommend that you avoid poking around for the time being. We actually wish Microsoft hadn't exposed so many of your document library's SharePoint menus and settings because you can really mess things up if you don't know how to use them properly. The fact that OneDrive for Business is SharePoint will become more important as we transition from campus-based to cloud-based SharePoint services over the next few years. If you have no idea what all this means, that's fine. You do not need expert knowledge of SharePoint to use your OneDrive for Business.
Learn how to use OneDrive for Business