I’m not an early adopter, and held off implementing NGSC for ODFB for a long time. I finally decided to try V 2016 (Build 17.3.6517.0809) two weeks ago, and the deployment and daily operation have been smooth as silk. This isn’t the preview version that syncs Team Sites. Again, I’m not an early adopter.
There’s an excellent dynamic response diagnostic that pops-up messages when the sync client chokes on files that have unacceptable characters in their names, or too long folder nest/file names. Since my Tenant Name is long, I was particularly concerned about the latter.
The diagnostic messages pop-up and tell you exactly where the problem is, and you can click on a link to take you to the offending file. It even tells you exactly how many characters to remove from the folder nest/file name to resolve a length error. While these pop-ups are waiting for you to correct the error, the sync continues with other folders. After you correct an error, the diagnostic detects the correction and automatically dismisses itself or shortens the pop-up list by removing the corrected file (that’s why I refer to it as “dynamic response”). If it finds another error, it pops-up another notification or expands the current list.
Selective folder-sync is fantastic, and solves many problems that previously existed with large libraries in the cloud that had to sync with thin clients in the field. Even if your mobile device isn’t thin, why carry around folders you don’t need and subject them to exposure if you lose your device?
NGSC eliminated my concern that “Open with Explorer” is going away in the modern UI, because syncing is so fast and smooth. Anything I want to do with Windows Explorer, I can do with my local ODFB folder.
I’m speculating, but it seems like the client and its server counterpart use some type of extremely efficient compression algorithm, along with a quick wake-up call when it’s time to take some sync action. My initial sync of 32,000 files took about 75% less time than I expected, given my available bandwidth. Day-to-day sync operations are much snappier than Groove. Using selective-sync, as long as I remember to put a checkmark next to the folders I’ll need tomorrow, and uncheck the ones I won’t, my thin mobile clients are ready to go much faster than I anticipated.
In my opinion, NGSC is ready for primetime use with ODFB, and the MSFT developers deserve kudos.