SharePoint online as File Server

New Contributor

Hi All,


I have a client with 25 users spread out over 3 countries.


Previously they were using Google Apps and was using Google Drive as a file server. However, I have moved them over to Office365 now and have setup a SharePoint site. As part of migrating the data from Google Drive to the Synology NAS, I have setup "Cloud Sync" to download the data to the NAS locally.


I now am in the process of synching the data using the OneDrive option from the Synology "Cloud Sync" and by using the Office365 admin credentials.



My first question is,..Where are these files being uploaded to now? In the process of seting up the One Drive sync to upload the files to SharePoint, I created a Shared Folder to upload it all to from the NAS and immediately saw it appear in SharePoint, under the "Documents" section in the Team Site which I have setup. But the files that is being uploaded now, does not appear yet.


Is there a simpler way to upload files "1.5TB"(afware of extra space requirements in SharePoint) to Sharepoint, a cetral file repository and make available to all users in the Office365 tenant/Team site?


My goal is to use the NAS for local folder/file access and that to sync to Sharepoint to be made available for the rest of the employees not in the same country or even to sync that same repository to a NAS device in each country/site office. Can I perhaps link the Office365 admin's OneDrive to the SharePoint "Documents" section? 


Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as I am in the process of uploading files to an unknown location.




17 Replies

Interesting question.

My points:

  • How will o365 recognize multi user access from NAS/Synology? Think of files beeing edited in the cloud (without check in / check out) and simultaneously local users try to access via NAS/Synology.
  • versioning for local users

--> Am I right, that only on premise SharePoint servers will handle this appropriately?


other points:

  • files, a NAS can handle, but SharePoint NOT (local access databases)



Versioning is not my issue as I am not too bothered with that.


However, I'd like the NAS to sync with the Office365 ADMIN account, full access to all. Then users will access the NAS by use of local accounts(No AD in place).


So what I'd like to know is if you are able to link a One Drive storage account to a sharepoint online site. If that can be done then I am sorted because the NAS will then just sync with the OneDrive account and users will have local permissions(with manual input, sharepoint permissions too)

This is a very common problem / topic. Is there any whitepaper regarding this?
A "small" solution without on premise servers...
1.5 TB = 1500000 MB.
With our optical fiber connection 100/100 Mb, it would realistically take 6 days !!
Guess that's why you don't see all files. Remember that sharepoint libraries have limitations...!!

Space is not an issue as extra space has been aquired and 100MB fiber is onsite.


Just need to get a realtime sync in place for the sharepoint library and NAS


I don't understand why the OneDrive storage is not sufficient. You can grant access to other users to the admin's OneDrive?


Is Synology supporting OneDrive for Business already?

Interesting discussion, which hopefully I am understanding correctly.  Firstly I'd suggest taking a step back, I'd say don't try to migrate 1.5TB of data (if that's what you are saying), it's just my personal opinion rather than a rule.  1.5TB is a huge amount to bring across to SharePoint Online and if your migrating anything like that, a migration tool might be in order.  


Dumping stuff unorganised into SP (I am not saying you're doing that) without looking at governance and Information Architecture isn't going to end well. This goes into some of the finer points - Overview: best practices for managing how people use your team site.


Using SharePoint as a file server is not without its issues anyway, for example, there is a 5000 view limit unless that's changed recently. You'd want to cleanse the data anyway if that hasn't happened already, what can be archived, what doesn't need to be kept and certain things that just aren't suitable for SP. This post has a nice set of steps and list of migration tools - Migrating File Shares to SharePoint Online.


I am not sure I understand the role of the NAS, though you have explained it, I'd personally try to eliminate its unless there is no other way.  Syncing Sharepoint files with the OneDrive sync client is supported, there is also the upcoming OneDrive Files On-Demand features (Win 10 only), if any of those may help. The modern UWP OneDrive app is a quite nice alternative to syncing. 

I agree with other contributers, just uploading your NAS is not a solution. Sharepoint can also be a fileserver, but it is designed to do other things.
I can't believe you have 1500 Gigabyte of very important-strategic word-excel-powerpoint-some photo files to upload...

You need to look into a third party migration and sync solution. Building this functionality on your own would be time consuming and difficult. There are also many mentioned below (all have SharePoint Online adapters in addition to OneDrive). I work with Cloud FastPath and we see this use case quite a bit:

Hi JP, did you get any further on this? We are an MSP and have implemented Egnyte in precisely the way you described with Netgear ReadyNAS on prem at some locations. But we are hoping to move away from Egnyte but we like the hybrid-cloud option for speed and redundancy.

Interestingly, at our largest account, which has over 13TB on the platform -- most of the users don't bother with the NAS at all.


Hello @JP Meiring I'm in the exact search...

I'm exploring Azure + for mapping drives

Also exploring and others...

But I would like to use Sharepoint as file repository... in theory should be the best option since we already are paying for O365...

I'm wondering what was your final selection?

My goal is to have 100 users with access to about 2TB data as file repository, and get rid of old Windows Servers... (note: we do not need application servers).

I have a case study for replacing a NAS server of around 3TB of data. At first, I was thinking at Azure Files as a replacement. I would allow us to re-create the file share as it is today.

However, some little birds told me about SP Online. I was wondering : even with a tool, uploading 3TB of data trough Internet doesn't seem like a good idea. Does anyone have any experience with sending Hard Drive to Microsoft so they can do the copy ? After that, we could check any delta with a tool and limit the size of the uploads.

@Stephane KLOIS Unfortunately MSFT does not have an option to send hard drives. You can send hard drives to Azure files, but not SPO. 


In terms of uploading 3TB to SPO, that is completely achievable. I've worked on projects where the customer moved 100's of TBs into SPO. 


You will need a tool for that amount of content. There is the free SP migration tool, but I'd say the tool is best suited for a few hundred GB maximum. 


As has been mentioned, there is no option to send hard drives for SharePoint Online migrations.  This used to be available but was withdrawn a while back. This is still an option for drive shipping to import PST files to Office 365. 


3TB is a lot of data, while SPO can accommodate this and more, usually, a data cleansing exercise beforehand can pay dividends by removing duplicates files, finding legacy content and looking at how the data is organized so it can be suitable migrated. 


The free SharePoint Migration Tool is very good and well worth checking out, though tools like Sharegate, have extra features, with pricing starting from around $4K or equivalent.  Might be worth having a look at this recent Ignite session - What’s new to make your migration to SharePoint and OneDrive free and easy.

Thanks for the feedback. How did you do to migrate such a large volume of data ? Which tool did you use ?

For the moment, I intend to do as @Cian Allner suggested (first clean), and then upload the data slots by slots.

Hi There,


I did the following.


3 Sites, Synology NAS in each site


Setup local shared folders and copied data into their respective folders. Then setup "Cloud Sync" on the NAS devices by using the Office365 Admin user. For each folder I created a sync task for bidurectional sync.

With all sites having 100mbps fiber connectivity the upload took about a week in total. After that I opened up external access(Onedrive online)




No prob, not sure why I got the "null null" treatment. 


I used Cloud FastPath, which is the product I work with. We've moved over 50TB per day for some large projects. In reality, moving the data is not the issue as long as you have the right tool. The planning, analytics, cleanup, and segmentation is the hard thing to do.