Mark Kashman (@mkashman) is a senior product manager on the SharePoint marketing team.
The journey to simplify the admin experience in Office 365 continues. Previously, we increased all OneDrive for Business users’ storage allotment to 1 TB. Along with this adjustment, we removed the OneDrive for Business quota management tab from the SharePoint Online admin center.
Today we are introducing a new storage model based on usage, making it easier to manage availability of storage across your SharePoint Online team sites. In addition, we increased the number of site collections limits to parallel and adjust the new usage model.
Let’s dive into the details.
The new usage model
The first thing administrators will notice is they reclaim a lot more SharePoint Online pooled storage. This is because the concept of reserved storage now only applies at the tenant level for SharePoint Online. For example, if you had a site collection’s storage quota set to 100 GB in the old model and were only using 20 GB, it now has a usage limit of 100 GB in the new model, and returns 80 GB back to the tenant storage pool. Site collections (other than OneDrive) no longer tie up blocks of reserved storage. Instead, only the actual storage used counts against total pooled storage.
How the new usage model applies to team sites and OneDrive for Business.
Auto versus Manual
The second thing admins will notice is the new Site Collection Storage Management toggle switch within the SharePoint Online admin center, under the settings tab. Auto enables hassle-free storage management, while Manual enables the admin to apply storage usage limits per site collection (excluding OneDrive).
The Site Collection Storage Management toggle switch to select Auto or Manual.
New customers are set to Auto by default, with the ability to switch to Manual at any time. Auto enables you to auto-matically pull from your available SharePoint Online pooled storage for any and all of your site collections (more on pooled storage below). Your site collections only use what they need from the available pooled storage, automatically, up to whatever the current maximum system limit is per site collection—currently 1 TB.
When you select Auto for Site Collection Storage Management, all site collections adhere to the auto-grow usage mode.
When the new usage-based storage model rolls out, all existing customers will be in “Manual” mode by default and can easily opt-in to Auto. Manual allows the admin to set usage limits per site collection. All previously configured storage quota values that existing tenants have in place prior to rollout will persist in the new model (under Manual), but be represented as storage usage caps.
If you manage storage for your site collections manually, site collections will adhere to individual usage cap limits.
Whether you select “Auto” or “Manual,” managing SharePoint Online quota is now worry free. You don’t have to worry about management overhead or “lost” storage that has been allocated but not used. Furthermore, this means you can create as many site collections as you want without being limited by whether there is storage available to allocate.
Site Collections limit, pooled storage and additional storage
Not only have we simplified storage management in SharePoint Online, but we increased the maximum number of site collections SharePoint Online supports per tenant. We’re announcing today that individual Office 365 tenants can now have up to 500,000 site collections (up from the previous limit of 10,000) and they all draw from the same pool of storage as described above.
I think I just heard a collective “500k, yay!” We’re excited, too.
Your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + 500 MB times the number of users,applies to storage available for your SharePoint Online team sites. This is separate from the default per-user OneDrive for Business storage space. And if you need more storage for your team sites, you can purchase unlimited additional storage right from within the SharePoint Online admin center at a cost per gigabyte (GB) per month.
To sum it all up …
You can now more easily manage storage quota for SharePoint Online team sites’ based on real usage, and forget about setting aside fixed amounts per site collection.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Which Office 365 plans have these SharePoint Online improvements?
A. Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E4; Office 365 Education A2, A3, and A4; Office 365 Government G1, G3, and G4; Office 365 Midsize Business will have this new storage model. The main caveats are that Office 365 Small Business comes with only one site collection and Office 365 Government plans currently have a 100 GB per site collection storage limit.
Q. Does this announcement apply to Office 365 dedicated subscribers?
A. No. The Office 365 dedicated plans will not receive this same update because they are managed in a unique, isolated infrastructure.
Q. How and when will these new SharePoint Online admin features roll out worldwide?
A. As with previous SharePoint Online features, these new changes will take a few weeks to completely roll out worldwide. Office 365 tenant admins will receive a message center post as we begin roll out. We are planning to begin roll out within the next two weeks. We, too, will update the Office 365 roadmap to move this feature from “In Development” through “Rolling Out” during roll out to “Launched” once all tenants have received the update.
Q. Can I move any of my users’ OneDrive for Business storage into pooled storage for my SharePoint Online environment?
A. No. OneDrive for Business storage is separate and cannot be combined for use with team sites.
Q. Do all user types contribute to the overall pooled storage calculation?
A. No. Kiosk and external users do not contribute to the overall tenant storage pool.