Overview of OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server 2013


Applies to: OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-16

Summary: Learn about OneDrive for Business, how it works, and the benefits of using it.

OneDrive for Business is the default document library in a user's My Sites in SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Online. The contents of this library can optionally be synchronized with one or more of the user's computers or devices.

By using OneDrive for Business, you can help ensure that business files for your users are stored in a central location. Storing business files in one location makes it easy for users to share and collaborate on documents. If you're using Office 365 for enterprises, you can also reduce your on-premises storage costs by moving your users' files to the cloud.

OneDrive for Business is different from the consumer OneDrive service in that OneDrive for Business is based on SharePoint and is meant for storing a user's business documents and files. OneDrive is a separate service that is meant for personal use.

To synchronize OneDrive for Business files, you need to use a sync client. Sync clients automatically synchronize files between OneDrive for Business and a user's computer or a mobile device. They are available for a variety of operating systems and mobile devices. The OneDrive for Business Windows sync client is also included as part of an Office 2013 installation.

Users get convenient access to their files when those files are synchronized to a local computer or to a mobile device. Synchronizing files also enables users to take documents offline and to use those documents when they're not connected to SharePoint Server 2013. Later, when the client computer or device reconnects to SharePoint Server 2013 or Office 365 for enterprises, the files are synchronized.

SharePoint Server 2013

When you're using SharePoint Server 2013, you can synchronize your files to a variety of devices, but those devices need to be connected to the network where SharePoint Server 2013 resides in order for the sync to work. Synchronizing is mostly useful for laptops that are used while disconnected from your corporate network at times, such as when traveling.

SharePoint Online in Office 365

If you're using OneDrive for Business in a hybrid scenario with Office 365 (as described in the next section), the sync clients give you much greater versatility. Synchronizing files between computers or mobile devices and Office 365 requires only an Internet connection. You don't need to be connected directly to your corporate network.

Because you only need an Internet connection when your files are stored in OneDrive for Business in Office 365, accessing the latest version of your files on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices becomes easier.

If you use SharePoint Server 2013 and want to take advantage of cloud storage for your users' business documents, you can set up OneDrive for Business in Office 365 and have your users automatically redirected to Office 365 when they click the OneDrive link in SharePoint Server 2013.

By using Office 365 for document storage, you can take advantage of cloud storage without having to migrate all of your workloads to Office 365.

Setting up OneDrive for Business hybrid requires configuring Office 365 if you haven't already, and configuring OneDrive for Business redirection. For information about planning OneDrive for Business hybrid, see Plan hybrid OneDrive for Business.

Setting up OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server 2013 requires configuring a User Profile Service application and setting up My Sites. For detailed planning information, see Plan for OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server 2013.