Plan for OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server

SharePoint Server 2016

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Applies to: OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2017-07-27

Summary: Learn about things you need to consider when planning to setup OneDrive for Business in a SharePoint Server 2016 or a SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises environment.

In this article:

One of the first planning considerations you should make is if you truly want to use OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server, or if you would be better suited to use OneDrive for Business in Office 365. Many companies select to use OneDrive for Business in an on-premises environment due to industry restrictions (for example, finance or government), or business rules that prohibit transmitting their data over the internet. If your company isn’t restricted by either, you should also explore the possibility of using OneDrive for Business in Office 365. The key benefits in using OneDrive for Business in Office 365 is that you only need an internet connection to use it, versus being connected to your network, and that user storage is provided by your Office 365 service.

NoteNote:
For more information about OneDrive for Business in Office 365, see What is OneDrive for Business?

To make OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server available to your users, you need to configure the following services in SharePoint Server Central Administration:

 

Required ServiceWhat does it do?

Managed Metadata service

Manages metadata across all sites in your organization.

User Profile Service Application

Stores information about users, and is required for My Sites.

My Sites

Provides a personal site for individual users in an organization, and is where the user's document library resides.

NoteNote:
For detailed information about how to set up each service as required for OneDrive for Business, see Set up OneDrive for Business in a SharePoint Server on-premises environment.

The OneDrive for Business sync clients give users the convenience of local storage of their files. Sync clients also enable users to take documents offline. Users then can use those documents when they're disconnected from SharePoint Server. Later, when the client computer or device reconnects to SharePoint Server, the files are synchronized.

In a SharePoint Server on-premises environment, you may have the option to save directly to your document library (for example, from Office 2016), which is where files are synchronized from your OneDrive for Business local folder anyway. When the OneDrive for Business sync client is used in an on-premises environment, it's primary benefit is for synchronizing files on laptops that are used while disconnected from your corporate network at times, such as when traveling.

The sync client also provides your users the added convenience of working with files directly from the local OneDrive for Business sync folder. Work with and saving your files directly in the folder is more convenient than opening your My Sites document library.

ImportantImportant:
Use the OneDrive for Business sync client for Groove.exe when using OneDrive for Business in a SharePoint Server on-premises environment. The OneDrive for Business Next Generation sync client (OneDrive.exe) is currently not supported to work in a SharePoint Server on-premises environment.

Changes in file location

If a user wants to change the location on their computer or device to which data is synchronized, they must stop synchronizing the folder and then set up a new synchronization. Setting up a new synchronization allows them to choose a new location.

Similarly, if you change the URLs of your SharePoint Server My Site host, users must stop the synchronization to the old location and set up a new synchronization to the new URL.

Stopping a synchronization and starting a new one to the same OneDrive for Business library won't cause the loss of any data in the OneDrive for Business library. But users must re-synchronize all files to their local computer or device. This process may take some time and shouldn't be interrupted.

Network bandwidth considerations

There are several situations in which OneDrive for Business sync clients can cause unusually high network bandwidth usage:

  • When you first roll out OneDrive for Business and users are synchronizing all of their files for the first time.

  • When you change the URL of the My Site host and users are required to re-synchronize their files.

Be mindful of the potential impact of these changes on your network.

Sync clients use the http:// or https:// protocol of the site that they're synchronizing with to transfer data. If the OneDrive for Business site uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection (https://), then the data being transferred by the sync client is encrypted; otherwise, it's not.

Office 365 uses SSL for OneDrive for Business connections by default. If you're using SharePoint Server, we recommend configuring your My Site host to use SSL for any connections that will occur outside your corporate domain. If you’re using Active Directory directory services, you can configure the Group Policy setting Sync Only On Domain Network. The setting requires an SSL connection for OneDrive for Business clients that connect to SharePoint Server from outside the organization’s intranet.

Data on local disks on both server and Windows client computers can be encrypted by using Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Data on local devices

Once a document library is synchronized with a computer or mobile device, the files continue to exist there. Files remain on the computer or device even if the user's My Site and their user account are deleted. In this situation, although the files remain on the computer or device, the user can't synchronize the files with SharePoint Server again.

If storing files on a client workstation is against your corporate policy, you can remove synchronization functionality from document libraries in SharePoint Server.

At a later time, you might explore the possibility of using OneDrive for Business in Office 365 for various reasons, such as keeping your on-premises sites and customizations in their current state, but offloading the personal storage aspect of it to the cloud. This would also provide your users access to their business files while not connected to the corporate network.

NoteNote:
For more information about configuring a hybrid environment for OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server, see Configure hybrid OneDrive for Business - roadmap.

If you are using OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server, you can upgrade to OneDrive for Business in SharePoint Server as part of the upgrade process. You can do this as part of the process to upgrade your My Sites Host site collection, which allows you the option to also upgrade the My Sites personal site collections, which are used to store your OneDrive for Business user files.

NoteNote:
For more information, see Upgrading the My Site Host.

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