As you may be aware, Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business (ODfB) isn’t quite what we’d expect to have for use as an online solution for storing and sharing files for a department or company. It really isn’t designed to house all of your department files, rather it is simply an online extension of your My Documents folder, if you set that as your local folder to synchronize with. Microsoft will tell you that if you want to offer department or company wide file storage and collaboration to use SharePoint, which currently provides 10GB of data storage per company. That isn’t much storage at all and they know it, that’s why they offer additional storage at a cost per GB. They know that once companies get comfortable and like the convenience of their online storage that offers great collaborative features, companies will be willing to forgo a few bucks per GB to keep their data readily available for everyone. ODfB currently allows up to 1TB of storage space per user, but I have been told by Microsoft’s customer support that this is soon to be opened up to being unlimited storage.
After some testing, I’ve devised a way in which you can provide ODfB to your departments and entire company with minimal effort. Administration of the directory structure is really no different than what you are used to on premise. The best part is that once configured and implemented, everything stored on ODfB will synchronize with your on premise file server, so you have a local copy of everything in the cloud.
The short of it is simply to use an AD account with administrative privileges, both online and on premise to setup your ODfB file sharing. Install ODfB on your file server and set your desired directory for synchronization. Until Microsoft opens up the ODfB to unlimited storage, if you run out of data online, simply create or use another AD account to gain an additional 1 TB of space. The license per user, per month is far less than the storage space you’d be paying for using SharePoint.